World-class research, skillful management, increased capital investment and a growing list of new companies has elevated Ottawa’s life sciences community to the global state of discovery, development and commercialization. Ottawa-based industry leaders include Nordion, Abbott Point of Care, Variation Biotechnologies and Thermo Fisher Scientific.
Ottawa is among the first regions in Canada to capitalize on the vast potential of biotechnology as a new focus for economic activity. There are 20 life sciences-related research institutes in the Ottawa region, investing an estimated $350 million annually in R&D. One such institute is the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI), the research arm of the Ottawa Hospital. With more than 1500 scientists, clinical investigators, trainees and specialized support staff, and $42 million in external funding, the OHRI is one of the fastest growing, and most respected hospital-based research institutes in Canada.
Invest Ottawa is responsible for promoting excellence in the life science cluster by providing networking activities, consortia building, technology development, company financing assistance, and cluster marketing programs. Invest Ottawa has developed an interactive Ottawa and Eastern Ontario Life Sciences Asset Map to promote Ottawa and Eastern Ontario’s Life Sciences strengths and to showcase opportunities for partnerships and collaboration both locally and internationally. The asset map provides users with a targeted list of organizations in the region.
Local universities and university-affiliated hospital research centre further contribute to the strength of the cluster. The University of Ottawa, with its highly-ranked medical program, along with Carleton University, offer excellent undergraduate and graduate training in health sciences, engineering, business administration, information technology and other fields related to the life sciences cluster. Algonquin College and La Cité collégiale also offer certification and job skill training programs.
Ottawa Life Science Cluster
In order to provide industry-led strategic support to the cluster, a new Ottawa Life Sciences Cluster Executive was formed in March 2011. The Cluster Executive is an independent group driven by the life sciences ecosystem in Ottawa that works with Invest Ottawa to provide cluster-driven leadership in the identification, development and execution of initiatives in support of cluster development.
The members of the 2012/2013 Ottawa Life Sciences Cluster Executive are:
- Sean Tomalty, Plant Director, Abbott Point of Care (Co-Chair)
- Walt Hutchings, Managing Director, Investment and Trade, Invest Ottawa
- Kevin Carroll, Managing Director, Innovation, Invest Ottawa
- Sophie Chen, Senior Business Development Manager, Life Sciences Sector, Invest Ottawa
- Ian Curry, President and CEO, DNA Genetic
- Stephen Fanjoy, President, Stephen Fanjoy Management Consulting(Co-Chair)
- Jeff Smith, President, Allphase Clinical Research
- Duncan Stewart, CEO and Scientific Director, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Vice President of Research, The Ottawa Hospital, The Evelyn & Rowell Lavishly Chair, Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Ottawa
- Giovanni Vatieri, National Health Practice Leader and Partner, Global Business Services, IBM
- Tom Burnett, General Manager, Medical Isotopes, Nordion
Ottawa Life Sciences Cluster vision: “To make Ottawa increasingly recognized as a leader in life sciences and health innovation and commercialization”
Ottawa Life Sciences key objectives:
Clearly define, promote, and grow the strengths of the Ottawa Life Sciences Cluster
Strengthen the value proposition and brand of the Ottawa Life Sciences Cluster
Capitalize on existing life sciences and health research strengths by enabling collaborations with industry to promote commercialization
Build a scorecard to track and rate Ottawa’s progress from bench to commercialization in life sciences and health
The Government of Canada’s biotechnology resource for consumers, industry, scientists, and educators.
BIOTECanada represents Canadian health care, agricultural, food, research, and other organizations that are involved in biotechnology.