Alberta Life Science sector generates over $700 Million

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medical research healthcare
Responsible for nearly $700 million in revenues and over 16,000 full time positions in 2017, the industry is a significant contributor to Alberta’s highly skilled, knowledge and innovation-driven economy.
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BioAlberta is a member- driven association that represents and promotes the province’s vibrant and diverse life sciences industry. Through our many partnerships and collaborations, we are dedicated to promoting Alberta’s life science sectors, locally, nationally and internationally.

BioAlberta enables success for its members by providing a wide range of networking and educational events, and by effectively delivering policy options to governments. BioAlberta activities are focused in key strategic areas: advocacy; promotion, marketing and networking; industry development.

Alberta’s life sciences sector is a major source of highly skilled employment, innovation, and economic diversification. Responsible for nearly $700 million in revenues and over 16,000 full time positions in 2017, the industry is a significant contributor to Alberta’s
highly skilled, knowledge and innovation-driven economy. Composed of a large number
of start-ups and small businesses that complement an established set of mature firms, the sector is a dynamic mix of both large and small players. Alberta’s life sciences sector is well diversified in its end markets, with 42% of revenue being sourced from within the Province, 43% from US and international markets, and 15% from the rest of Canada.

This year’s survey was sent to more than 230 of Alberta’s life science companies, a significant growth from previous years, and a signal that the number of companies in the sector has expanded. Of those, 165 respondents reported a significant increase in both research & development (“R&D”) spending and capital raised. By the end of 2017, aggregate R&D spending is expected to increase by over 200% from 2014, while the corresponding amount of capital raised is expected to increase by nearly 230% in the same period.

This implies that the industry is preparing for a growth surge by investing now in the development of new products and services. For the third report in a row, and despite the growth in capital raised in 2016, respondents identified financing and funding as the primary issues facing the industry. Improving access to venture, angel, corporate, and institutional financing and the ease of applying for provincial granting programs continue to be a challenge for the industry. With indicators suggesting that the industry is poised for a significant period of growth, the need to improve the investment climate across the sector continues to be an important issue for Alberta companies.

Addressing these challenges will support the industry in continuing to build on its historical strengths as an important source of research, commercialization, and highly skilled employment, and sustainable growth in the province.