Quebec Economic Development Minister Clément Gignac revealed yesterday afternoon that the province would be investing C$123 million in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Roughly half of the country's pharma industry is based in Quebec and 42 percent of R&D is conducted in the province. The region boasts 145 biotech companies that account for 21,000 jobs. Officials hope that by providing additional funding, they can prevent life science companies from moving out of the province as the industry undergoes a period of consolidation.
The funds will also be used to encourage partnerships between companies and universities and provide financial support to biotechs. Fifty million Canadian dollars will be earmarked to attract new pharma companies to Quebec while another C$30 million will be made as quarterly payments to biotech companies in need of cash. The biotech funding is part of a series of temporary emergency measures recommended by BIOQuébec, to enable struggling biotechs in the province remain in business until the financial markets improve.
"We are thrilled that the Quebec government has finally adopted a strategy that shows the government's will to support our industry, which has been confronted with unprecedented difficulties for nearly a year now," said Yves Rosconi, president of BIOQuébec's board of directors.
- see the BIOQuebec release
- here's the Montreal Gazette article for more