Spending on research and development (R&D) in Canada's higher education sector increased 2.3% on a fiscal year basis between 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 to $12.1 billion. The higher education sector is composed of universities and affiliated research hospitals, experimental stations and clinics.
When adjusted for inflation, higher education R&D spending rose 0.6% in 2012/2013, the smallest constant dollar increase in a decade. Provincially, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia increased spending
on R&D in the higher education sector in 2012/2013. While Newfoundland and Labrador posted the largest year-over-year percentage increase in spending, Ontario accounted for most of the national gain in 2012/2013.
Total expenditures on R&D are classified into two fields of science: natural sciences and engineering as well as social sciences and humanities. Overall, about 80% of total R&D expenditures were concentrated on natural sciences and engineering, which rose 2.2% from 2011/2012 to $9.7 billion. Spending on social sciences and humanities R&D increased 2.6% to $2.4 billion.