A total of 160 individuals representing Québec-based businesses and other organizations took part in the 2010 BIO International Convention (BIO 2010), the world’s largest biotechnology gathering, which opened in Chicago on May 3. During the event, Premier Jean Charest met with business and government officials and outlined Québec’s numerous advantages in the areas of biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals. Québec’s participation in BIO 2010 stemmed from the province’s US strategy, which aims in part to boost bilateral trade.
“Québec is a partner of choice for foreign investors in the life sciences sector. We offer a dynamic business environment, a highly qualified workforce and tax measures designed to facilitate startups. As a result, Québec has achieved remarkable success in the sector,” said Mr. Charest.
The Premier also held discussions with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and Catalonia’s Vice-President Josep-Lluis Carod-Rovira. In addition, Clément Gignac, Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, attended a working meeting with leaders of Canadian biopharmaceutical firms focusing on key industry challenges and the business environment for Québec’s life sciences sector.
In conjunction with BIO 2010, Jubilant Life Sciences announced that it would be investing $2.7 million in its Kirkland facility to manufacture a new product using the radioisotope rubidium, which could eventually replace products derived from molybdenum-99, which is produced in Chalk River, Ontario, among other places. This investment constitutes an initial phase and may be extended if the desired results are achieved. The announcement follows Mr. Gignac’s meeting with the company’s representatives in Davos in January 2010.
More than 450 people attended the Rendez-Vous Québec reception, which was held in conjunction with the opening of BIO 2010. This event served to showcase the dynamic nature of Québec’s biopharmaceutical sector, which is one of North America’s leading clusters. It also demonstrated how high-level government participation and support benefits local companies seeking technological and financial partners with a view to attracting foreign investment.
With 145 firms and 21,000 jobs, Québec is recognized as a creative biopharmaceutical hub (nearly half of Canada’s biopharmaceutical firms headquartered in the Montréal region). Four provincial universities offer pharmaceutical programs, while 300 groups are conducting research in the areas of personalized medicine, neurology, oncology, cardiology and genomics.
BIO 2010 attracted 2,220 exhibitors from 68 countries. Québec’s participation was coordinated by the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (MDEIE), in association with Québec Government Office in Chicago.
Québec Government Office in Chicago
Québec’s US strategy
Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation