Will Canada Step up to The Plate in the Biotech Sector

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    Canada has a well-known research sector and relatively strong infrastructure tonurture startups, but once biotech companies start to grow, they often stall andstruggle for resources.

    For the Canadian health-care industry to compete globally, we need a plan thataddresses capital requirements, human resources, regulations, market accessand long-term predictability.

    The development of a sector-specific industrial strategy should be a top priorityin order to fully develop and build Canada’s health-care industry.

    The World Health Organization estimates that $6.5-trillion is spent on healthcare worldwide annually, a figure that represents significant economic potentialfor jurisdictions with sustainable health-care industries capable of solution-driven R&D and product commercialization.

    A robust health-care industry is a key pillar of any thriving knowledge-basedeconomy; in Canada, it could create sustainable development and provide asolution to both demographic and economic challenges.

    Without critical policy changes that provide a consistent framework within whichto operate, Canadian bioscience companies will lack global competitivenesslosing the opportunity to create jobs and health-care solutions that could bridgethe divide between economic development and health-care demands.

    As a result of financing challenges within the industry, Canada is experiencing atalent exodus as graduates and sector specialists move to where the jobssecurity and dollars are.

    The gravest concern among smalland medium-sized enterprises is theavailability of appropriate capital dedicated to commercializing health scienceand building health-care companies.

    Solutions developed and commercialized here could be used to improve health-care outcomes and reduce the burden of health-care spending.

    In January, OBIO provided three significant recommendations to the provincialstanding committee on finance and economics, all of which were focused onfurthering bioscience industry priorities: Build companies and a sustainableindustry that will strengthen Ontario’s economy; employ the best-educatedmost innovative workers in the world; and provide cost-effective health-caresolutions.

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