BIO 2014 - Wrap Up

It was a great week at the 2014 BIO International Convention in San Diego, California. The BIO Convention is the world’s largest gathering of delegates from biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms, as well as leaders in the scientific community. With a Canadian delegation of over 900 representatives from 80 companies, the Canada Place pavilion was a very exciting place to be!

Mike Lake, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, took part in the convention this year, welcoming Canadian delegates and promoting pharmaceutical investment in Canada. Mr. Lake shared some key facts about Canada’s life science industry, highlighting the competitive advantage of investing in Canada:

  • Canada has the lowest debt-to-GDP ratio and business operating costs in the G7.
  • Canada has led the G7 in economic growth and has highly educated workforce, as well as world-class health research institutions and research networks.
  • The government has made renewed investments in many national Centres of Excellence, including the Centre for Drug Research and Development
  • The Canadian pharmaceutical sector has the 8th largest market in the world with continued growth.
  • The life sciences industry contributed more than 65,000 jobs and $40 billion to Canada's economy in 2010.

In addition to Mr. Lake, many provincial political leaders also attended BIO2014, including PEI Premier Robert Ghiz, Alberta Premier and Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education Dave Hancock and Quebec Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Exports Jacques Daoust.

Also of interest a few announcements that were made:

One of the BIO Super sessions focused on how collaboration can accelerate the speed of innovation. During the convention, BDC Venture Capital, Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator and CDRD Ventures Inc. announced a collaboration to provide critical seed funding to new and emerging Canadian health sciences companies.  This collaboration will help to bridge the gap between transforming basic research into commercially-viable businesses. Ultimately, this translates into faster medicine development and better outcomes for patients.

Another session focused on the need for greater interprovincial collaborations/partnerships.  The Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Ontario Brain Institute partner with the Quebec Consortium for Drug Discovery on 3 million interprovincial drug discovery innovation programs

It’s clear that the Canadian life science industry continues to be an important contributor to Canada’s innovation economy, improving healthcare delivery and patient care across the country. BIO2014 demonstrated that Canadian investment in research and development has a global impact as well.