Ontario’s Life Sciences Collaborative Outlines Vision for Stronger, More Resilient Life Sciences Sector in New Report

TORONTO, May 15, 2023 – Three years after Ontario’s biomanufacturing capacity was put to the test during the pandemic, Ontario’s Life Sciences Collaborative, consisting of representation from industry, health care and academia, is calling for continued investment throughout the life sciences ecosystem to build on the government of Ontario’s critical commitments to the sector and strengthen Ontario’s role as a global leader in life sciences.

The report, Building Ontario’s Resiliency: Empowering the Life Sciences Ecosystem, highlights the need for strategic matching of federal dollars in biomanufacturing and life sciences. With the pandemic highlighting the importance of the life sciences sector, the Collaborative is looking to work with the Government of Ontario to continue to champion the sector and build a stronger, more self-sufficient Ontario for today and tomorrow.

“During the pandemic, we saw first-hand why Ontario needs a strong life sciences sector,” says Karen Mossman, Vice-President, Research at McMaster University and Chair of the Life Sciences Collaborative. “We saw how hospitals, universities, innovators and researchers had to rapidly pivot their work in order to save lives and protect the health and well-being of Ontarians.”

Now, with a continued spotlight on life sciences, the province has the opportunity to position Ontario’s innovators and innovations front-and-centre on the global stage. Building on efforts that had been accelerated during the pandemic, we must seize this moment to continue to fuel a sector that saves lives, drives economic development and makes Ontario self-sufficient.

It is why the Life Sciences Collaborative has come together – to demonstrate our willing partnership in helping Ontario take life sciences to the next level.

Our report outlines how we can work together to create a future where the sector has the highly skilled talent and ground-breaking innovation it needs to drive solutions for the benefit of all Ontarians and ensure pandemic preparedness.

In order to build on this strategy, and the efforts made throughout the pandemic, as well as in the years leading up to it, the Life Sciences Collaborative is calling for:

  1. Investment throughout the life sciences ecosystem, including in life sciences research and innovation, and support to expand enrolment in high-demand programs.
  2. Strategic matching of federal dollars in biomanufacturing and life sciences to ensure Ontario does not fall behind what Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta are leveraging.
  3. Continued collaboration and conversation through Ontario’s new Life Sciences Council to ensure the reflection of a range of perspectives that are as diverse as the Collaborative’s membership.

With the right ingredients, Ontario can continue to champion investments in life sciences and capitalize on opportunities to support our economic recovery, strengthen our pandemic preparedness and build a stronger Ontario for today and tomorrow.

To make this strong future for our sector a reality, the Life Sciences Collaborative looks forward to working with government and participants across the life sciences ecosystem on advancing the goals of Taking Life Sciences to the Next Level, the province’s ambitious and exciting life sciences strategy, and its first in over a decade.

For more information, visit: https://ontariosuniversities.ca/reports/building-ontarios-resiliency-empowering-the-life-sciences-ecosystem

– The Life Sciences Collaborative

With membership from:

Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation

Clinical Trials Ontario

Ontario Brain Institute

Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Ontario Genomics

Ontario Hospital Association 

Ontario Institute for Cancer Research

Ontario’s Universities

With collaboration from: the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Health Policy Council and Life Sciences Ontario