Innovation is the key to solving the biggest challenges facing Ontario, including:

• A sustainable public healthcare system  

• A strong and competitive economy

• Environmentally sustainable energy and fuels

• Safe and healthy food for all

• High quality jobs for our highly educated graduates

The above priorities cut across several ministry mandates within the Ontario government. The life sciences sector is unique in that it plays a significant role in all these areas. Yet our sector faces significant barriers to success.

In our 2012 industry survey, 100 respondents from across the diverse life sciences community identified 3 priority pillars for our advocacy efforts. The 3 pillars are i) Access to Capital, ii) Support for Innovation, and iii) Education and Awareness.

Access to risk capital continues to be the number one challenge for emerging life sciences companies, especially “mezzanine” financing beyond the start-up stage to support commercialization – the so called “valley of death”.  

Support for Innovation refers to government policies that impact our sector. From business support programs and tax credits to intellectual property and procurement policies; government plays a critical role in creating the right environment for innovation to flourish.  

Education and Awareness is about raising our profile as a sector to both decision makers and the general public. The Life Sciences sector has provided many innovations that improve our daily lives, our health, our economy and our environment; yet there is little attention drawn to these important socioeconomic contributions.  

LSO will continue to focus our advocacy efforts on these 3 key pillars and, with our partners, will leverage the strength of a unified voice to gain the attention of policy makers.