To exemplify the collaborative spirit and leadership needed to advance the Canadian health and biosciences sector, Canadian life sciences leaders – CDRD,   LifeSciences BC, TRIUMF Innovations and BIOTECanada – are hosting an event today to build support and encourage action and agreement that will advance recommendations from The Government of Canada’s Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table Report.

The Honorable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development will be in attendance to discuss the importance of life science sector investment and Canada’s long-term vision for its Health and Biosciences industry.

The Report provides five recommendations on how we can accelerate the growth of the Canadian Life Sciences industry with the goal of becoming a global health and biosciences hub:

  1. Accelerate Innovation Adoption
  2. Design Agile Regulations
  3. Harness Technology
  4. Develop & Attract Talent
  5. Create Anchor Firms

The event will follow LifeScience BC’s 2018 Investor Summit, and is designed to foster discussion, and catalyze collaborative efforts between government, industry, and not-for-profit organizations central to Canada’s research, innovation, and technology ecosystem. Health spending represents a sizeable proportion of our gross domestic product, and there has never been a better time to leverage partnerships to produce greater health outcomes and economic prosperity. Our collective commitment to streamline regulations, enable cutting-edge technologies to reach the marketplace, advance digital health technology, grow firms to scale and establishing global anchor companies will transform the health and biosciences ecosystem to the benefit of all Canadians.

Event Details
Date: Thursday, October 25, 2018
Time: 3:30pm to 5.30pm
Location: Fairmont Pacific Rim, 1038 Canada Place, Vancouver

Speaking Program

  • Welcome Remarks – Gordon McCauley, President & CEO, CDRD
  • Fireside Chat
    • Moderator: Dr. Alan Winter Innovation Commissioner Province of BC
    • Hon. Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
    • Karimah Es Sabar, CEO & Partner, Quark Ventures & Chair, Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table
  • Panel Discussion              
    • Chair: Andrew Casey, President & CEO, BIOTECanada
    • Norma Biln, CEO & Co-Founder, Augurex
    • Jennifer Chan, Vice-President, Merck Canada
    • Karimah Es Sabar, CEO & Partner, Quark Ventures & Chair, Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table
  • Panel Thank You – Kathryn Hayashi, President & CEO, TRIUMF Innovations
  • Closing Comments & Thank You    
    • Daniel Hetu, Managing Director, Lumira Ventures
    • Dr. Lesley Esford, President & CEO, LifeSciences BC


“The Economic Strategy Tables –an unprecedented level of collaboration between government and industry – offers a long-term vision for Canada’s global competitiveness. We are carefully considering their recommendations, including in the health and biosciences sector, and we continue to work with industry leaders to ensure they play an important role in growing Canada’s economy, all to create good middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“The Economic Strategy Table was a unique government / industry collaboration which enabled industry-driven solutions. When industry and government work well together, it creates a firm foundation to unlock the true potential of the Health and Biosciences Sector. If implemented well, the proposals from the Economic Strategy Table will serve to turn the tide for Canada towards a higher value, innovation-driven economy.”

  • Karimah Es Sabar, President and CEO, Quark Venture & Chair, Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table

“As a research powerhouse, Canada has the potential to become a global leader in life sciences, but we must do more to create strong Canadian companies of scale. The federal government has taken important steps to support the growth of the sector, and we as the members of Canada’s life sciences ecosystem must support the Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table’s recommendations, and work together in building productive partnerships, aligning our objectives, sharing our knowledge and resources, and collaborating on mutually beneficial projects. CDRD has already initiated such collaborations with national and international partners with unwavering focus on our shared Vision of Canadian life sciences leading the world.”

  • Gordon C. McCauley, President and CEO, CDRD

“Recommendations put forward in the report to expand the ‘The Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative’ mandate to include late-stage capital funding will prove to be an important factor in scaling up high potential health and biosciences firms which can become the much-needed anchor companies of tomorrow. LifeSciences BC is actively working toward advancing the Canadian biotechnology ecosystem and looks forward to working with the government and the members of Health and Biosciences Economic Table to achieve these recommendations.”

  • Lesley Esford, President and CEO, LifeSciences BC 

“Canada produces ground-breaking research in the biosciences sector which more often than not remains untapped for commercialization. Commercialization of this research is crucial to get ideas and technology out into the world, and for Canada to be recognized on a global stage. The Report provides the strategic direction that we as a cohesive ecosystem can adopt to advance this industry. At TRIUMF Innovations we are constantly trying to connect our global network of TRIUMF researchers and technologies to the world and will continue to forge these industry partnerships.”

  • Kathryn Hayashi, President and CEO, TRIUMF Innovations

 “The Health & Biosciences Economic Strategy table (HBEST) report and recommendations are both important and timely. The Canadian industry is presently in a growth phase with a number of companies moving closer to commercial reality and several other early stage companies also showing great promise. The HBEST study recognizes the core strengths of Canada’s biotech sector and provides clear recommendations on how to build on these strengths and address key gaps with an aim to establishing high value companies and ultimately create Canadian-based, globally competitive anchor companies.”

  • Andrew Casey, President and CEO BIOTECanada

Media Contact
Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications, CDRD