Life Sciences Sector Vital for Ontario’s Economic Growth and Health Care System SustainabilityThursday, May 22, 2014
May 22, 2014 (Toronto) – A successful innovative life sciences sector is critical to growing the economy, delivering better and sustainable healthcare, and improving the quality of life for all Ontarians.
As Ontario heads towards the June 12th election, a group of leading innovative life sciences and economic organizations is calling on all three political parties to clearly articulate their vision for the future of the life sciences sector in Ontario.
"The life sciences sector is uniquely positioned to help find solutions to the biggest socioeconomic challenges facing Ontario; including creating jobs for our highly educated youth, healthcare sustainability, healthy food for a growing global population and clean energy to fuel our industries," said Dr. Jason Field, President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario. "It is imperative that whichever party forms Ontario's next government recognizes the strategic importance of the life sciences sector and implements meaningful policies and programs to support its growth for the benefit of all Ontarians.
These organizations, are calling on the political parties to outline their vision and priorities for the success of this key sector through the following questions:
Ontario has world class researchers, facilities and entrepreneurs, and we are competing on a global scale for talent and investment dollars in a highly competitive economy. We need to work together to make Ontario a leading jurisdiction for life sciences so that patients, the health system and Ontario’s economy can see the greatest benefit from new innovations.
Life sciences sector generates $9.2 billion in revenue and exports $5.2 billion in goods. (all data for the year 2012).
The life sciences industry in Ontario is undergoing a significant and exciting transformation. With global competition for life sciences investments – the most R&D intensive industry globally – increasing, the backdrop of the provincial election provides a unique opportunity for each major political party to outline their vision for life sciences.
Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC), said the “OCC remains confident that our province has all of the assets it needs to prosper in the global economy. Our life sciences industry is one such example. To continue to compete globally in this sector and others, it is important to maintain an attractive and predictable business environment and to build supportive partnerships between businesses, academia, and government.”
Each major political party leader in the general election was given a list of questions to answers and was asked to respond by June 6th. The coalition also intends to follow up with each party following the election to see how best to proceed with their commitments and work with all MPPs to advance the life sciences agenda.
The next government will need to adapt its policies to reflect this transformation for Ontario to maintain its competitive position to retain and attract major life sciences activities such as clinical trials and high tech employment positions.
“The life sciences sector is important to the Toronto region, said Richard Joy, Vice President of the Toronto Region Board of Trade. It will be even more important in the future as we work together to increase awareness of our strengths and attract more early stage financing to increase the level of commercialization and company formation in the GTA and across Ontario.”
Life sciences and health technologies is one of the economic sectors with the largest leverage in terms of social impact, creating a sustainable health care system and creating collective wealth. It is therefore important to maintain a predictable business environment and supportive partnerships between private business, academic and research institutions, and patients to improve the health of Ontarians.
“The research-based pharmaceutical industry has a long track record of bringing investment to Ontario - bolstering our health care system and our economy by funding high quality jobs, capital investments, manufacturing facilities, health research and development activity and community-based philanthropy across the province," stated Russell Williams, President of Canada's Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D). "Our goal is to attract more global investment but as competition intensifies, Ontario must be deliberate and assertive in its policy-making to ensure the sustainability and vibrancy of the life sciences sector."
– 30 –
For further information:
Jason Field, PhD
Life Sciences Ontario (LSO)
Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC)
OCC represents local chambers of commerce and boards of trade from communities across Ontario. Through this network, we are the voice of 60,000 members that range from small businesses to major corporations and industry associations. Together, our members employ two million people and produce nearly 17 percent of Ontario’s GDP. The OCC is Ontario’s business advocate.
Toronto Region Board of Trade (TRBOT)
Canada’s Research Based Pharmaceutical Companies (Rx&D)