*The following is an excerpt of an article originally published in the Life Sciences Magazine by Life Sciences BC and Business in Vancouver. Click the link at the end for a copy of the full article.
By Suzanne Gill, President and CEO of Genome British Columbia
In today’s era of transformative innovations that are reshaping industries and societies, genomics stands at the forefront of modern advancements.
Backed by strategic investments, talent and partnerships, genomic research is tackling some of our most significant challenges – from human health to climate change. In this dynamic ecosystem, BC has emerged as a world leader in genomics where innovative life sciences companies are providing solutions, societal benefits, well-paying jobs and sustainable economic growth.
The Power of Collaborative Partnerships
Achieving the ambitious goals laid out in BC’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy requires a united effort across multiple sectors. BC has a proven record of globally recognized genomics research and now is the time to focus on translating research into practice and accelerating the adoption of innovative solutions.
This will require diverse expertise, resources and investment with partners.
The Impact on BC’s Economy
BC boasts Canada’s fastest growing life sciences sector, with over 2,000 active companies employing 20,000 British Columbians and generating $5.4 billion in annual revenue. World class research and innovation conducted at our post-secondary institutions have been foundational to enabling the growth of this sector and to BC’s competitiveness in life sciences.
For instance, a report conducted by MNP LLP reveals the tangible economic benefits generated by Genome BC’s activities: By 2026 we will have leveraged over 1,200 partnerships to contribute $4.9 billion to BC’s GDP and create over 51,000 jobs, fostering economic growth at various levels.
The Role of Early Investments
One of the key drivers of economic growth in the life sciences sector is investments in local companies that are harnessing genomics to develop innovative solutions.
Genome BC’s Industry Innovation Program (I²) exemplifies this approach. By providing risk capital, I² provides sustainable support for the commercialization of innovative technologies. To date, over $16.3M has been invested in 14 companies, which combined have added nearly 100 new jobs since receiving Genome BC funding.
These types of investments have a profound impact on BC’s economy. They accelerate the growth of companies, create jobs, and attract top talent and new capital.
The Virtuous Cycle of Success
Partnerships between researchers, industry and the public sector, guided by forward-thinking public policy like the province’s new life sciences strategy, create a virtuous cycle. World-class research leads to innovation which enables BC companies to develop and export cutting-edge products globally and grow, attracting capital which in turn draws talent to enable world-class research.
As the success stories of local companies continue to unfold, and the economic impact of genomic investments continues to grow, the essential nature of partnerships to the success of BC’s life sciences strategy becomes increasingly clear. With the support of our dynamic life sciences ecosystem, the province is poised to contribute to a global genomics transformation that will address pressing challenges, drive economic growth and secure a prosperous future for all British Columbians.
To read the entire column, please visit: https://biv.com/article/2023/09/suzanne-gill-unlocking-economic-growth-through-partnership