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Emergence Program Builds On Past Success And Grows Capacity To Support SMEs

Photo left to right: Dr. Jimy Mena, MP Sean Casey, Erin MacKean (on screen), Dr. Jason Cleaversmith, Minister Bloyce Thompson

Atlantic Canada’s bioscience sector has become a key driver of economic growth and diversification for the region. Made up of research institutions, non-government organizations, private business and government, the Atlantic Canadian bioscience sector consists of approximately 900 organizations that together employ more than 10,000 people.

That is why the Government of Canada is investing to help the PEI BioAlliance support the continued development of small and medium-sized (SMEs) bioscience companies in Atlantic Canada.

Investment ensures continuation of mentorship and commercialization support

Today, Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, announced a non-repayable contribution of $2,350,000 through the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program to the PEI BioAlliance. The investment will build the capacity of the Emergence Bioscience Business Incubator (Emergence) to deliver resources, mentorship and networking opportunities for SMEs in the sector. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The Province of P.E.I. is also contributing $825,000 towards the project through Innovation PEI.

This contribution will support Emergence 3.0, the next phase of the virtual incubator program that accelerates the growth of startups and early-stage bioscience companies through one-on-one mentorship, strategy services, networking and resource sharing. This renewed funding for Emergence will build on a successful model managed by a team of experienced staff and volunteer mentors, and foster greater collaboration within the innovation ecosystem in Atlantic Canada. The project is expected to benefit 55 bioscience businesses annually.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to develop a highly skilled workforce and strengthen the region’s bioscience sector to ensure the success and sustainability of the industry.


“The success of Atlantic Canada’s bioscience cluster is recognized across Canada and around the world. Strategic investments, like the one announced today, will ensure a continued path of growth for the sector by strengthening a pipeline of innovative and high-potential companies that can compete in the global marketplace, thereby enhancing the economic benefits to the region.”

  • The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

“As it is in many sectors, connectivity and knowledge sharing is key to the success of the bioscience industry. Participation in proven mentorship programs like Emergence from the PEI BioAlliance, will increase a company’s viability, accelerate its path to the marketplace, and create strong foundations for future growth. Growing a skilled, well-resourced workforce is critical to building a strong, resilient future for all Atlantic Canadians.”

  • Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“Emergence has been one of the main drivers for growing the bioscience industry in Prince Edward Island. The program has played an important role in both mentoring the industry and attracting companies to Prince Edward Island. This investment provides supports for start-ups and early stage companies that will help grow the industry, our workforce and provincial economy.”

  • The Honourable Bloyce Thompson, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture for the Government of Prince Edward Island

“Emergence is a proven, metric-based success story that has been instrumental in supporting early-stage bioscience companies and a broad stakeholder base across the Atlantic Canada region. With funding support for the next phase of Emergence, we can build on our past success and continue to work with our clients and collaborators to support the growth of Atlantic-Canada’s bioscience ecosystem.”

  • Dr. Jason Cleaversmith, Executive Director of Incubation and Infrastructure, PEI BioAlliance

Quick facts

  • Emergence is a bioscience incubator that accelerates the growth of Atlantic Canadian start-ups and early-stage companies moving from concept to commercialization.
  • During Emergence 2.0, participating companies raised over $297 million in capital, grew employment numbers from 289 to 849, and increased revenues from $36 million to over $129 million.
  • Formed in 2005, the PEI BioAlliance is a private sector-led not-for-profit organization that is responsible for developing and coordinating the strategy for the growth of the Prince Edward Island bioscience cluster.
  • The funding announced today is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.
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