Federal report calls Canada a laggard in business research and development

OTTAWA — A new federal report says Canada lags other countries in business research and development, despite providing substantial tax breaks to the corporate sector.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Council says Canada ranks sixth among G7 industrialized countries in R&D as a proportion of gross domestic product.

The authors of the report say business innovation is important because it happens closer to the marketplace, and may affect Canada's ability to turn research into new products and services it can sell globally.

Canada also ranks near the bottom of a list of 26 countries when looking at the amount of research collaboration businesses have with governments, universities and other firms.

On the up side, young Canadians are excelling at science, math and reading in high school.

Canada also funds a substantial amount of university research, putting it second only to Sweden among 30 countries ranked.