Biotechnology Use and Development Survey

Detailed information for 2005

Status:

Inactive

Frequency:

Every 2 years

Record number:

4226

The survey provides information on companies developing new products and processes using biotechnologies.

Data release - January 30, 2007

Description

The Biotechnology Use and Development Survey (BUDS), administered by the Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division (SIEID), provides information on companies developing innovative products or processes using biotechnologies. The survey also provides information about the key characteristics of firms that develop or make bioproducts as part of the biotechnology sector.

The survey was conducted as part of a project to develop biotechnology statistics under the Canadian biotechnology strategy. It was funded under the Canadian Biotechnology Strategy. Partners include Industry Canada, the Canadian Biotechnology Secretariat, Agriculture Canada, National Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Resources Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Health Canada and Environment Canada.

These federal departments along with other government agencies, provincial government departments, business and academia are the principal audience.

The survey addressed the following question: What are the characteristics and activities of firms that use or develop biotechnology as an important part of their activities?

Data are provided on the firms' revenues, research and development activities, imports and exports, human resources, strategies, intellectual property issues, and use and development of biotechnologies.

This survey is the latest in a series of initiatives to develop a biotechnology statistics program. Statistics Canada conducted surveys previously concerning biotechnologies. The first, the Biotechnology Use Survey -- 1996 (Survey # 4221), examined the use of biotechnologies in selected Canadian industries. The second, the Biotechnology Firm Survey -- 1997 (see the "Other reference periods" sidebar), was aimed at firms actively conducting research and development and considered to be the core biotechnology firms. The Biotechnology Use and Development Survey combines elements and the legacy of the previous surveys (1996 and 1997) in order to provide statistics on biotechnology. The survey was designed to differentiate between biotechnology users and biotechnology innovators.

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.

Subjects

  • Biotechnology
  • Research and development
  • Science and technology

Data sources and methodology

Target population

The survey's target population includes all firms, in Canada, that are related to the following NAICS codes: 1125, 2111, 311 (except 3113, 3118 and 3119), 3221, 325, 3254, 4145, 4183, 5417, 6215, 21112, 221119 and 321216. The establishments of an enterprise located in the same province and industry type were grouped to form the statistical unit. Excluded from the survey were not-for-profit organizations, universities, government laboratories, hospitals, companies that use only traditional biotechnologies, and service sector firms. In addition, respondents had at least $100,000 in R&D expenditures and, according to the Business Register, revenues in excess of $250,000.

Instrument design

The questionnaire was prepared with active input from partners and in consultation with a group of biotechnology experts with a variety of specialties and interests. Following the initial design work, the questionnaire was phone-tested with potential respondents, whose comments on the design and content were incorporated into the final version. The 2003 survey questionnaire included a section on bioproducts.

Sampling

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

The survey was conducted in two stages. First, a simple questionnaire was mailed to 10,640 firms. The list of recipients was compiled from the list of firms identified in the Biotechnology Use and Development Survey -- 2001 and from the set of firms identified by the Business Register as belonging to a predetermined list of NAICS codes in which firms are likely to use biotechnology or develop bioproducts. Since biotechnology does not fit neatly into a single NAICS code, the sample had to consist of possible users of biotechnology. A number of NAICS codes, mainly in the manufacturing sector, were identified as industries that could include firms using biotechnologies. A second list included firms thought to be actively involved in biotechnology. The firms were asked to respond "yes" or "no" to the following question: "Does your firm currently use or develop biotechnology in its activities or strategies?" and "Does your firm produce or develop any (...) bioproducts?".

A second questionnaire was mailed to firms that answered "yes". Some firms that answered "no" but were on the second list (i.e., firms thought to be actively involved in biotechnology or bioproducts) were contacted and included in the survey's second stage. In all, there were about 1,100 respondents. The questionnaire collected data on the firms' revenues, research and development activities, imports and exports, human resources, strategies, intellectual property issues, and use and development of biotechnologies. A section on bioproducts was also included in the questionnaire. Stratification was made using these 3 variables: NAICS, province and size. Size is based on the number of employees of the provincial enterprise: i) 0-49 employees; ii) 50-149 employees and iii) 150 employees and more.

A challenge facing the survey, and indeed all research into the nature of the biotechnology sector, is the fact that biotechnology is not single product or process nor a single group of products or processes. It is a broad spectrum of products and processes spanning Human Health, Agriculture, the Environment and other industries and classifications. The sampling techniques are consistent with this situation, and the sample reflects not a single well-defined industry but a developing sector with a variety of characteristics, some known and some unknown.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Data was collected through respondent completed questionnaires in paper format (mail or fax). The first questionnaire was used as a pre-contact and helped target the population and determine the name and correct mailing address for the respondent. Questionnaires were mailed out with mail, telephone and fax follow ups carried out for to elicit a response from non-respondents. In some cases, respondents completed the questionnaire over the phone with responses entered on a paper questionnaire by the interviewer.

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

Imputation

Because of the qualitative nature of most of the questions, the "hot deck" imputation method was used for the majority of the questions. The imputation groups were formed based on the province, the sector of activity and the size of the provincial enterprise. The question related to human resources (Q2) was the first to be imputed. Size was based on the number of employees from the frame. For the other questions, size was based on the number of employees found in question 2 (Q2). Certain questions required a different strategy.

Estimation

Firms were selected to provide a representative sample based on size, industry and province. In order to palliate for non-response, an adjustment factor for weighting was applied to the homogeneous response groups created from the sector of activity and the size of the statistical units. This adjustment factor is used as a final weight to produce estimates. To calculate the variance, a stratified random sample formula was used. The strata were formed by the respondent homogeneous groups mentioned previously.

Quality evaluation

The quality of the data has been checked against quality standards at Statistics Canada, namely, data relevance, accuracy, timeliness, accessibility, interpretability and coherence.

Data relevance was insured by the active collaboration in the questionnaire design between the Science, Innovation and Electronic Information Division (SIEID) of Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, the Canadian Biotechnology Secretariat, Agriculture Canada, National Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Resources Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Health Canada and Environment Canada.

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.

From the close of data collection to the first data release four months elapsed, thus insuring data timeliness.

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.

Revisions and seasonal adjustment

These data are preliminary and will be revised on a monthly basis.

Data accuracy

Firms were selected to provide a representative sample based on size, industry and province. The finalized response rate for the full survey (second phase) was 80% and the response rate approximately 70%. The results were weighted to reflect the entire count of firms in the selected industries. Estimates were vetted for compliance with confidentiality rules. Data quality was assessed in consultation with the methodology team, and when the data were unreliable, they were not published.

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