Investing in Training and Infrastructure for PEI’s Bioscience Sector

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Government of Canada investing in two key bioscience initiatives to boost innovation and strengthen Prince Edward Island’s position as a bioscience leader

CHARLOTTETOWN, PE, March 10, 2022 /CNW/ – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

PEI’s bioscience community has become an important source of economic growth and opportunity for the province. Driven by a collaborative innovation ecosystem made up of research institutions, government and private business, the sector has more than doubled its economic impact in the province since 2016. The Government of Canada knows that access to advanced training and infrastructure is critical to maintaining the region’s leading position in the industry and attracting companies in a globally competitive market.

Key pieces of PEI’s bioscience innovation ecosystem

Today, the honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, announced a total federal investment of $3,835,000 for two projects in PEI’s bioscience innovation ecosystem.

ACOA is providing a $2,335,000 contribution to the PEI BioAlliance to establish the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) biopharmaceutical manufacturing training facility in Charlottetown. The purchase of bioprocessing equipment and related fit-up to the facility will support skills development for the sector and benefit a broad range of trainees ranging from new students to highly experienced industry workers.

ACOA will also provide $1.5 million to support the design and construction of the Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator. The new facility will help address the pilot-scale manufacturing infrastructure gap that currently exists in Prince Edward Island and create greater opportunities for PEI bioscience companies to find commercial viability.

Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to developing a highly skilled workforce and strengthening the national capacity of Canada’s biomanufacturing sector to ensure the success and sustainability of the industry.

Quotes

“The success story of Prince Edward Island’s bioscience cluster is recognized across Canada and internationally. Strategic investments like those announced today will ensure a continued path of growth for the industry by attracting industry-leading companies and building a highly skilled workforce.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Government recognizes the significant contributions our bioscience sector makes to our provincial economy, and that by investing in this sector today, we’re preparing for a stronger tomorrow. These investments create more training opportunities and jobs for Islanders that strengthen our workforce and grow the bioscience sector in Prince Edward Island.”

- Matthew MacKay, Minister of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture for the Government of Prince Edward Island  

“The Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator is essential to allow companies moving from R&D stage to commercial manufacturing to do so here in PEI. It is a critical component as PEI continues to build out its centre of expertise in Biomanufacturing for Canada

- Rory Francis, CEO, PEI BioAlliance  

“CASTL is ready to deliver on the economic demand for individuals who are work-ready to meet the skills needs of the local bioeconomy and Canada’s fast-growing biomanufacturing sector. With new equipment to fit up our first physical training centre, CASTL will provide individuals with valuable industry-simulated hands-on training experiences helping them to develop in their careers.”

– Penny Walsh-McGuire, Executive Director, CASTL

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing a $2,335,000 (non-repayable) investment through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program to purchase equipment and support related fit-up of the Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL) biopharmaceutical manufacturing training facility in Charlottetown.
  • The Province of Prince Edward Island (Innovation PEI) is providing $800,000 for the purchase of equipment for CASTL.
  • The Government of Canada is providing a $1,500,000 (non-repayable) investment through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program toward the design and construction of a new Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator.
  • The Province of PEI is providing $500,000 toward the construction of the new Bioscience Manufacturing Incubator facility.
  • Formed in 2005, the PEI BioAlliance is a member-based industry association that continues to assume and demonstrate a critical leadership role in the development and growth of the bioscience sector in PEI.
  • An initiative of the PEI BioAlliance and headquartered in Charlottetown PEI, CASTL is a first-of-its-kind and first-in-class national skills and training initiative established to increase skilled talent for Canada’s bioeconomy.
  • The mandate of the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC) is to provide innovation, investment, and expertise for individual projects of economic and social benefit. CADC acts as a catalyst with the private sector and brings together various levels of the business community to initiate development projects and urban renewal.

Associated links

  • Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)
  • Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL)
  • Charlottetown Area Development Corporation (CADC)

Contacts

Marianne Blondin

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Marianne.Blondin@acoa-apeca.gc.ca

Mike Critchley 

Senior Communications Advisor 

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Michael.Critchley@acoa-apeca.gc.ca 

Hillary MacDonald

Senior Communications Officer

Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture

hpsmacdonald@gov.pe.ca

Chelsey Rogerson

Director of Communications and Marketing

PEI BioAlliance

chelsey@peibioalliance.com

Penny Walsh-McGuire

Executive Director

Canadian Alliance for Skills and Training in Life Sciences (CASTL)

penny@castlcanada.ca  

Aaron Hansen

Director of Operations

Charlottetown Area Development Corporation

ahansen@cadcpei.com  

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SOURCE Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

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