Survey of Advanced Technology (SAT)

Detailed information for 2007 (follow-up)





Record number:


The survey is part of an ongoing program to develop indicators of innovation. Survey results will contribute to a better understanding of innovation activities linked to the modification and creation of technology. The information compiled from the survey can be used to improve existing economic policies and technology strategies or develop new ones.

Data release - October 27, 2008


The Follow-up to the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 collects information on the activities of firms that acquired or integrated advanced technologies by customizing or significantly modifying existing technologies or by developing new technologies. The survey examines: the process for modifying or developing technologies; the funding and accounting of such projects; project cooperation; what happens to the knowledge and products that result for these projects; and the costs associated with these projects.

The data obtained from the survey will be used by both the public and private sectors.

Statistical activity

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 based on a framework that ties them together in a coherent picture.


  • Innovation
  • Manufacturing
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

This follow-up survey targeted establishments in the manufacturing industry that had responded to the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 and consequently, meet the same sample restrictions whereby they must have at least $250,000 in revenues and at least 20 employees. In addition, only establishments that answered positively to one of question 4d. or 4e. on the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 indicating that they had acquired or integrated advanced technologies by customizing or significantly modifying existing advanced technology or by developing new advanced technologies received a questionnaire.

Each firm only received one questionnaire, based on their response to question 4. Those firms that responded to the original questionnaire that they acquired or integrated technologies by modifying them received a questionnaire pertaining to the modification of technologies whereas those that indicated they acquired or integrated technologies by developing new technologies were sent a questionnaire pertaining to the development of new technologies.

. Those firms that indicated they acquired or integrated technologies both by modifying existing technologies and developing new technologies received a questionnaire pertaining to the development of new technologies since this was considered to be the more complex of the two methods of integration.

Instrument design

The follow-up to the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 was designed by members of the Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division in consultation with subject matter experts. Cognitive testing of the questionnaire was carried out by the Questionnaire Design Resource Centre with potential respondents, whose comments contributed to the final version.


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

Sample unit: establishment

The frame for the Follow-up to the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 was all units that returned a completed questionnaire for the original survey. The original sample for the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 was drawn from Statistics Canada's Business Register (June 2007 version) during July 2007 from a population of 16,590 manufacturing and 622 logging establishments. Only manufacturing establishments were considered in the sample selection.

Data sources

Data collection for this reference period: 2008-03-01 to 2008-09-30

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data for the Follow-up to the Survey of Advanced Technology 2007 were collected by using a mail-out, mail-in survey of four pages.

One reminder card was sent approximately one month after the original mailout. No active follow-up calls were made, although new questionnaires were sent to respondents upon request.

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

Error detection

As part of the collection process, edits for logical consistency were used in order to ensure that skip patterns were respected. Consistency edits were also applied to ensure that data fell within an acceptable range or list of acceptable responses.


This methodology does not apply.


This is a quota sample therefore all estimates are in reference to the population of plants that responded to each individual question on the questionnaire.

Quality evaluation

The quality of survey results have has been evaluated in terms of the response rate for each question. This is calculated as the number of records that contribute to each estimate in consideration of the number of questionnaires for active, in-scope respondents that were mailed out.

In addition each table of survey estimates indicates the total number of records contributing to the estimates.

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

This methodology does not apply to this survey.

Data accuracy

Data accuracy was insured by conducting cognitive interviews in both official languages with potential respondents. Their comments were integrated into the final design and wording of the questionnaire.

The overall response rate for the survey was 73%, for a total of 1,219 completed questionnaires. The response rate for each question on the survey questionnaire was calculated as the total number of responses as a percentage of the total active, in-scope survey sample.

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