Skip to content

BioAlliance releases outstanding 2021 results for bioscience sector growth

New survey data indicates revenue of $575 million and more than 2,300 employees in the sector

The Prince Edward Island Bioscience Cluster has surpassed 2025 growth targets and is well on its way to becoming a billion-dollar industry by 2030.

The PEI BioAlliance today released the results of a survey of more than 65 employers in the sector based on 2021 business performance. Private sector company revenues reached $575 million, a $200 million increase over 2020, while investment attraction topped $110 million, almost doubling the previous year. Sector workforce has increased by 400 full-time jobs since the pandemic began, now standing at 2,300 employees. Business-led R&D was $28.2 million, up $8 million, while annual tax revenues to governments were estimated at $87 million annually, up 53% since 2018.

“The accelerated growth and strength of PEI’s bio sector is very encouraging, particularly in these challenging economic times,” said Oliver Technow, Board Chair, PEI BioAlliance and CEO, BIOVECTRA. “Sector investments in research, new product development, and manufacturing capacity have successfully translated to sales revenue from global markets.”

Private sector investment in new facilities and equipment was more than $69 million, adding to an $85 million investment in 2020. Significant revenue increases were achieved in sales of animal health vaccines, human health diagnostics, contract manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, cannabis-based value-added products, and natural health products.

Rory Francis, CEO of the PEI BioAlliance said that the combination of strong growth of the Cluster’s larger companies and commercial success of earlier stage companies has been an excellent recipe for sustained development of the Cluster.

“It’s truly remarkable to see the range of breakthrough technologies and products coming from our Cluster companies that are bringing new solutions to global challenges in human, animal, and fish health,” said Francis. “Collaboration and cooperation among businesses, academic and research partners, and governments at all levels continues to make PEI a great place to grow bioscience-based businesses.”

The rapid growth of the Cluster has put pressure on two key enablers of continued success: the availability of skilled personnel, and the availability of specialized R&D and manufacturing facilities. In 2021, the BioAlliance established the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) to create a national talent pipeline for the bioscience sector. Locally, Holland College, Acadia University, UPEI, and Skills PEI have become important CASTL partners. CASTL opened its headquarters and Biomanufacturing Training Facility in Charlottetown in September. Earlier this year, with support from the Government of Quebec, CASTL announced plans to open a biomanufacturing training facility in Montreal. Additional facility locations are being considered to ensure broad geographic access to this type of training across Canada.

The opening of the new BioManufacturing Incubator (BMI) in early 2022 has been a critical step in ensuring availability of leasable space for manufacturing scale up. The six unit, 20,000 sq ft facility was fully leased before completion pointing to the urgent need to add to the continuum of pilot plant and scale up manufacturing space meeting international regulatory standards.

Together, these initiatives are key elements in the BioAlliance’s plan to build out the province’s capacity and reputation as a national centre of expertise in biomanufacturing.

“From vaccines and drugs to fight disease, to sustainable food production and climate change mitigation, biotechnology holds solutions to some of the biggest challenges of our time,” said Francis. “Prince Edward Island is making its mark.”

Scroll To Top