Week of June 17, 2002
Snapshot from the Field
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by MARK AREND, Site Selection Editor
TORONTO The Province of Ontario, which recently played host to 15,000 biotechnology industry participants, has announced a $51 million (Canadian) Biotechnology Strategy that is designed to make Canada's largest province a leading location for companies in this rapidly growing industry. Ernie Eves, Ontario's Premier, and Jim Flaherty, Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation, introduced the fund on June 7 in Toronto as that city was preparing to welcome delegates to the BIO2002 conference, which opened June 9.
Making Ontario a world-class leader in biotechnology will lead to a stronger economy, leading-edge health research and improved health services for the people of this province, noted Eves at the fund's introduction. Added Flaherty, Research is a top priority for us, because it can help us address health issues while creating new jobs and increasing our global competitiveness.
This strategy is confirmation that the government is prepared to acknowledge its role as a facilitator, as promoting connectivity and funding in terms of research and development - as a major player, noted Flaherty in an interview with Site Selection Editor Mark Arend. We are very much participating in the promotion and enhancement of the biotech cluster in Toronto, he added, referring in part to the MARS Discovery District. That's about creating a destination so that when people come and visit us, whether they are venture capitalists or scientists or private-sector business people, there will be a [location] for them to go to.
Flaherty says the challenge before him and his counterparts globally is to communicate to constituents the many benefits of biotech industry expansion in their jurisdictions. It is an essential element of economic growth [that brings about] a good standard of living and quality public service. Those of us who are elected have our work cut out for us.
In May, the Ontario government invested CA$1.7 million in Canada's first probiotics research center at the Lawson Health Research Institute at St. Joseph's Health Care, in London, Ont. Probiotics is the replenishment of so-called good bacteria to counteract disease. The investment is made through the Ontario Research Development Challenge Fund, which draws on financial support from the private sector and research institute partners. Since 1998, Ontario has invested more than CA$121 million in research and development in the London area.
©2002 Conway Data, Inc. All rights reserved. Data is from many sources and is not warranted to be accurate or current.