OTTAWA, ON-BIOTECanada, the national industry association representing biotechnology companies believes the 2016 Federal Budget contains several important measures to support the development and commercialization of biotechnology innovation in Canada.
“The industry welcomes Budget 2016’s financial commitment of $800 million to fund measures to support an innovative and clean economy which will greatly enhance the development of the Government’s Innovation Agenda more broadly,” commented Andrew Casey, president and CEO BIOTECanada. “The Budget’s commitment of support to strengthen innovation networks and clusters, including programs such as IRAP ($50 million) and organizations such as CDRD ($32 million) and Genome Canada ($237.2 million) is very significant,” he added.
BIOTECanada believes these investments and commitments will serve to grow innovation and strengthen Canada’s biotechnology ecosystem in every region of the country. Importantly, according to the organization and Casey, these investments will serve to lay the foundation for the government’s Innovation Agenda which it will be developing in 2016.
“In this context, the industry looks forward to working with the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development in contributing to the development of the Innovation Agenda,” he said.
Casey and BIOTECanada were also encouraged by Government’s decision to provide additional resources to the Public Health Agency of Canada ($25 million) that will be used for updating the national immunization rates for vaccine preventable diseases.
“Immunization is a cornerstone of Canada’s health system preventing millions of cases of infectious disease. Canadian biotechnology innovation is driving the discovery of new vaccines, helping to prevent more recent threats such as SARS and West Nile Virus,” concluded Casey.
He adds that Canada’s biotechnology industry ecosystem is further strengthened through other Budget measures including:
- support for modern agricultural science in Canada for Agriculture and Agri Food Canada to support advanced research in agricultural genomics.
- recognition of the fundamental role of investigator-led discovery research in an innovative society
- augmentation of resources supporting granting councils including: Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Research Support Fund to support the indirect costs borne by post-secondary institutions in undertaking federally sponsored research.
BIOTECanada is the national industry association with more than 200 members located nationwide, reflecting the diverse nature of Canada’s health, industrial and agricultural biotechnology sectors. In addition to providing significant health benefits for Canadians, the biotechnology industry has quickly become an essential part of the transformation of many traditional cornerstones of the Canadian economy including manufacturing, automotive, energy, aerospace and forestry industries.