Ontario Boosts Life Sciences Sector with $40 Million Investment


Building on its past commitments to advance the province’s life sciences industry, the Government of Ontario announced a $40 million investment from the Venture Ontario Fund in the life sciences sector. This initiative aims to increase the growth and global competitiveness of Ontario’s life sciences companies and bio-manufacturers. This funding is set to incentivize innovation within the province, enhancing the development of cutting-edge medicines and technologies to improve the lives of Ontarians.
The announcement coincided with Ontario’s active participation in the BIO Convention, where the province led a delegation of 29 life sciences companies and organizations. Engagements with major industry players focused on expanding their operations in Ontario and exploring further growth opportunities.

Political Context

At the start of COVID-19, the Ontario government was dependent on other provinces and the international community to research and manufacture vaccines. This prompted the government, led by Vic Fedeli, the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, to launch a new program and government strategy – the Taking Life Sciences to the Next Level Plan – to boost Ontario’s economic competitiveness in the health and medical sciences sector and help Ontario become more independent in this critical area. With new spending to increase the number of medical school spots, building new medical schools and funding research labs, and welcoming a new Sanofi manufacturing facility announced just last month, the Ford government continues to prioritize this crucial industry.
Under the Taking Life Sciences to the Next Level strategy, Ontario aims to position itself as a global hub for biomanufacturing and life sciences. This initiative plans to increase high-value job opportunities in the sector to 85,000 by 2030, marking a 25% increase from 2020. The Life Sciences Council, a key component of Ontario’s strategy, is dedicated to supporting long-term growth and exploring emerging areas of opportunity that will position the province as a leader in the innovative health sector.
The life sciences sector is a significant economic driver in Ontario, employing over 72,000 people across 2,000 firms and exporting more than $12 billion in goods globally. With recent investments totalling $4 billion from global bio-manufacturers and life sciences companies over the last three-and-a-half years, Ontario is on a clear trajectory to expand its influence and capabilities in this field.
In a similar move to recent announcements related to battery technology, electric vehicles, and nuclear energy, this newest initiative shows that the Ford government is making good on its promise to invest in the hard sciences to secure Ontario’s national and international economic competitiveness.

What the government is saying:

“Ontario is a life sciences powerhouse with a proud history of cutting-edge innovation and discovery…Unlocking access to new capital will drive the development and commercialization of home-grown innovations, as well as life-saving health products and services. We look forward to working together to attract new opportunities and investments into our province’s life sciences sector”.
– Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade


With this $40 million investment, Ontario is setting a solid foundation for the future of its life sciences sector. By supporting innovation, fostering strategic partnerships, and enhancing global competitiveness, the province is working to advance medical science paired with economic growth and job creation in a high-value industry.

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