BBOT Statement on Provincial Life Science and Biomanufacturing Strategy
BC GOVERNMENT DELIVERS A BIOMANUFACTURING STRATEGY THAT POSITIONS OUR LIFE SCIENCE SECTOR AS A GLOBAL LEADER
Burnaby, April 17, 2023 – The Burnaby Board of Trade applauds the announcement unveiling the provincial government’s anticipated “Life Science and Biomanufacturing Strategy.” The strategy, which is a part of the BC government’s StrongerBC Economic Plan, provides five pillars to secure BC’s position as a leading global hub for life sciences and biomanufacturing to develop commercial-scale biopharmaceutical and medical manufacturing capacity.
Drawing from the collective experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Burnaby Board of Trade was successful in getting a biomanufacturing supply chain policy position adopted at the BC Chamber of Commerce AGM in 2022 (see BUILDING BC’S BIO-MANUFACTURING SUPPLY CHAIN (2022) – BC Chamber of Commerce). The policy identified the challenges BC and Canada faced by the initial uneven distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in late 2020 and early 2021, and as British Columbians waited for months in late 2021 and early 2022 for rapid testing kits to arrive, a new appreciation was gained for the value of a domestic bio-manufacturing sector.
To the Province’s credit, the government committed to developing a “Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy” and backed that commitment with $195 million to support life sciences and health research in its StrongerBC Economic Plan and the 2022 BC Budget. The Burnaby Board of Trade recognized the wisdom of these much-needed strategic investments at the time, but also advocated for distinct support to build out BC’s biomanufacturing supply chain.
While the Burnaby Board of Trade’s initial recommendation envisioned not only robust investments in advancing life sciences research and increasing bio-manufacturing capacity, but also stand-alone investments in building a domestic supply chain that can provide the necessary components to meet this extra manufacturing capacity, we are pleased this strategy’s goal is to better position BC as a key global supply chain partner and, in turn, mitigate the effects of global supply chain disruptions in the event of future global pandemics.
The Burnaby Board of Trade looks forward to ongoing collaboration with stakeholders across industry, academia, and both the provincial and federal governments to implement this strategy.