B.C. - a global hub for life sciences. Photo credit: adMare BioInnovations. (flickr.com)

Media Contacts

Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation

Media Relations
778 587-4521

Mounia Azzi

Vice-president, Corporate Development
adMare BioInnovations


What people are saying about B.C.'s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy

Selina Robinson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education and Future Skills –

“Our life sciences sector is vital to creating a future of prosperity and innovation. Our Province is focused on preparing people for the jobs of tomorrow through our Future Ready plan, which will make education more accessible, affordable and relevant so we can build a stronger B.C. together.”

Wendy Hurlburt, president and chief executive officer, Life Sciences BC –

“Building on the momentum of our life sciences thriving sector, this first-ever provincial life sciences strategy sets B.C. up to be a global leader in life sciences and will advance the health of British Columbians through the discovery and development of innovative products, solutions and services while diversifying and growing our economy by creating high-paying jobs.”

Dr. Allen Eaves, president and chief executive officer, Stemcell Technologies –

“As Canada’s largest biotechnology company, Stemcell Technologies is experiencing tremendous growth along with many other biotechs in B.C.  All of us will require more homegrown research and biomanufacturing talent in the years ahead to remain internationally competitive. The B.C. government’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy takes a thoughtful approach to strengthening the province from the perspective of both economic growth and health preparedness.”

Bev Holmes, president and chief executive officer, Michael Smith Health Research BC –

“The new Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy further positions British Columbia as a leader in an area that is critical to people here and around the world. The plan aligns with our work to support academic research and maximize benefits of clinical trials, which will create positive impacts on our economy, jobs and health.”

Jennifer Figner, interim vice-president, academic and research, British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) –

“BCIT’s mandate is to support the workforce development of the province, and we will play a major role in the training needs to ensure the future success and growth of the life sciences sector. With our partner, the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences, we look forward to welcoming learners to the National Biomanufacturing Training Centre.”

Murray McCutcheon, senior vice-president, partnering, AbCellera –

“We believe that investments in life sciences talent and infrastructure are critical to building British Columbia’s ability to translate early scientific innovation into economic growth that makes our communities stronger today and tomorrow.”

Suzanne Gill, president and chief executive officer, Genome BC –

“This new Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy will supercharge our already world-class life sciences sector and position us as a global leader in research and innovation, delivering new technologies and treatments that benefit B.C., Canada and the world. Genome BC is proud to support this strategy by championing research and innovation to drive the responsible uptake of genomic technologies.”

Cheryl Maitland, interim chief executive officer, Business Council of British Columbia –

“With an increasing number of scaling companies, highly skilled talent and research advancements, B.C.'s life sciences and biomanufacturing sector is a significant source of employment, fuelling the growth of clean-tech businesses and contributing to our economy. The newly launched strategy presents a road map to build on these strengths and establish B.C. as a thriving global hub that positively contributes to British Columbians’ health and economic well-being.”

Deborah Buszard, interim president, University of British Columbia (UBC) –

“As B.C.’s largest health-research and innovation organization and the lead institution for Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub, UBC welcomes the launch of the B.C. Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy and looks forward to continued collaboration with partners across academia, health care, industry, non-profits and government. Working together toward the strategy’s vision, we can create new opportunities for British Columbians and save more lives sooner.”

Dr. Penny Ballem, member of the Council of Expert Advisors to the Government of Canada on biomanufacturing and life sciences –

“The life sciences strategy is an unprecedented opportunity for the remarkable life sciences sector in the province, our academic institutions and the health sector to leverage the investments being made by the federal and provincial government, and work together to benefit the lives of British Columbians and others across the country and globally, and support the biodiversity of our province and the planet.”

AdMare BioInnovations’ expansion of wet lab space for early-stage ventures in Vancouver

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the capacity of Canada’s innovative life sciences sector. Canadian scientists and companies have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, with British Columbia-based scientists and companies leading the way. The global life sciences sector has relied on B.C. technology in virtually every vaccine and treatment strategy addressing the pandemic and its related health complications.

AdMare’s current Vancouver Innovation Centre is approximately 3,251 square metres (35,000 square feet) and housed on the University of British Columbia campus. This facility, like adMare’s Montreal Innovation Centre, which is approximately 15,795 square metres (170,000 square feet), includes state-of-the-art industrial drug-development labs, shared-service facilities, and houses key members of adMare’s research and development, legal, business development and academic teams.

However, due to the success and fast-paced growth of the life sciences sector in B.C., adMare is unable to fully meet the needs of B.C.'s life sciences community. In particular, there is significant demand from promising, early-stage ventures for access to adMare’s turn-key wet lab space, along with the core services and expertise that are provided in the Vancouver Innovation Centre.

It is challenging for early-stage ventures to secure space from landlords, given that they are considered high-risk tenants with little or no track record. They also typically require a small amount of space to get started and need flexibility in leasing arrangements to support growth. AdMare is uniquely positioned to accommodate these needs, and, unlike real estate developers that are currently building out life sciences space, adMare provides specialized wet lab and office spaces in an innovation hub that includes core infrastructure and critical expertise, as well as high-impact training offerings and talent development. Founders and tenants in adMare’s Vancouver and Montreal-based innovation centres identify these offerings as critical to the growth, scaling and success of their ventures.

With the support of the B.C. government, adMare will identify matching investment to meet the needs of B.C.'s growing life sciences community, and create a 2,787-square-metre (30,000 square feet) facility. This facility will have dedicated wet lab and office spaces for early-stage ventures in the “Broadway Corridor/Mount Pleasant/False Creek” area, and is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2025. This project will enable adMare to expand its presence in B.C. and support an additional 20 or more early-stage ventures annually in the province.

A strong domestic life sciences industry will be a key economic and innovation driver of B.C.’s and Canada’s future, a potential destination for many workers displaced from other industries and provide insurance against future health challenges.