In celebration of bioscience, innovation and solutions, Premier Dennis King signs official declaration of Global Biotech Week in the province
Charlottetown, PE – As Canada celebrates Global Biotech Week, Prince Edward Island continues to make strides locally in bioscience and biotechnology innovation. A key component of the Island’s economy, the bioscience industry is among the fastest growing sectors in PEI. Now with 60 companies, seven research organizations, and employing 2,200 highly skilled individuals, the PEI BioAlliance has created an innovation ecosystem that has doubled its economic impact since 2016. In 2020, private sector companies added an unprecedented $100 million to business revenues, bringing the total to $365 million annually. Additionally in 2020, the sector invested $85 million on new equipment and facilities and attracted $60 million in private sector investment.
“Global Biotech Week is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the bioscience industry’s accomplishments and contributions to our province. Prince Edward Island’s thriving biotech sector has been a key economic driver in our province and was one of our most resilient sectors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Premier Dennis King. “The tremendous growth that we have seen here on PEI is only the beginning as the sector embarks on an ambitious plan to continue to grow the cluster model locally and continue to be a leader nationally and globally in this space.”
Dedicated to celebrating science, innovation and solutions, this year’s Global Biotech Week will be held from Sept. 27 – Oct. 3, 2021. The purpose of Global Biotech Week is to raise awareness of the industry and its global potential among policymakers, policy influencers and the general public more broadly. On Sept. 27, Premier Dennis King signed an official declaration of the observance 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. Coordinated by the PEI BioAlliance, the bioscience cluster includes bioscience companies, federal and provincial government partners, 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.
Most recently, the PEI BioAlliance announced the launch of their 2021-25 Strategic Plan, that will guide the work and planning needed to achieve the PEI Cluster’s vision to be a leading force in Canada’s bio-revolution. BioAlliance goals for 2021-25 are to aggressively increase private sector revenue, employment, investment attraction, capital expenditures as well as spending on research and development, with the vision of cluster companies achieving $500 million in revenue by 2025 and $1 billion by 2030.
Oliver Technow, Board Chair of the PEI BioAlliance and CEO of BIOVECTRA, one of the leading Contract Development and Manufacturing Organizations in North America, suggested that since COVID-19, Canada and the world is re-awakening to the importance of having the knowhow and infrastructure to be more self-reliant in manufacturing vital drugs and vaccines to protect population health.
“Governments, academic researchers, and private sector partners must work together to ensure all the elements are in place for success. Prince Edward Island has done an excellent job of implementing an ecosystem approach that has created significant competitive advantage for manufacturing businesses, and facilitated a ‘can do’ culture,” said Technow.
This 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.
Launched in 2020, the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) provides world-class technical skills development and training in life sciences specializing in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. It is a unique partnership between industry and academic partners across Canada to address the significant future skills needs of the Canadian life sciences sector.
Additionally, to provide the necessary infrastructure for growth, the new Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator (BMI) is 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 nearly complete, with industry tenants expected to move in this fall.
For more information on the PEI BioAlliance and the local bioscience cluster, visit peibioalliance.com.
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