Ontario promotes province's biotech future
TORONTO, June 13 /CNW/ - With a new $51 million Biotechnology Strategy in place, Ontario is poised for a surge of growth in biotech and related industries. The province's strategy promises to bring together research and commercialization interests in excess of $10 billion over 10 years, and create up to 75,000 new full-time jobs. It is one of a number of positive signs for the growing sector announced during BIO 2002, the industry conference that wraps up today in Toronto.
"Investors, industry and governments have all shown a real commitment during BIO 2002 to growing the biotech sector in Ontario," said Jim Flaherty, Minister of Enterprise, Opportunity and Innovation. "We have new commitments from the federal government, and all through the conference we have received positive responses to our strategy from potential investors and researchers."
Ontario's $51 million Biotechnology Strategy includes $20 million for the Medical and Related Sciences Discovery District in Toronto. The Discovery District is a public/private commercial development that will bring together research and commercialization interests worth hundreds of millions of dollars over a 10-year period. This biotech hub could generate up to 6,000 highly skilled jobs and millions of square feet of commercial development.
The additional $30 million will be used to create the Biotechnology Cluster Innovation Program. This five-year initiative will provide matching funds to innovation clusters throughout the province, such as universities and businesses, to develop new strategies that will maximize investment and job creation. The program will also provide grants to support infrastructure such as research parks and commercialization centres to generate new business in the biotech sector.
"Biotechnology offers us both economic benefits and profound advancements in our quality of life," said Flaherty. "By creating the conditions to reach our goal of becoming one of the top three biotechnology jurisdictions in North America, we are building on a tradition of life-saving research that dates back to Banting and Best and the discovery of insulin in our province."
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For more information, visit www.ontario-canada.com
For further information: Dan Miles, Minister's Office, (416) 325-6795