BlackBerry still spends more than any other Canadian tech firm on research and development

The latest report from R&D intelligence firm Research Infosource reveals Canadian companies spent less on research and development in 2014 than the previous year.

R&D costs by the top 100 Canadian corporations was 1.6 percent below 2014, representing $12.3 billion versus $12.5 billion. The reason for the decline was attributed to the fluctuating dollar combined with “economic and financial headwinds,” said Ron Freedman, CEO of Research Infosource.

Leading R&D in Canada was Montreal-based Bombardier with over $2 billion, which was down 7.8% over 2014. From a tech perspective, BlackBerry topped the list in second spot with $785 million in 2014, down a massive 40.7 percent from the previous year. In 2014, BlackBerry generated just under $3.7 billion CAD, with R&D accounting for 21.3 percent of its revenue.

Bell’s parent company BCE also made the list at fourth spot with $546 million, as did Rogers in eighth place with $418 million and Telus in 17th with $194 million. In addition, Huawei’s Canadian arm appeared on the list and jumped up seven spots to number 41 with $52.8 million in R&D.

While the $12.3 billion amount seems respectable from a Canadian viewpoint, comparing to global tech organizations it is actually quite small. For example, Apple invested $6 billion (USD) on R&D in 2014, while Microsoft spent $10.4 billion (USD), and Samsung invested $13.4 billion (USD).

“Fiscal 2014 contained two divergent stories. The country’s largest R&D performers suffered strong cuts in R&D spending. However, the underlying base of companies actually performed well, boosting their R&D spending by 8.2%. With so much R&D concentrated in Canada’s large companies, their performance heavily influences the national picture,” said Freedman.

[source] Research Infosource [/source]