"Building on Excellence: A Vibrant Future for BC Life Sciences"
Life sciences is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the BC economy and as a sector is at the forefront of both developing innovations to address the COVID-19 pandemic and driving job creation and the economic recovery of the province.
2022 will mark the 7th Annual Access to Innovation Conference bringing together all stakeholders in the life sciences sector. The conference brings together leaders from across academia, research, health institutions, government, and industry. Broadly, the aim of the conference is to provide a venue for dialogue on topics of relevance to life sciences from scientific discovery, emerging trends, innovation, economic impact, translational science, and policies to advance the sector.
Life Sciences, Biotechnology, Biotech, Industry Association, Science
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LifeSciences British Columbia is an industry-funded association that supports and represents the life sciences community of British Columbia through leadership, facilitation of investment and partnering, advocacy, and promotion of our world-class science and industry.
All life sciences sectors, from biopharmaceuticals and medical devices, to bioproducts and bioenergy, forest, agricultural and marine biotech, are integrated into our organization and all that we do, ensuring that no life sciences sector is working in isolation — and that all sectors come together in a comprehensive, complementary and coordinated fashion.
Throughout the year, LifeSciences BC undertakes numerous programs and projects in support of these sectors. These include public policy initiatives, facilitating linkages between global industry and our local organizations, raising the profile of our industry internationally and thus facilitating investment and global partnering opportunities, and helping nurture economic development in British Columbia through the life sciences industry.
What does LifeSciences BC do?
Here are just a few of the activities LifeSciences BC carries out under our four strategic areas:
1. Active Facilitation of Investment and Partnering
LifeSciences BC connects our Members and Sponsors to global investors and strategic partners through several avenues including:
LifeSciences BC's on-line directory of companies, research institutions and technologies
Regular targeted strategic partnering events with top-tier multinationals
Co-producing of the annual BioPartnering North America, the largest stand-alone biopharma partnering event on the continent, and an event that regularly attracts delegates from over 25 countries
Our Life Sciences Ambassador Programme, whereby Members' and Sponsors' international business development objectives are supported by a seasoned LifeSciences BC executive on the ground in Europe. This representative is also connected to a global network of fellow Ambassadors in order to build the international partnerships companies are looking for.
Hosting of additional international conferences in British Columbia such as BIO's 2008 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
Regular hosting of incoming business and research delegations from around the world, and coordination of outgoing BC missions to leading international clusters
2. Advocacy and Public Policy Development
LifeSciences BC is regularly consulted by local, national and international bodies on a variety of issues related to science and technology, research and innovation. Through these consultations, we ensure that the BC life sciences industry has a voice at every table, and that voice is one of credible insight into not only the development of our local life sciences industry, but how science and technology affects the lives of everyone globally.
LifeSciences BC also proactively ensures that life sciences is a key priority on the agendas of our various levels of government, and positions the industry as a valuable partner in bettering our city, province and country. By working directly with government on a vast array of policy recommendations, we aim to create an environment which enables the successful execution of Members' and Sponsors' business development goals.
Following are just a few examples of our advocacy efforts and successes:
Development of our position paper, Building World-Class Biotech Businesses in BC — a blueprint for both government and industry to reach our full potential as a leading life sciences cluster
Formal submissions to key consultations such as the BC Conversation on Health and annual budget planning cycles
Leading role on the Pharmacare Taskforce, a collaboration between academia, industry and government whose twelve recommendations on BC's Pharmacare program were accepted in their entirety by the Provincial Government
Collaboration with the Provincial Government to gain approval for enhanced federal Intellectual Property and Data Protection
Introduction of changes to the provincial International Financial Activities Act to provide companies deriving income from life sciences patents tax savings of up to $8 million/year
3. Marketing and Promotion of our World-Class Science and Life Sciences Industry
LifeSciences BC actively works to raise the local, national and international profile of the companies and research institutions that make up British Columbia's life sciences industry. These efforts have led to major international exposure for Members and Sponsors, and subsequent investments and partnering deals. Below are some of the promotion vehicles we continually manage and utilize:
A coordinated strategic British Columbia presence at major international life science conferences such as BIO, BioPartnering Europe, The World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology, BioJapan and AusBiotech to name just a few
Production of the Annual LifeSciences BC Awards to recognize exceptional individuals and companies for their contributions to the industry, and to highlight to the local community, the importance of the life sciences sectors
A robust website that receives over 15,000 hits a month, and that acts as a central portal into all things life sciences in BC, including industry news and events, statistics and information, business development opportunities, resources, employment opportunities, and much more
Biolinks — LifeSciences BC's monthly electronic life sciences newsletter distributed globally to over 5,000 key contacts
4. Development and Support of our Human Capital Through Member Mentoring, Education and Networking
Through LifeSciences BC, Members and Sponsors are provided the opportunity to get informed on the latest issues affecting the industry, get connected to their peers, and get personal advice from industry leaders and experts. Following are just a few ways in which we enable this:
LifeSciences BC's BC Excels Mentorship Program for executives from emerging companies seeking to enhance their own professional development, and their company's product plan, commercialization and intellectual property protection strategies
Quarterly Breakfast Speaking Series featuring national and international industry leaders and local companies
Medical Device and BioProducts and BioEnergy Seminar Series to address topics of specific relevance to members from these sectors
Monthly Industry Roundtables on topics of relevance to all member sectors
Our Annual Salmon Barbeque — a networking event that every year brings together over 200 members of the broad life sciences community
Delivery of Biotech 101 — Biotechnology and Beyond: Introduction to the Life Sciences Industry two-day course for non-scientists
Delivery of the sanofi-aventis BioTalent Challenge — a science fair competition for high school students where they are mentored by a scientist from our community