The Life Sciences Strategy Council
The pandemic exposed the fragility of our healthcare systems and demonstrated the central role that the life sciences sector plays in our health and economic well-being. It also has revealed the importance of building resiliency, driven by more cutting-edge research, better adoption of health innovations, and enabled by an interoperable health data infrastructure and a more robust manufacturing footprint, integrated with global supply chains.
Building a resilient health and life sciences system can be achieved through public-private partnerships and a committed strategy inspired by a bold vision and alignment and shared purpose between all levels of government, industry and universities.
To support this, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has partnered with public and private sector leaders to create a globally-competitive, integrated life sciences sector that spans the entire spectrum of activities from research through manufacturing to the commercialization of innovations. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the gaps we need to address but also highlights the extraordinary opportunity to position Canada as a global leader. Other nations with similar health systems are investing in life sciences strategies as an important driver of economic recovery and growth as well as public health emergency preparedness and security. Canada must not be left behind.
The ingredients needed to articulate and implement such a strategy are known. We need to strengthen and retain a world-class workforce, improve access to capital, strengthen our innovation ecosystems, modernize regulatory systems, develop a national health data strategy and invest in leading-edge infrastructure and better leverage government procurement capabilities.
Fostering a robust domestic life sciences industry will also require leadership and buy-in will at the highest political levels, policy integration across ministries, collaboration and integration across Federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions and sufficient scale for global competitiveness.
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its members are committed to making recommendations on a Canadian life sciences policy and its implementation to ensure that Canada’s economy is more resilient in the face of future health threats. To this end, the life sciences sector becomes a vibrant ecosystem that will unleash the full potential of this strategic sector, improve outcomes for Canadians and be prepared for future health crises. To accelerate Canada’s progress, The Council will leverage the recently introduced Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy (BLSS) and identify a path forward for the strategy to drive progress. The BLSS will be critically reviewed, other Canadian and international strategies will be considered and specific asks will be developed to help drive real progress towards resilience for the sector and the Canadian economy.
The Life Sciences Strategy Council will work throughout 2022 to support knowledge sharing, networking, research and advocacy aimed at bolstering Canada’s standing as a world-class, secure and sustainable life sciences ecosystem. Together, the Life Sciences Strategy Council will inform life sciences policy through continuous engagement, research, and thought leadership.
For more information on the Life Sciences Strategy Council, please contact Kathy Megyery, Vice-President, Policy, Quebec.
Life Sciences Strategy Council Co-Chairs
Lesia M. Babiak
Johnson & Johnson