Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Where's PEI in the mix...

I noticed this press release put out by ACOA today and I skimmed through it to see where PEI fit in the picture and I was surprised that there was no mention of PEI's Bioscience Industry... but I'm sure we must have a delegation at this conference as the Government appears to be hanging their hat on a big Bioscience future. I think it's important to set up a yardstick to measure how we are doing on this job front and it certainly wouldn't hurt to have periodic reports as there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity as of yet. The Government has announced a new Bioscience Park at the Upton Farm site and they are proudly displaying their signage but there is still no activity. I realize every new venture takes time and involves risk but hopefully the business plan for this new Park is a little more sound that the outcome of the Atlantic Technology Centre... as just the other day the Tech Centre was showing rental space to Scotia McLeod an investment dealer which strikes me as being a far cry from who they should be renting space to...
9 September 2009
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The world's leading bioscience experts are coming to Atlantic Canada, and specifically to Nova Scotia between September 9 and 11, to forge strategic business and research alliances with their Atlantic Canada counterparts.

Nearly 50 international bioscience leaders will take part in a series of activities, hosted by each of the four Atlantic provinces throughout the month of September, including one-on-one business meetings, site tours, educational sessions and networking events.

The 2009 Pan-Atlantic Incoming BioPartnering Mission builds on the strong results of the inaugural visit by international companies and research organizations to Atlantic Canada in 2008. The incoming mission is funded by the provincial and federal governments through the Canada/Atlantic Provinces Agreement on International Business Development (IBDA).

"The Government of Canada is committed to the development of Atlantic Canada's bioscience industry," said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency). "Our investment in this business mission will help support the growth of this industry, which is important to Atlantic Canada's economy, by raising the sector's international profile, encouraging commercialization and attracting foreign investment."

"The bioscience industry provides a significant contribution to the Nova Scotia economy," said the Honourable Percy Paris, Minister of Economic and Rural Development. "The continued growth of the industry in Nova Scotia is a reflection of our hard-working and innovative people collaborating and building partnerships with companies worldwide."

Atlantic Canada's bioscience industry is a hotbed of innovation research and business opportunities, consisting of over 100 companies and employing thousands of Atlantic Canadians. The industry's sales, employment figures, and research and development (R&D) are forecast to increase significantly over the next five years.

As a result of last year's mission, during which 26 foreign companies traveled to Atlantic Canada, researchers from Memorial University in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador joined with St. John's-based Newfound Genomics, and Boston-based PGxHealth Ltd. to put Memorial's diagnostic test for a lethal heart condition within easy reach of doctors and patients. According to Dr. Wayne Gulliver of Newfound Genomics, the 2008 biopartnering mission served as a catalyst for bringing the parties together to complete this deal. "The biopartnering project gave us the opportunity to bring our partners from the United States to our location in Newfoundland to complete the details of our agreement. In turn, we were able to solidify our relationship and get our diagnostics test into the market much sooner than we had originally planned."

The 2009 incoming mission is being organized by BioAtlantech, the lead agency for New Brunswick's bio- industries, in partnership with its counterparts in the three other Atlantic Provinces. Creating awareness of Atlantic Canada's bioscience capabilities both nationally and internationally, finding outlets for innovative products and attracting investments to the region through R&D partnerships are important goals for these regional stakeholders.

The mission's events are designed to showcase Atlantic Canada's bioscience industry and to build focused international business and research partnerships. This collaboration can lead to new product development, licensing agreements for intellectual property, R&D projects and increased export sales for Atlantic Canada's bioscience companies and research organizations.
A total of $217,440 in funding for the inbound trade mission is being provided through the IBDA. The IBDA is a federal/provincial agreement between the Government of Canada (ACOA, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, and Industry Canada) and the four provincial governments in Atlantic Canada, and is designed to help Atlantic Canadian businesses enter, explore and succeed in international markets. The IBDA is the leading component of a pan-Atlantic effort to foster business relations, attract foreign investment and nurture technological co-operation.

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