Energy Research and Development Expenditures by Area of Technology

Detailed information for 2011





Record number:


The survey collects expenditure data on energy research and development activities in the Canadian business enterprise sector.

Data release - October 17, 2013


The survey collects data which are essential to assure the availability of pertinent statistical information to monitor science and technology related activities in Canada and to support the development of science and technology policy.

The survey is sponsored by and collected for the Office of Energy Research and Development (OERD) - Natural Resources Canada.

The data are used by the office of Energy Research and Development (OERD) to plan and evaluate energy research and development programs and to comply with international reporting obligations. The results of this survey are published in "Industrial Research and Development", catalogue number 88-202-X and CANSIM table 358-0214.

Statistical activity

Research and experimental development includes systematic creative work to increase the body of knowledge, including knowledge of people, cultures and societies, and the use of this body of knowledge to create new applications.

Science and technology (S&T) and the information society are changing the way we live, learn and work. The concepts are closely intertwined: science generates new understanding of the way the world works, technology applies it to develop innovative products and services, and the information society is one of the results of the innovations.

People are looking to Statistics Canada to measure and explain the social and economic impacts of these changes.

The purpose of this program is to develop useful indicators of S&T activity in Canada and to present them coherently.

Reference period: Fiscal year


  • Energy
  • Research and development
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The survey is of all firms believed to be performing energy research and development or funding foreign organizations to perform energy research and development.

Instrument design

The form is designed to cover inputs to energy research and development activity, including expenditures by area of technology, source of funds and payments abroad for energy research and development.

In an effort to reduce paper use and to meet the needs of respondents, Statistics Canada has developed an internet-based reporting option to complete questionnaires.


This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore, no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

This annual survey is aimed at all firms believed to be performing energy research and development or funding foreign organizations to perform energy research and development.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).

Error detection

In the pre-grooming stage, edit checks are performed to find missing and invalid entries and identify which data records contain errors.

Uncorrected coding errors are unlikely because of the examination of numerous tables and listings prepared for data analysis before tables are created. All data capture for science statistics is through manual intervention: key-edit or typed entry at a computer terminal.

Data editing

The purpose of data editing is to ensure that survey data are acceptable, complete, consistent and accurate. There are three main categories of edits: validity, consistency and distribution edits. Validity and consistency edits are performed one record or questionnaire at a time, while distribution edits are performed on data across questionnaires.

Validity edits

Validity edits identify inconsistencies in the data. Examples:
- unit of measure issues (US vs. Canadian dollars, dollars vs. thousands of dollars).

Consistency edits

Consistency edits verify the relationships among questions or with questions from previous questionnaires. These edits may also check the logical flow of the questionnaire or involve the use of administrative or historical data.

Consistency edits may also be performed between the questionnaires of two surveys. For example, data collected for the Energy Research and Development Expenditures by Area of Technology survey are compared with data reported on the questionnaire for the Research and Development in Canadian Industry survey (record number 4201).

Distribution edits

One of the survey questions serves to distribute expenditures by funding sources. These distribution questions are edited to identify outliers, which are then validated


Although there are a number of edits, all cases of failed edit checks are corrected after consideration by editors. Automatic imputations are made only for the smaller R&D performers and funders. Missing data are estimated by internal ratios, questionnaire submitted for the Survey of Research and Development in Canadian Industry and previous returns.

Imputation for the Energy Research and Development Expenditures by Area of Technology survey uses the following data sequence:

- imputation of non-energy data from the Research and Development in Canadian Industry survey;
- deterministic imputation within the questionnaire;
- imputation of the respondent's energy data using data from the previous year;
- imputation using random donor ratios drawn from the response of a similar enterprise belonging to the same industry group.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

Quality evaluation

The quality of any statistical information is measured in a large part by the degree to which the final product meets the original objective of the survey. The Energy Research & Development Expenditures by Area of Technology survey is to monitor energy research & development activities in Canada and to support the development of science and technology policy.

In order to assure the highest quality of the data from this survey we continually monitor the coverage of our survey population, to ensure that all known enterprises in the universe are accounted for. If data are not obtained directly from the respondent many other sources are researched, including previous questionnaires.

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects that could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

In order to prevent any data disclosure, confidentiality analysis is done using the Statistics Canada Generalized Disclosure Control System (G-Confid). G-Confid is used for primary suppression (direct disclosure) as well as for secondary suppression (residual disclosure). Direct disclosure occurs when the value in a tabulation cell is composed of or dominated by few enterprises while residual disclosure occurs when confidential information can be derived indirectly by piecing together information from different sources or data series.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

Historical data are not revised, since no new questionnaire has been received since the estimates were produced.

Data accuracy

All possible sources of error are examined below.

Coverage is a minor source of error. The survey is of all known and suspected, firms believed to be performing energy research and development.

Non-response is a potential problem in two areas.

The first concerns companies inadvertently not included in the survey. A number of sources are used to create the mailing lists and it is unlikely that major performers would be overlooked. Also, since certain NAICS codes are targeted in sampling, errors from this source are further reduced.

Failure of surveyed companies to reply is the second type of non-response. We believe non-response error to be minor and may result in a minor under-estimation of energy R&D expenditures.

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