The bioscience industry on Prince Edward Island
Bioscience sector makes growing impact on PEI economy
submitted by the PEI BioAlliance
A bioscience company engages in the research, development, and commercialization of bioactive-based human, animal, and fish health and nutrition products.
An economic impact assessment was released in February 2020 which measured the contribution of the bioscience sector between 2012 and 2018. The study found that bioscience has become one of the most important sectors of the provincial economy, directly contributing $214 million in GDP in 2018, employing 1,900 people.
The bioscience cluster now accounts for 4.4 percent of the entire provincial economy, second only to the agri-food sector.
“These positive results are a testament to the BioAlliance model, a partnership among industry, researchers, academia, and government agencies, working together to build the bioscience sector in PEI,” says Dr. Russ Kerr, Board Chair, PEI BioAlliance.
The PEI bioscience cluster includes more than 60 bioscience companies as well as research and development organizations such as the National Research Council, University of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic Veterinary College, Holland College, Agriculture and AgriFood Canada, and BioFoodTech.
The PEI bioscience cluster continues to be a high-value industry employing highly skilled and well-paid workers. At $60,900 per year, the average employment income of workers in the bioscience sector is 44 percent higher than the average for all workers on the Island.
“This momentum is a reflection of the hardworking and innovative Islanders collaborating and building partnerships with companies around the world,” says Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture Minister Matthew MacKay.
Findings also show that the bioscience cluster is a significant contributor of tax revenue, generating $63.6 million in 2018. Bioscience companies bring national and international capital to PEI, with $37 million in investment in 2018.
Growth in the bioscience sector is also attracting a high number of newcomers, with 43 percent of firms surveyed having at least one founder who was not born in Canada.
The resilience and future prosperity of the sector is also demonstrated by the many PEI bioscience companies conducting research, development, and manufacturing to source solutions to support the fight against COVID-19. Bioscience businesses have maintained operations throughout the COVID 19 pandemic, as essential manufacturers in the province.
This includes developing protective equipment and medical devices, products to strengthen human resistance to diseases, technologies to test if someone is or has been infected by COVID-19, as well as technologies to give specialists an online view for remote diagnoses.
“Bioscience is clearly one of the fastest-growing sectors of our economy,” said Kerr. “We will continue working together to establish the infrastructure and skilled workforce necessary to support that growth.”
To read the full Economic Impact Assessment report, visit www.peibioalliance.com/EIA .
About the PEI BioAlliance
Since 2005, the PEI BioAlliance has coordinated the development and growth of the province’s bioscience cluster and established the conditions for business success. The cluster creates high-quality, Island-based jobs in the areas of human, animal, and fish health and nutrition.
The PEI BioAlliance is a partnership of all the businesses, academic and research institutions, and federal and provincial government agencies, dedicated to establishing the bioscience sector as a key pillar in the economic foundation of the province and Atlantic Canada.
For more information and to check out job postings, visit www.peibioalliance.com
Bioscience on Prince Edward Island – Company hiring practices
- BioVectra, Charlottetown
- Elanco, Charlottetown & Victoria-by-the-Sea
- Sekisui Diagnostics PEI Inc, Charlottetown
- Somru Bioscience Inc., West Royalty Industrial Park
- Timeless Veterinary Systems, Charlottetown
- VetNOW, Charlottetown
For more information on employment opportunities in the bioscience industry on PEI, contact Vivian Beer at 902-367-4407 or e-mail [email protected].
What PEI Bioscience companies focus on
- Human health & nutrition
- Fish health
- Animal health & nutrition
- Human/animal health diagnostics
- Contract manufacturing services
- Medical devices
The Prince Edward Island BioAlliance leads the development and expansion of bioscience and biotechnology on the Island. The Alliance brings together public and private companies and agencies, researchers, governments, and investors. It celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2015.
The organization is currently working on a multi-year strategy for growth, and predicts that the industry could expand to 2,000 jobs with annual sales of $400 million by 2020.
Connecting and Advancing Women in BioTechnology
BioTalent Canada is collaborating with the Canadian Society of Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) to allow us to join their online mentoring site – Make Possible. Aside from future local chapter events co-organized by PEI BioAlliance and BioTalent Canada, this online tool is a great way for us to connect on a virtual mentorship platform at any time.
The Canadian Society of Women in Science and Technology, SCWIST, is a professional network founded 35 year ago and promotes, encourages and empowers women and girls in science, engineering and technology. SCWIST is located in Vancouver, BC; however, it recently launched the Make Possible virtual mentorship platform nationwide with funding through Status of Women Canada.
Make Possible is a free mentoring network to advance professionals with careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) virtually or in person. This online platform allows women to become a mentor, mentee or both with other professionals across Canada. In addition to its focus on mentorship, Make Possible is an excellent tool to create valuable network connections and access best practices to help Canadian women achieve their career aspirations.
In the upcoming months, Make Possible will have a “Groups” feature that will allow us to set up a BioTalent Canada group. We will let you know when that advanced feature is available. Take the site for a test run and give us your feedback.
To create an account on Make Possible, please follow the link:
Any questions? Please contact Vivian Beer, PEI BioAlliance, [email protected].
National Bank Tower
134 Kent Street, Ste. 302
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada
Bioscience post-secondary education options on PEI
- UPEI: Bachelor, Masters and PhD programs
- Holland College Bioscience Technology program
- UPEI/Holland College Bachelor of Bioscience degree program is offered jointly by UPEI and Holland College:
- Option No. 1: Students, who have completed the college’s Bioscience Technology program, are given a two-year credit towards a B.Sc. at the university.
- Option No. 2: Students take general science courses in their first year at UPEI, and then apply for the program at Holland College. If accepted, students follow a specified course of study at the university for their second year, attend the Bioscience Technology program at the college in their third year and return to UPEI for their fourth year.
- On the job training will be provided to all students
- Atlantic Veterinary College Masters and PhD programs
Women talk about their experiences in the bioscience industry
Susan Rowe, Chief Operating Officer for Island Abbey Foods, says her team has grown to approximately 70 employees in 2015. “Our senior management team has an equal balance of men and women who are dedicated to growing the business.”
“Our company offers on-the-job training opportunities and co-op placements. We advocate that students need to learn to apply classroom theory to practical work experience. We support graduate mentorship programs to help new grads gain experience in the workforce.”
Dr. Jennifer Slemmer, Instructor at the Bioscience Technology program at Holland College, says the program attracts both male and female students. Jennifer would like to see more networking events where people can meet face to face. “Personal meetings foster connections, and make people feel welcome and supported to move forward in the sector.”
Maureen Mix is the Human Resources Manager for Elanco Canada Ltd. on PEI. She says the company makes a conscious effort to recruit women into the industry. “Our organization has a 50/50 split of male to female employees at our sites across PEI as well as within our Canadian affiliate.”
Tracey Jewells-Treige, Associate Director of Projects for Sekisui Diagnostics P.E.I. Inc., started working in the industry over 25 years ago as a Medical Laboratory Technologist. She graduated from the Medical Laboratory Technology program at the Nova Scotia Institute of Technology.
“Back then, the majority of those in the program and those working in the hospital lab were women. Many already had a Science degree but needed more focused training in order to gain employment. Female science graduates now have a multitude of options.”
Katherine Ballem is a Unit Manager in Manufacturing at BioVectra. Katherine says the PEI BioAlliance does a fantastic job in creating networking and mentoring opportunities.
“Women are graduating from science, engineering, math and computer science programs in large numbers, but it is not clear how many women are going on to careers in those fields or whether they are choosing other fields.”
The value of networking & mentoring in the Bioscience industry on PEI
Katherine Ballem says the PEI BioAlliance does a fantastic job in creating networking and mentoring opportunities.
Maureen Mix says her company’s top female talent appreciate the various career opportunities made available to them. “In discussion with associates, many indicate that in-house mentoring and professional development opportunities have influenced their career decisions within the organization. We strongly encourage our female leaders to build strong internal and external relationships; these networks are invaluable to our future leaders.”
Susan Rowe says she strongly believes in mentoring students. “Our company offers on-the-job training opportunities and co-op placements. We advocate that students need to learn to apply classroom theory to practical work experience. We support graduate mentorship programs to help new grads gain experience in the workforce.”
Jennifer Slemmer would like to see more networking events where people can meet face to face. “Personal meetings foster connections, and make people feel welcome and supported to move forward in the sector.”
For bioscience networking opportunities, visit https://peibioalliance.com/events.
|For more information about the Bioscience sector on PEI, call 902-367-4400. Visit www.peibioalliance.com.|
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