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May 11, 2017

Québec Injects $205 Million into Its Life-Sciences Industry

The life-sciences industry is one of the most dynamic and innovative sectors of the Québec economy. In 2016, it comprised 630 companies, including large multinationals like Pfizer, Sanofi and Merck. The sector also accounted for some 30,800 jobs in industry and nearly as many at public research centres and related service companies.


Photo of a woman scientist touching DNA molecule image at media screen


With the 2017-2027 Québec Life Sciences Strategy, the Québec government is making the industry’s growth a priority. “Our goal is to be there to help industry companies upgrade their facilities and innovate,” said Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation. “We want to attract $4 billion in private investments by 2022 and become one of North America’s top five life-sciences hubs by 2027.”


Drawing on $205 million in funding over the next five years, the strategy focuses on two promising niches: precision medicine and the use of big data in healthcare. The strategy identifies a range of measures that support four primary aims.


1.Increase investments in research and innovation and in all life-sciences sectors by injecting :


  • $75 million in a fund to accelerate the establishment of health alliances. This sum will go toward growth-generating initiatives and collaborative public-private partnership projects with a value of at least $150 million;
  • $11.1 million to improve clinical research processes.


2.Spur the creation of innovative companies and ensure their growth by providing support at every stage of their development, including $100 million in funding for the BioMed Propulsion program. Administered by Investissement Québec, the program provides financial support for life-sciences companies with strong growth potential to help them commercialize the results of their research.


3.Attract new private investments, by allocating $100 million for major investment projects as part of the ESSOR program. The government will specifically target biomanufacturing activities, a growing technology sector that is part of Investissement Québec’s manufacturing initiative.


4.Make innovation a bigger part of the health and social services network, in particular by investing $26.5 million to establish a Bureau de l’innovation en santé et en services sociaux and fund its operations.