BIONATION Capitalizing on Canadian Ingenuity

Save the date for a 2 day in person gathering in Ottawa September 28-29, 2022.

Partners Download our Policy Paper


Wednesday, September 28, 2022

From the onset of the pandemic, it was the science and innovation of the biotech sector which has demonstrated the enormous importance of biotech solutions. Similarly, climate change and population growth are other important areas needing biotech solutions. The biotech sector has shown its resiliency throughout the pandemic and is now poised for another leap forward, generating and supporting early-stage companies in Canada. BIOTECanada’s Gold Leaf awards recognize both companies and individuals who have made significant contributions to the biotech industry in Canada. The remarkable individuals and companies recognized through the Gold Leaf Awards are great examples of the core strengths of Canada’s biotech ecosystem.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

8 am Keynote

Professor Timothy Caulfield is an unrivaled communicator who debunks myths and assumptions about innovation in the health sector — from research on stem cells to diets to alternative medicine — for the benefit of the public and decision-makers. He is a Canada Research Chair in health law and policy, a professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and a research director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta.

9 am

Building Ecosystem Success: BIONATION Strategy in Action

As the biotechnology industry has strengthened its capacity with knowledge, expertise, and investment, so has government policy as Canada seeks to capitalize on generations of leadership from biotechnology researchers and entrepreneurs. BIONATION aligns industry goals with government action.  What is next for this partnership?

Moderator: Rosemary Thompson, Coalition for a Better Future

Rosemary Thompson is the Executive Director of the Coalition for a Better Future, a broad-based public policy organization with 134 member organizations from the private and not for profits sectors all working towards a single goal. The Coalition wants a long-term plan for economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable for Canada.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, PC, MP Minister of Health

Member of Parliament for Québec since 2015. He has previously served as President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Minister Duclos is a well-published author, conference speaker, and economics expert. Prior to 2015, he was the Director of the Department of Economics and a tenured professor at the Université Laval.

Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics

Dr. Hamelin has over 30 years of experience in academia, industry, and not-for profit organizations. She has held positions of increasing responsibility in the biotech and pharma industries including leadership positions at BioChem Pharma (Associate Director, DMPK) and Pfizer (Head, Strategic Research Partnerships, Western Canada; Director Vaccines, Pfizer Canada; Medical Director, Pfizer Germany; Global Scout, Pfizer Inc.). Dr. Hamelin also has 10 years of academic research expertise as a tenured professor at Université Laval. Prior to her current role, she served as VP of NSERC’s Research Partnerships Directorate.

Jean-Pierre Baylet, General Manager, Sanofi Vaccines Canada

Jean-Pierre joined the healthcare industry 20 years ago and found his life purpose: making sure all the people around him have access to life-saving vaccines. Jean-Pierre is currently the General Manager of Sanofi’s Canadian Vaccines unit, after leading their South Asia and South American operations. Jean-Pierre holds a Master of Sciences from HEC Paris.

Oliver Technow, CEO, BIOVECTRA

Oliver has been with BIOVECTRA since 2015, CEO since 2019. More than 30 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience in Europe and North America. Held numerous leadership positions in commercial development, marketing and brand management, and lifecycle management with extensive product launch and market access expertise in Europe and North America. Before BIOVECTRA Oliver was with Eisai in Germany, the United States and Canada. Oliver has an Industry Masters degree from Frankfurt Chamber of Commerce, Frankfurt Germany.

10:15 am

A special announcement from adMare BioInnovations and Genome Canada

10:30 am

Seeding, Scaling, and Growing in a Global Environment

Global investment into life sciences has been record-setting for the past few years.  And that is not just a result of COVID19. In the coming years, more than $80 billion of global investment is targeted for the sector.  Canada has been building its competitiveness to attract some of that investment. How is/will Canada compete to attract the capital needed to sustain and grow the life sciences industry?

Moderator: Genevieve Guertin, Vice-President, Investments – Life Sciences, Fonds de solidarité FTQ

Ms. Guertin uses her over 20 years of professional experience in life sciences to lead a team of six professionals dedicated exclusively to the field of biotechnology. She spent eight years on this same team as Director, Investment, Life Sciences, overseeing numerous investment projects in private and public companies and as well as in development and venture capital opportunities. Before joining the Fonds de solidarité des travailleurs (F.T.Q.) in 2012, Geneviève Guertin was Investment Director, Life Sciences, at Société générale de financement du Québec. Ms. Guertin holds a Master of Science in Administration from HEC Montréal and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. 

Ali Tehrani, Venture Partner, Amplitude Ventures

Dr. Tehrani has a Ph.D in Microbiology from UBC (2003) and a Masters in Biochemistry form UMass Amherst (1996). He has served as a member of Amplitude’s Board of Advisors since 2020 and is also on the Boards of Nanology Labs and Creatus Biosciences. As a staunch advocate for the development of Canada’s biotech sector he volunteers on the Boards of BIOTECanada and CQDM and mentors at Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab. He co-founded Zymeworks in 2003 and led the company as President and CEO from inception to clinical validation, through an IPO, and to a peak $1.9B valuation. He stepped down as President and CEO at Zymeworks in January 2022 and joined Amplitude Ventures as Partner in February 2022.

Anne Woods, Managing Director, Life Science & Healthcare, Silicon Valley Bank

Anne’s position at SVB allows her to fluently combine her 10 years of experience in capital markets with her 13 years of experience in life sciences. She began her career as a financial analyst and soon gained further expertise in research, marketing and client relations. In 2005, Anne has worked for Sandoz and IMS Health. Prior to joining SVB, Anne spent 6 years as a director of the Pangaea Group where she brought insights and strategic direction to life science and healthcare clients.

Gordon C. McCauley, President and CEO, adMare BioInnovations

Gordon McCauley BA, MBA, ICD.D is an accomplished life science executive and investor, having served as president and senior executive of several health care enterprises. As President and CEO of adMare, Mr. McCauley leads its mission to build companies, ecosystems, and talent in the life sciences industry. adMare has over 25 portfolio companies that have attracted more than $1.4 billion of investment with a combined value of over $3 billion.

Felipe Velasquez, Executive Director Healthcare Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan Bank

Felipe Velásquez joined J.P. Morgan in 2015 and is currently an Executive Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking group, with a focus on Biopharma companies. His experience spans over 15 years in the financial services industry and includes corporate finance, M&A advisory, and equity and debt financings for a variety of healthcare clients. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Felipe worked in corporate strategy of an asset management firm, PineBridge Investments. Felipe is a graduate of Harvard University and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia

Luncheon Keynote

Seven World Championships; Six Olympic appearances; Five Olympic medals; Four Olympic Gold medals – Hayley Wickenheiser is a titan of sport and a leader both on and off the ice. Hayley holds several honourary degrees from institutions across Canada, a Masters in Kinesiology and she is a Medical Doctor currently in a Family Medicine residency while maintaining a position as the Senior Director of Player Development for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

2 pm

Next Generation: Exploring the Horizon of Solutions Powering the Ecosystem

With biotechnology at the forefront of solutions for human health, technology convergence sets the agenda for the next generation of therapies.  From data to AI, the spectrum of potential is truly awe-inspiring. Looking at the innovations of today and how they are leading the solutions of tomorrow.

Moderator: Brigitte Nolet, President & CEO, Roche Canada Pharma

Brigitte Nolet is President & CEO for Roche Canada Pharma. In this role, she is responsible for the growth and success of the Canadian Pharmaceuticals Division, as it aligns to the company’s goals of providing novel healthcare solutions to Canadians. She leads a diverse team of more than 1,300 employees from Roche’s Canadian Pharmaceutical headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, which is home to five different areas of Roche’s business: Commercial, Informatics, Pharma Technical Operations, Procurement, and Product Development

Eric Roos, Chief Business Development Officer, Aspect Biosystems

As Chief Business Development Officer, Eric leads the expansion of our global partnerships with biopharmaceutical innovators. He has over 30 years of experience in the development of biopharmaceuticals, cell therapies, and regenerative medicine products. His leadership roles in the cell therapy industry spanned a multitude of responsibilities including leading early phase development, process optimization, clinical trial execution, and business development. Most recently during his decade-long tenure at Thermo Fisher Scientific, he was responsible for building global strategic alliances and expanding their Cell & Gene Therapy Business Unit. 

Laurent Tillement, Director partnerships, AI & Health at MILA – Quebec AI Institute

He is Doctor in Pharmacy (Paris, France) and PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology (Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA), and has several years of experience in academia and pharmaceutical industry in France, the USA and Canada. He was trained as a life sciences researcher and involved in the different processes of the drug development, from exploratory to clinical research, with a focus on the positioning and impact of innovations in the pharmaceutical processes. Laurent is representing Mila in the life sciences ecosystem, to establish close relationships with stakeholders, to instigate partnership’s opportunities, and to help to develop research collaborations.

John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada

John Weigelt leads Microsoft Canada’s strategic policy and technology efforts. He helps individuals and organizations across Canada innovate with technology while avoiding the unintended consequences that might arise. John leads Canadian outreach for a variety of technology policies including: Economic Development, Privacy, Security, Accessibility, AI ethics and Interoperability. He also leads Microsoft Canada’s Responsible AI program and was one of the authors of Canada’s National Standard on Ethics in the Design and Use of Automated Decision Systems.


BIOTECanada’s BIONATION initiative was launched in the Spring of 2020 and has continued through the pandemic with virtual programming designed to showcase the various components of the ecosystem and their connectivity. Over that period, the COVID-19 pandemic offered an up-close learning opportunity for the Canadian biotech industry which has led to an increased awareness publicly and amongst policymakers regarding the value of the biotechnology industry and the important social and economic benefit of a robust domestic biotech ecosystem. In this context, BIONATION presents an important and timely opportunity to recognize the sectors’ importance as Canada rebuilds economically following the pandemic and looks to prepare for future health-related challenges.