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Strategic Forum – Life Sciences: $5.6 billion invested in our economy every year

Montréal, November 7, 2016 The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal held its Strategic Forum on Life Sciences and Health Technology (LSHT) today, with the Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and the Minister Responsible for the Digital Strategy, Dominique Anglade, along with over 300 of the city’s decision makers and influencers, in attendance.

BioMed Propulsion: a program to accelerate the commercialization of Quebec discoveries
As part of Minister Anglade’s visit to the Chamber, she announced the BioMed Propulsion program, which will have a $100 million budget.

“The BioMed Propulsion program is well timed because it will help local businesses grow and speed up the commercialization of Quebec discoveries,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. “R&D in the life sciences and health technology sector is one of the city’s strengths. But Quebec is still lagging other jurisdictions when it comes to commercializing innovations. This is the stage that generates the most economic spinoffs, so we need to invest effort in it.”

Ms. Anglade reiterated her commitment to launch the Life Sciences Strategy in spring 2017.

“The Chamber welcomes the announcement of the launch of a targeted strategy in 2017,” Mr. Leblanc said. “It is essential that it provide greater consistency between government efforts. It also has to leverage Quebec’s niches of excellence to prioritize initiatives. The Chamber offers the government its support to maximize spinoffs and integrate all industry players. We need to promote access to financing through public-private partnerships that support businesses at every stage of product development.”

LSHT: little-known flagship of the Quebec economy
The life sciences and health technology sector is critical for Montréal. It injects $5.6 billion every year into the Quebec economy and has annual growth of 5.7%; its innovative businesses employ more than 42,000 Montrealers.

“Greater Montréal has what it takes to succeed in the life sciences,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Our city has a favourable investment climate and easy access to major international markets. We can be proud of LSHT businesses and researchers on the local and international scenes. The Chamber has committed to promoting and supporting this sector.”

Integrating innovations to the health care system: urgent action required
“One of the clear messages that emerged from the forum is the importance of having a long-term vision for modernizing the health care system,” Michel Leblanc said. “It is pressing that we make it easier to integrate local innovations to the health care system. We need to do everything we can to ensure the system benefits from innovations by life sciences and health technology companies. Ultimately, the patients will be the winners.”

Committing to Quebec’s international success
Internationally, the LSHT industry has sales of close to $2,000 billion and should see annual growth of 5% to 9% between now and 2018.

“As a society, we need to enable our LSHT industry to seize international business opportunities and shine,” Michel Leblanc said. “We hold something precious in our hands that we have to promote and derive value from.”

“Quebec should be a world leader in the bioeconomy,” said Gaétan Morin, President and CEO of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. “We have a pool of highly skilled labour, world-renowned expertise and quality research infrastructures and services. By combining these ingredients with patient capital, we can make the LSHT sector a pillar of Quebec’s economic prosperity once again.”

The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal has created a portrait of the life sciences and health technology sector. For the highlights, click here.

About the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (CCMM)
With a network of over 7,000 members, the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal (formerly known as Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal) is active on two fronts: being the voice of the Montréal business community and delivering specialized services to businesses and their representatives. With its finger on the pulse of current events, it acts on issues that are decisive for the prosperity of the city’s businesses. With the support of the Acclr experts, the CCMM’s goal is to accelerate the creation and growth of businesses of all sizes, at home and around the world.

About the Fonds de solidarité FTQ
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is a development capital investment fund that uses the saving of Quebecers. With net assets of $11.7 billion at May 31, 2016, the Fonds contributes to the creation and maintenance of 187,414 jobs. The Fonds is a partner of more than 2,600 companies and has 618,551 investors-shareholders.

About the Strategic Forum on Life Sciences
This forum was organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. It was made possible by our main partner, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, with the cooperation of AstraZeneca, CAE, Le Devoir, The Montreal Gazette, Osler, Pfizer and Servier. This initiative was organized in association with BIOQuébec, Génome Québec, MEDEC, Innovative Medicines Canada, Montréal International and Montréal InVivo.

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Source: 
Guillaume Bérubé
Advisor, Media Relations
Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
gberube@ccmm.ca

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