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Celebrating impact of bioscience sector in PEI during Global Biotech Week

Premier Dennis King signs official declaration of Global Biotech Week in the province

Charlottetown, PE – From COVID-19 vaccines and diagnostics, to understanding climate change, producing animal health products, and feeding the world sustainably, life sciences continues to be an area of high-demand in solving the challenges facing our society. Dedicated to celebrating science, innovation and solutions, this year’s Global Biotech Week (GBW) will be held from Sept. 28 – Oct. 4, 2020. The purpose of GBW is to raise awareness of the industry and its global potential among policymakers, policy influencers and the general public more broadly. On Sept. 28, Premier Dennis King signed an official declaration of the observance in PEI.

“Prince Edward Island’s thriving biotech sector has quickly become an important economic driver for our province, earning an international reputation as a key player. Global Biotech Week is an opportunity to celebrate the sector’s accomplishments and recognize their contributions here at home and around the world,” said Premier Dennis King. “Now, perhaps more than ever before, we are turning to science and relying on the expertise and leadership of our biotech sector as they continue to make important advancements and develop new innovations that strengthen Island industries and help us build a more resilient province for the betterment of all Islanders.”

Locally, PEI’s bioscience industry has grown to become a key component of the Island’s economy, employing 2,000 full-time highly skilled workers with an average annual income of $60,900, which is 44 percent higher than the average for all workers in PEI. The PEI bioscience sector has been nationally and internationally recognized for the collaborative economic cluster model that has advanced and grown the sector.

The bioscience cluster, coordinated by the PEI BioAlliance, includes more than 60 bioscience companies as well as research and development organizations such as the National Research Council, University of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic Veterinary College, Holland College, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, and BioFoodTech. Through the Emergence Bioscience Business Incubator, the cluster has excelled in helping startups and early stage companies move from research and technology development to commercial success.

“We have established a unique and favourable business environment here in PEI for a thriving bioscience industry,” said Oliver Technow, Board Chair, PEI BioAlliance and CEO, BioVectra. “Our size gives us a competitive advantage, as it allows for a truly effective and collaborative partnership between government, academia and industry that over the past decade has grown the sector to become the second largest industry in the province.”

The rapid growth of the sector has meant finding innovative solutions to address constraints to future growth, including expanding and growing a skilled workforce, as well as increasing incubation, scale-up, and manufacturing infrastructure.

Announced in June 2020, the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) is a unique partnership between industry and academia to address the significant future skills needs of the bioscience sector in Canada. It offers a highly innovative approach that combines academic and technical skill development, with industry-supported Workplace Integrated Learning placements that prepare graduates to be work-ready in the bioscience sector. More information on CASTL programs and services will be announced in the coming months.

Additionally, to provide the necessary infrastructure for growth, the new Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator (BMI) will be a 20,000 sq-ft facility comprised of six fully serviced, self-contained units to support pilot-scale manufacturing of bio-based products. Located in the BioCommons Research Park, this project is under construction and is expected to be completed in mid 2021.

For more information on the PEI BioAlliance and the local bioscience cluster, visit

Media Contact
Clara Deacon
Director of Communications and Marketing
PEI BioAlliance
C: 403.701.2815

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