Life sciences is not just a sector – it’s a vibrant, dynamic and rapidly growing ecosystem in Alberta.
From September 25-29, we celebrated Alberta’s first Life Sciences Week to highlight and celebrate the significance, achievements, and diversity of our life sciences sector. The week served as a testament to the province’s accomplishments in life sciences and amplified the industry as a key driver in Alberta’s economic and social development. This initiative was created to align with Global Biotech Week, celebrated in jurisdictions worldwide, to increase awareness of biotechnology and celebrate science.
As we look back on this phenomenal week, we would like to highlight the remarkable events, successes, and milestones that brought the life to Life Sciences Week. If you missed it, here’s your chance to capture what transpired over the week-long celebration that attracted more than 1,000 attendees and more than 20 events and activations throughout the province.
Interested in joining us next year?
Life Sciences Week Highlights
Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation officially welcomed Nobel Laureate Sir Michael Houghton as its new Chief Scientific Officer, who will play a pivotal role in accelerating the Canadian Critical Drug Initiative, in addition to bringing his wealth of knowledge and expertise to support the organization’s critical drug research and development.
Edmonton Global shared an announcement from Celero Global, a leading clinical research organization. Celero intends to open a headquarters in the Edmonton region, highlighting our region’s competence in advancing high quality and efficient clinical trials.
Nanostics, one of API’s Health Innovation Hub community companies, officially launched ClarityDX Prostate in Alberta. This new product substantially improves the prediction of clinically significant prostate cancer.
Kick-off Conversation with the Honourable Nate Glubish
The Honourable Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation for the Government of Alberta, hosted a fireside chat along with Sir Michael Houghton. Together, they ignited a conversation about the value and impact of the life sciences sector, and how to build momentum in attracting investment, creating jobs, and utilizing new technologies to improve the life of Albertans.
To conclude the kick-off event, Mayor Amarjeet Sohi officially proclaimed September 24-30 Life Sciences Week in Edmonton.
The Life Sciences Week Kick-off brought together close to 150 stakeholders from different ecosystem groups, including decision makers, Alberta-based life sciences companies and organizations, academic colleagues, innovators, students, and community champions.
Health Innovators’ Forum
In partnership with the University of Alberta, API, represented by Paramita Chaudhuri Basu, Director of Programs & Ecosystem Development, hosted an evening of discussion with panelists Darren Fast, Lawrence Richer, and Jana Rieger. They shared insights on the crucial role of advanced education and talent development in the life sciences sector.
The forum was joined by more than a hundred guests, predominantly from university partners including researchers and students.
Life Sciences Over Lunch
Technology Alberta led a panel discussion, along with industry experts at Edmonton Research Park including NanoSpeed Diagnostics Inc., Nyah Health, and Clinisys EMR Inc., focused on supporting tech entrepreneurs and addressing their talent needs.
Venture capital firm Thin Air Labs with Crystal Philips, in partnership with Lamont Brown Group, hosted a networking event that connected Alberta investors and startups in their ecosystem to explore potential investment opportunities.
Life Sciences Industry Night
The Life Sciences Innovation Hub, powered by Innovate Calgary, hosted a Life Sciences Industry Night and gathered organizations in the biotech space to further strengthen partnerships in the Calgary life sciences ecosystem.
Health and Life Sciences Showcase
In celebration of their 25th anniversary, BioAlberta hosted a Health and Life Sciences Showcase & Awards Dinner. API sponsored an Innovation Investment Panel, which gave the floor to innovators who pitched to investors.
Andrew MacIsaac, CEO at API, also participated in a panel discussion about Growing the Skills and Capacity of Alberta’s Life Science Sector. Andrew, Robb Stoddard, CEO, BioAlberta, Rob Henderson CEO, BioTalent Canada, and Jared Davis Ph.D., President & CTO at Northern RNA Inc. provided valuable insights on the incredibly bright future of life sciences in Alberta.
API and Edmonton Global concluded Life Sciences Week with a wrap-up celebration featuring networking and presentations from leading life sciences companies. This feature of both locally grown and globally-recognized companies drew an enthusiastic close to the week-long celebration with more than a hundred community members.
Ecosystem partners from the Institute of Health Economics, Health Cities, Heart & Stroke, Alberta Clinical Research Consortium, BOMA Edmonton, Startup TNT, and Edmonton Unlimited also engaged with the community through events and panel discussions on various topics around life sciences.
Life Sciences Week is not only a celebration, but also an initiative to empower, educate, and support industry innovators, entrepreneurs, and students.
Gilead Sciences, a biopharmaceutical company known for its research and development of anti-viral drugs used for treatments of various diseases such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis virus, has opened its doors for a tour in their Alberta-based facility joined by a mix of industry, government officials, and students.
Airport Sustainability Campus Tour
Trevor Caswell, Manager of Demand & Development at Edmonton International Airport, hosted a presentation and guided tour for industry stakeholders focused on the airport’s initiatives in the pharma and biopharma sectors, and to highlight their commitment to sustainability.
BiohubX Open House
BiohubX, an organization that supports growing health ventures in Alberta, opened their facilities and state-of-the-art biomolecular lab for a tour and networking opportunity with innovative startups.
Other industry partners that conducted tours of their labs and innovative facilities are NAIT’s Centre for Advanced Medical Simulation, Future Fields, and ST Innovations.
With more than 20 events and activations from around the province, the inaugural Life Sciences Week was a monumental success and has proven that, with the power of collaboration, exceptional things can happen.
We are overwhelmed by and grateful for the enthusiasm that everyone showed throughout the week! A big thank you to our ecosystem partners who hosted their respective events and to everyone – from academia to government to industry – who joined us in rallying and building momentum for Alberta.
Interested in joining us next year?
Whether you’d like to host an event, participate as a sponsor, or share your company’s next development by way of an announcement, we’d like to hear from you.