BIOTECanada Innovation Agenda Policy Roundtable
June 7, 2016
The roundtable meeting was an important and timely opportunity for industry leaders to share perspectives with the Minister regarding the opportunities the sector presents, with an emphasis on how the government’s innovation agenda can support the industry’s capacity to attract investment, commercialize innovation in Canada, and ultimately establish globally competitive Canadian companies that will provide long term, highly skilled employment opportunities for Canadians.
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WHY DOES A BIOTECHNOLOGY ECOSYSTEM MATTER FOR CANADA?
Global changes in human health, the environment, food security, economic fortunes, are dictating the need for nations to embrace the opportunity of turning 21st century knowledge into solutions for 21st century pressures. With biotechnology having played an integral role in human and planetary development for centuries before today, we have in our hands a tool able to protect and improve the long term sustainability and economic security for Canadians and fellow world citizens.
Canada has a long and proud history in the development of modern biotechnology.
From the discovery of insulin in 1922, the isolation of DNA by a Canadian scientist in 1943, the licensing of the first polio vaccine in 1955, the development of an early form of canola in 1974, the first Canadian biotechnology company founded in 1981, winners of the Nobel Prize in 1986 and in 1996, the first country in the world to grow commercial biotech crops in 1995,through to the world’s first biofuel jet test in 2012, the recent contribution to development of a vaccine for ebola, and dozens of other milestones along the way. Canada has made its mark as a significant leader in the global ecosystem feeding biotechnology discovery and development.
This leadership has enabled legions of opportunities for todays’ Canadian scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs, to bring forward biotechnology products improving the health, environment, economy and quality of life for the world. With all of the expertise in the sector in Canada it is time to ensure Canada reaps the maximum advantage of what the expertise offers. Societal pressures demanding solutions for modernizing our economy, healthier citizens, environmental remediation, are at the forefront of public policy goals at all levels of government within Canada.