Charlottetown, PE – From June 8 to 12, Atlantic Canadian delegates virtually convened with more than 7,000 conference participants across 64 countries for the first-ever BIO Digital 2020 Conference, organized by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Typically held as an in-person convention, this year the conference was hosted online, with representatives from 16 Atlantic Canadian bioscience companies, who conducted more than 150 partnership meetings. This year’s theme, Nothing Stops Innovation, inspired thought-provoking discussion and demonstrated the incredible work that the biotechnology industry is doing to combat COVID-19 and beyond.
At BIO Digital 2020, the Atlantic Canada Bio-Industries Alliance promoted the growing bioscience sectors of each the four Atlantic provinces with the aim to increase export sales, get more technologies to market, attract further investments, hire talented employees, and showcase the achievements and capabilities of Atlantic Canada’s sector. Today, Atlantic Canada’s bioscience sector employs more than 3,000 workers and represents $655 million in revenue from upward of 200 companies and at least 50 research organizations.
One of the key highlights was a roundtable with the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. Minister Bains recognized Canada’s biotech innovation sector as a strategic economic and social pillar both during and post COVID-19. He also specifically spoke to working with the industry to develop capacity throughout the biotech ecosystem including talent, funding and manufacturing.
Among the delegates was Picomole Inc., an innovative medical technology company based in Moncton, New Brunswick, currently developing a diagnostic test for lung cancer via breath analysis.
“The virtual BIO experience was incredibly valuable. With the preparation support provided by the Atlantic Canada Bio-Industries Alliance, we were able to take full advantage of the ability to meet one-on-one with many similarly interested peers,” said Stephen Graham, CEO, Picomole Inc. “This allowed me to learn more in depth about what they do, and how we can best collaborate. Together we were able to discuss common challenges and solutions that I otherwise would not have been able to address.”
Funding for the mission was provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the four Atlantic provincial governments through the Atlantic Trade and Investment Growth Strategy. The Atlantic Canadian mission was coordinated by the PEI BioAlliance, on behalf of the Atlantic Canada Bio-Industries Alliance. The Atlantic Canada Bio-Industries Alliance is an umbrella organization comprised of BioNB, BioNova, the Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI) and the PEI BioAlliance.
The official delegates of the Atlantic Canadian mission at BIO Digital 2020 were:
- AffinityImmuno Inc.
- Alpha Cognition
- Appili Therapeutics Inc.
- Atlantic Cancer Research Institute
- BioVectra Inc.
- New Brunswick Health Research Foundation
- New Brunswick Innovation Foundation
- New Brunswick Institute for Research, Data and Training
- PEI BioAlliance
- Picomole Inc.
- Sequence Bio
- Solid State Pharma Inc.
- The Center for Aquaculture Technologies
- Université de Moncton