Pharmaceuticals to Replace Telecom as Canada’s Top R&D Spenders?

RESEARCH Infosource released a report last week titled “Canada’s Top 100 Corporate R&D Spenders List 2009 Analysis

Canada’s communications/telecom sector was the number one R&D spend – with 2008 research spending on associated products and services representing 40% of total industrial R&D.  Of the top 100 R&D performers, 15 were from the communications/telecom sector.

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In 2008, Nortel was the number one R&D spender.   Nortel spent more on R&D than number 2 Bell and number 3 Magna combined.

Next year’s report will likely see the pharmaceutical sector replace communications/telecom products as the leading performer of R&D in Canada.  According to RESEARCH Infosource –

The full effect of the deteriorating world economy will be reflected in next year’s Fiscal 2009 corporate R&D spending results. It is hard to envisage better overall performance than in 2008. For one thing, it appears that Canada’s perpetual R&D spending leader (Nortel Networks) will be absent from the list in 2009. In consequence, total corporate R&D spending will undoubtedly be affected – in a downward direction.

The full report from RE$EARCH Infosource is available here and is worth reading.

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Nortel Folk – Take a Look at Lead to Win!

If you are currently working in Nortel, Mitel or any of the other local tech companies that are under stress and under the threat of downsizing, then you are probably thinking about your “Plan B”.     If your “Plan B” involves launching your own business, then you should take a close look at the Lead to Win program.

Past successful Nortel alumnus who have participanted in Lead to Win have included: Chuck Colford (Trigence (aka AppZero), Congruance IT), David Vicary (Nakina, Weyes Eyes), Jerry Everett (onconference), Brian Hurley (Liquid Computing, Purple Forge), and many others.

Lead to Win is now accepting applications for it’s 4th session which will occur later this year (Lead to Win is currently nailing down the exact date and will announce it soon).

The program is focused on helping enterpreneurs develop and grow their businesses.

The program is free to qualified participants.

Program details, application process, testimonials, FAQ’s, training materials, etc are available online at http://www.leadtowin.ca.

If you know others who might be interested in the program, please send them to http://www.leadtowin.ca!

Nortel US Patents Granted 2007 – Ranked 68th

From the US Patent Office -Nortel was ranked 68th overall relative to US patent filings in 2007, details are shown in the table below.

McKinsey recently published an article summarizing their analysis of US patent filings as a proxy to predict/identify centers/clusters of innovation.   Volume of patents is reflected by the size of the bubble, growth in patents and diversity of patent filing companies are the two axis.

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Ranked List of Organizations with 40 or More Patents, as Distributed by  the Year of Patent Grant and/or the Year Of Patent Application Filing Granted: 01/01/2007 – 12/31/2007

2007 All Years
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 3125 3125
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 2723 2723
CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA Patents By Year of Grant: 1983 1983
MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 1910 1910
INTEL CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 1864 1864
MICROSOFT CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 1637 1637
TOSHIBA CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 1519 1519
MICRON TECHNOLOGY, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 1476 1476
HEWLETT-PACKARD DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, L.P. Patents By Year of Grant: 1466 1466
SONY CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 1454 1454
HITACHI, LTD Patents By Year of Grant: 1381 1381
FUJITSU LIMITED Patents By Year of Grant: 1293 1293
SEIKO EPSON CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 1205 1205
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY Patents By Year of Grant: 911 911
INFINEON TECHNOLOGIES AG Patents By Year of Grant: 847 847
DENSO CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 753 753
TEXAS INSTRUMENTS, INCORPORATED Patents By Year of Grant: 749 749
RICOH COMPANY, LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 727 727
SIEMENS AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT Patents By Year of Grant: 698 698
LG ELECTRONICS INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 682 682
NOKIA CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 679 679
HONDA GIKEN KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA (HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD.) Patents By Year of Grant: 677 677
Fujifilm Corporation Patents By Year of Grant: 660 660
SHARP KABUSHIKI KAISHA (SHARP CORPORATION) Patents By Year of Grant: 646 646
SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 610 610
NEC CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 600 600
CISCO TECHNOLOGY, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 580 580
ROBERT BOSCH GMBH Patents By Year of Grant: 568 568
KONINKLIJKE PHILIPS ELECTRONICS N.V. Patents By Year of Grant: 547 547
HONEYWELL INTERNATIONAL INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 538 538
BROADCOM CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 533 533
SILVERBROOK RESEARCH PTY. LTD Patents By Year of Grant: 533 533
XEROX CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 514 514
RENESAS TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 505 505
EASTMAN KODAK COMPANY Patents By Year of Grant: 492 492
TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 467 467
3M INNOVATIVE PROPERTIES COMPANY Patents By Year of Grant: 459 459
MITSUBISHI DENKI KABUSHIKI KAISHA Patents By Year of Grant: 459 459
SANYO ELECTRIC CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 454 454
LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 432 432
BOEING COMPANY Patents By Year of Grant: 428 428
LG. PHILIPS LCD CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 418 418
SEMICONDUCTOR ENERGY LABORATORY CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 413 413
MOTOROLA, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 411 411
HYNIX SEMICONDUCTOR INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 405 405
E. I. DU PONT DE NEMOURS AND COMPANY Patents By Year of Grant: 369 369
DELPHI TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 356 356
TOYOTA JIDOSHA K.K. Patents By Year of Grant: 351 351
GENERAL MOTORS CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 343 343
TDK CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 338 338
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, THE REGENTS OF Patents By Year of Grant: 333 333
BROTHER KOGYO KABUSHIKI KAISHA Patents By Year of Grant: 325 325
FREESCALE SEMICONDUCTOR, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 322 322
HITACHI GLOBAL STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES NETHERLANDS B.V. Patents By Year of Grant: 322 322
HON HAI PRECISION IND. CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 321 321
FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, L.L.C. Patents By Year of Grant: 315 315
SAMSUNG SDI CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 315 315
FUJI XEROX CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 313 313
ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 304 304
FUJI PHOTO FILM CO., LTD Patents By Year of Grant: 294 294
APPLIED MATERIALS, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 285 285
HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 284 284
AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 282 282
GENENTECH, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 281 281
OKI ELECTRIC INDUSTRY CO., LTD. Patents By Year of Grant: 279 279
QUALCOMM, INC. Patents By Year of Grant: 278 278
AT&T CORP. Patents By Year of Grant: 273 273
NORTEL NETWORKS LIMITED Patents By Year of Grant: 272 272
ALTERA CORPORATION Patents By Year of Grant: 268 268

The Death of Canadian R&D Spending

The 2008 report on Canadian R&D spending from Research Infosource identifies the following top 10 R&D spenders –

Nortel $1.851B
BCE $1.26B
Magna $.725B
Pratt and Whitney $.444B
IBM $.377B
Atomic Energy of Canada $.228B
RIM $.253B
Alcatel-Lucent $.236B
Sanofi-Aventis Group $.207B
Apotex Inc $.181B

Nortel currently accounts for 32% of the R&D spend in the top 10 spenders in Canada, and Magna (automotive parts) currently accounts for 13%.   Over 45% of the R&D spend of the top 10 spenders in Canada is in decline and at risk of evaporating to nothing.

Unfortunately – RIM which is always held up as the shining tech light for Canada – isn’t even in the same league as Nortel and never will be.   It could be argued that RIM is likely to rapidly diminish in size/scope over the coming years as technologies such as the iPhone and Android continue to see rapid adoption.

Ottawa 2.0 – The Flint Michigan of Canada’s High Tech World?

The Citizen published an article on the key role Nortel has had on the Ottawa high tech market, noting that there are no replacements for Nortel waiting in the wings to step-in to the void.

Here is a list of potential impacts on the City of Ottawa in a post-Nortel scenario:

  • Ottawa will increasingly rely on the Federal Government for our local economic future (3Q08 city reports put 75% of Ottawa’s economy as being linked to the presence of the Federal Government in Ottawa)
  • Ottawa economy will decline in size and associated tax base which will lead to reduced city services and programs due to:
  • Ottawa economic growth prospects will decline as the city becomes increasingly less attractive for knowledge-based multi-nationals to locate/expand in Ottawa due to declining size and skills of the local workforce brought about by:
    • Continued emigration of knowledge-workers out of Ottawa (Stats Canada reports have highlighted the lost high tech capabilities and workforce emigration away from Ottawa –  2 in 5 laid off tech workers left Ottawa)
    • Continued reduction in base of knowledge-workers with current experience (Stats Canada reports have highlighted that 4 of 5 laid off tech workers did not find work in tech)

Ottawa may soon be the “Flint Michigan of Canada” when it comes to high tech.

Of course, there are always  career opportunities available in ceramics and pottery.

ex-High Techies in the Federal Government

After this blog entry I was immediately asked about the challenges those ex-techies who joined the Federal government have found.   Here is a quick summary of what I’ve been told:

  • Being under-employed/under-challenged (compared to their personal perceived capability)
  • Being discouraged from working excessive hours (one individual told me about a situation where a co-worker took them aside and asked them to stop working long hours because it was making the rest of them look bad  – however all other individuals I know said they had never experienced this type of behavior and in fact noted that people in their departments tended to work more then the regular work hours as a matter of course)
  • Really, really bad employees who are passed from department to department like a hot potato (these employees typically know how to exploit the various government union and HR policies to effectively do nothing and avoid being fired and consume vast amounts of their managers time and reputation in the process)
  • Political wars and games where each department was working to position themselves for projects they expect to see funded

In Nortel, I personally experienced:

  • Being under-employed/under-challenged (only when working on a  product transitioning to legacy support  – when this happened I usually changed jobs)
  • Being given really, really bad employees as part of a new project team (who I first mentored/worked with to help them develop missing skills or cultural awareness, and if that failed (only on one occasion) I put them into the HR process leading to termination/transfer to a job with a better fit)
  • Political wars and games where each department was working to position themselves for projects they expect to see funded

Anyone else from High Tech who ended up in the Federal government have observations to contribute?