With $581 billion in R&D investments, the U.S. dominates the North American region with a 92.2% share of the total $629.6 billion R&D
invested in the region. Canada, globally ranked #11 in R&D
spending, has a 5.2% regional share with $33.1 billion in
R&D, while Mexico, globally ranked #25 in R&D spending
with $13 billion in R&D, has a 2% regional R&D share.
The remaining nine countries, concentrated in Central
America (six countries) and the Caribbean (three island
countries) invest a combined $3.8 billion in R&D for a regional R&D share of just 0.6%.
Those nine countries only increased their combined R&D by
$40 million from 2018 to 2019 with two countries (Cuba and
Puerto Rico) seeing cuts in their 2019 R&D investments. Little
R&D is performed in Central America with continuing political turmoil and social unrest affecting the operation of even
minimal services. R&D in Caribbean nations is minimal at best
with most R&D operations focused on environmental studies.
The Government of Canada supports R&D through
its Scientific Research and Experimental Development
(SR&ED) Tax Incentive Program. SR&ED provides tax incentives for the direct in-house costs of performing eligible
R&D work in Canada.
The top industrial R&D spenders in Canada include Bombardier, Magna International, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Canadian Natural Resources, BCE, Pratt & Whitney Canada, IBM
Canada, Constellation Software, Ericson Canada, General
Motors Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada. About 52% of
Canada’s GERD is performed by industrial companies, 38%
by academia and 9% by the provincial governments.
The country has nearly 15,000 researchers, according
to Statistics Canada. The government’s National Research
Council of Canada (NRC) has 14 research programs and
technology centers affecting the competitiveness of the country. Some of these programs/centers involve advanced electronics and photonics; aerospace; aquatic and crop resources;
automotive and surface transportation; energy, mining and
the environment; nanotechnology; and ocean, coastal and
Mexico has been urged by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to invest more in R&D, blaming the lack
of investment on a drop in Mexico’s productivity. Mexico
Mexico has been urged by the
Bank (IDB) to invest
more in R&D…
spends much less than 1% of its GDP on R&D. Its productivity cannot be raised unless more private companies participate in their R&D, noting that more than 60% of Mexico’s
current R&D is funded by the government.
The lack of R&D has led to fewer introductions of new
products and processes, which has curtailed productivity in all
sectors. Mexico is a member of the Organization of Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) and of all the OECD
countries, Mexico and Chile spend the least on R&D. Brazil, by
comparison, spends more than 1.2% of its GDP on R&D. More
than 70% of R&D investments in OECD countries comes from
private companies, while in Latin America only 40% of the
companies in those countries invest in R&D.
GDP R&D GDP R&D
BIL USD BIL USD BIL USD BIL USD
UnitedStates 19,921.0 565.76 20,458.9 581.03
Canada 1,801.0 32.42 1,837.0 33.07
Mexico 2,461.3 12. 31 2,535.1 12.93
Cuba 135.6 0.57 138.3 0.55
PuertoRico 122.7 0.53 121.2 0.48
CostaRica 88.5 0.44 92.0 0.46
DomRepublic 178.2 0.36 184.8 0.37
Panama 103.3 0.31 107.4 0.32
Guatamala 143.7 0.14 149.5 0.21
ElSalvador 59.1 0.09 61.5 0.09
Honduras 47.5 0.08 49.4 0.08
Trinidad/Tobago 44.4 0.02 46.0 0.02
Total 25,106.3 613.03 25,781.2 629.61
North American R&D Investments
With $581 billion in R&D
investments, the U.S. dominates
the North American region with a
92.2% share of the total $629.6
billion R&D invested in the region.