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BioNova, the association for Nova Scotia’s life sciences industry, has released its plan to at least double the biotech sector in the next 12 years, creating 2,700 jobs with average salaries of more than $100,000.
Titled BioFuture 2030, the report outlines a plan to increase the number and size of life sciences companies, with the goal of increasing jobs, investment and research. Penned by BioNova staff with the aid of a 10-member advisory group, the report was released Wednesday at a ceremony in Halifax attended by government and industry leaders.
It stresses that the life science sector now constitutes a $9 trillion industry worldwide, which provides a huge opportunity for Nova Scotia. The province so far has grown its industry strongly and should take concrete steps to ensure that it continues to capitalize on this booming industry, says the report.
“BioFuture 2030 allows us to see what is possible,” said BioNova chair Kevin Sullivan in the introduction of the report. “This strategy sets some ambitious goals that will benefit our sector, our community, and move our economy into a prosperous future.”
The report says Nova Scotia has already established a health and life sciences cluster comprising more than 100 companies with total annual revenues of more than $300 million. These companies directly employ more than 1,500 people, earning an average salary of about $61,000 a year – almost $25,000 more than the provincial average.
With an underlying theme of collaboration among industry, government and academia, the BioFuture 2030 report outlines a series of goals the industry hopes to attain by 2030. It also sets out five projects that will help to reach these goals, which are:
- Double the number of health and life sciences companies to 200.
- Almost triple the number of employees at these companies to 4,200.
- Increase the average annual income to $102,000 per employee.
- And almost quadruple annual sales for the sector to $1.1 billion.
The first project to help reach these goals will be to improve business development tools so companies grow more quickly. The biotech community plans to support and improve the best organizations and programs that help companies to grow. It also aims to identify and alleviate gaps in the programing.
Second, BioNova and its partners hope to attract more talent by improving their network and database of life sciences professionals. They also plan to promote Nova Scotia as a place for these professionals, and institute training programs to develop more talent.
Third, the community plans to develop the ecosystem by enhancing links between research institutions and industry. It is proposing the creation of industry-institution liaison groups, and chief innovation officers at key institutions and within government.
The fourth project involves communications and marketing. The community wants to broadcast the benefits of a strong life sciences industry to Nova Scotians, and use the same messaging to attract talent and capital to the province.
Finally, BioNova plans to establish a hub for life sciences sales and business development. It will create a life sciences-focused sales training program and create an understanding within the industry of what it means to be globally competitive.
“We have the right ingredients, the talent and resources needed to grow our sector, develop products that will change the world, and transform Nova Scotia’s economy,” said BioNova managing director Scott Moffit in a statement. “BioFuture 2030 is the recipe that pulls it all together.”