Partnership Post

When Investment Rhymes with Canada

Canada has a proud history of achievement in the areas of science and technology, and the field of biomanufacturing and life sciences is no exception.

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Since its introduction in 2021, Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy has strengthened the sector, deepened innovation, enhanced economic growth and ensured pandemic readiness for future generations.

The Government of Canada has made investments of $2.2 billion in 38 projects to bolster biomanufacturing, vaccine production capacity and therapeutic development. Funding committed through Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Cluster, the National Research Council and the Strategic Innovation Fund reinforced domestic pandemic response capabilities and life sciences innovation.

Just last week, the 2024-25 federal budget announced investing $30 million to support the completion of the University of Saskatchewan’s Centre for Pandemic Research at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization to enable the study of high-risk pathogens.

Prioritizing the expansion of domestic production capabilities for diverse, adaptable vaccine platforms, and enabling rapid scale-up during pandemics has been well received by the private sector. It has led to Canada securing major investments from Sanofi and Moderna, which have added to already impressive industry capabilities with a plethora of Fortune 500 companies such as Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, and Baxter International active in the market. 

International Collaboration and Partnerships

The Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy, supported by substantial investments and international collaborations, solidified the country’s global standing as a resilient hub of life sciences research.

Canada has been actively engaged in a transcontinental partnership to advance its biomanufacturing agenda. Last year, at the North American Leaders’ Summit, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau, U.S. President Biden, and Mexican President Obrador agreed on a trilateral health cooperation focusing on launching an updated North American Plan for Animal and Pandemic Influenza (NAPAPI).

By fostering scientific collaboration and biomanufacturing innovation in North America, the Plan will better prevent and stop outbreaks. It will also provide rapid response to future health emergencies owing to efficient health systems and workforces.

Such international partnership demonstrates the country’s commitment to encouraging global cooperation and leveraging its strengths in the life sciences sector. “A Life Sciences Strategy is an essential roadmap to advance health and innovation, now and into the future,” said Lauren Fischer, Lead, Government Affairs, AbbVie Canada. “These strategies support important investment in discovery research and projects, which generate new technologies that help advance standards of care and improve the lives of people in Canada, and globally.”

Competitiveness and Planning for the Future

Government investments and policies ensure that Canada has the necessary talent, research and development pipeline, robust SME industry and security across the supply chain to support a dynamic and growing biologics manufacturing and innovation ecosystem. 

These key initiatives, coupled with the country’s proactive approach to revitalizing its biomanufacturing industry, position Canada as an ideal destination to attract foreign direct investments in life sciences. Canada offers a competitive, affordable, high quality-of-life environment to expand a business in pharmaceuticals, medical devices, or digital health. Supported by world-class hospitals and healthcare innovation, global companies are especially well-positioned to succeed. 

Thanks to a skilled labor pool with 67% of Canadians aged 25 to 64 years who have a tertiary education, Canada is one of the most highly-educated workforces in the world. “Life sciences companies are investing and reinvesting in Canada because of our compelling value proposition, including our educated and diverse talent base, our STEM ecosystem, our innovation, and so much more,” said Laurel Broten, CEO, Invest in Canada.

Canada is business-friendly with competitive tax incentives embodied by its Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program, the Government’s largest R&D program with $3 billion in tax incentives annually. With a sharp vision for the future, Canada has already invested in next-generation technologies that will keep any business on the avant-garde. 

Lately, the federal budget revealed a reinvestment of $200 million in the Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative which assembled a portfolio of funds-of-funds and VC funds. The goal is to increase the availability of capital for high-growth potential life sciences companies as well as for entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups. The Canadian biotechnology sector welcomed this timely announcement and can look towards building the next cycle of growth, according to BIOTECanada, the national industry association who will be leading the Canadian delegation at the BIO International Convention in June. 

In conclusion, investing in Canada today is an opportunity to be a part of tomorrow’s robust ecosystem of multinationals and burgeoning start-ups that have already found success across the country, “From Sea to Sea.”

Services from the Trade Commissioner Service at the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago are offered free of charge to Canadian exporters and international investors. Julien Rosan, Trade Commissioner, Life Sciences, specializes in health industries and advises Canadian companies on business development opportunities in the U.S. Midwest market. Tina Kotrych, Trade Commissioner, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), helps U.S. Midwest-based firms navigate all aspects of setting up and expanding operations in Canada.

Read also: Canada and the Midwest in Life Sciences, 75 Years in the Making