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Entrepreneurs Look To Advance Life Sciences Sector

IBDA funding for incoming and outgoing business missions to help bring expertise, sales.

Twenty-three Atlantic Canada life sciences companies and research organizations have been attending and sharing exhibition space this week at the 2015 BIO International Convention and Trade Show in Philadelphia.

The Prince Edward Island BioAlliance is co-ordinating the Atlantic region delegation to the 2015 BIO Convention and Trade Show and participating companies include BioVectra and Neurodyn Life Sciences.

The life sciences sector in Atlantic Canada is composed of over 150 companies and 30 research organizations ranging from established operations with global reach to newer startups seeking new markets and expertise. The sector includes all science- and technology-based products and services related to human health, as well as certain segments of the animal health industry. The major industry segments covered are pharmaceuticals (including vaccines), medical technologies, animal health, bioproducts, digital health and natural health products.

Thanks in part to funding of up to $84,812 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and funding of up to $36,348 from the four Atlantic provincial governments, the participating companies received support for booth rental costs, marketing and business-to-business meetings.

In addition to supporting the BIO International Convention, IBDA funding of up to $50,738 from ACOA and up to $21,744 from the four Atlantic provincial governments has also been set aside to support up to 26 incoming biopartnering missions to Atlantic Canada during the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.

“One of the best aspects of this program is its versatility,” said Scott Moffitt, managing director of BioNova, which co-ordinates the incoming missions on behalf of the Atlantic Canada BioIndustries Alliance. “Whether you’re looking for an investor, key opinion leader or a new distributor, this program has the ability to facilitate that. Every life sciences company could use this program to benefit their growth. From a regional perspective, this results in more relationships built, more products developed and sold, and more money and jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”

During various incoming missions, Atlantic Canada life sciences companies will meet with international organizations to help with new product development, talent recruitment, investment opportunities and collaboration on research and development and export opportunities.

Last year’s BIO Convention and Trade Show yielded 29,145 one-on-one meetings between companies and attendees over a three-day period.

The participants in last year’s Atlantic Biopartnering project recorded nearly 100 export and market development activities, which include everything from getting to know their competitors in a particular market to identifying new ways to improve their own products or processes.