It's Canadian Biotechnology Week - Here's to using your ImaGENEnation

It's Biotechnology Week in Canada and I thought I would look at what biotechnology means to individual Canadians and what kind of events are taking place across the country to promote the importance of the Canadian Bioeconomy.

First off, why is the 'Bioeconomy' important to Canada? Well, from an economic perspective, according to Genome Canada Strategic Plan the Centre for the Study of Living Standards (CSLS) has estimated that biotechnology could represent up to 3.99% (or about CDN$144 billion) of Canadian GDP in 2030, driven by factors such as increased demand for food, energy, and healthcare.

So biotechnology is an important part of the new global and Canadian health marketplace. But what about the importance to the individual? To the patient?

Well, let's review what biotechnology in the health space is about. I've blogged previously about 'big molecule' biologics that are advancing personalized health care in Canada and around the world. Thanks to modern biotechnology, "biologics" are used to create personalized medicines, which are specific medicines tailored to ensure that patients receive the most beneficial life-saving medicines and cures.

With an aging population, these new technologies and innovations are more important than ever to support the sustainability of the health system. Preventing or limiting costly hospitalizations and managing illness through advances in healthcare and targeted biologics can greatly improve quality of life for the individual and pass savings onto the health system.

To learn more, or participate in Biotechnology Week events in your area, I've listed a few events below:

Wednesday, September 25

Canadian Light Source Tours

10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Strathclair Community School - Grade 6

10:30 am - 12:30 pm


Experiments and science exploration and discovery will be done in many areas including: human anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, medical genetics, molecular biology and microbiology. Facilitated by graduate students from the Faculty of Medicine, children will have the opportunity to be a "hands-on scientist" while at the centre.

Thursday, September 26

Biotech & Beer - Halifax

Thursday, September 26

5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This special NBW Biotech & Beer will help create awareness of the life sciences industry and its opportunities for Halifax's young professional community. At the same time, BioNova's members will have a chance to learn about the talent available to their companies by connecting with FUSION members.

Friday, September 26

Networking Lunch & Launch of the State of the Industry 2013 Report

10:30am - 12:30pm

Alastair Ross Technology Centre

3553 - 31 Street NW, Calgary

Register for this event here

To review other events in your area, check out the ImaGENEnation website here:

For Lilly, as I've blogged about before, the importance of biotechnology is directly linked to individual patient health as well as health system sustainability. For our part, Lilly is working hard within the biologics and biotech space to improve patient health outcomes and quality of life.