Winnipeg, MN – January 7, 2004 – The Manitoba government is giving its life sciences sector a boost with $2 million in funding to help create a new commercialization centre. The centre is intended to advance biomedical research, innovation and entrepreneurship in the province.
“This will be a unique and innovative national centre for the commercial development of biomedical technology,” says Tim Sale, minister of the government’s energy, science and technology ministry. “It’s part of a bold new plan that adds to our commitment to make Manitoba a national centre for innovation in medical technologies and keep the commercialization of innovations in this province.”
The Centre for the Commercialization of Biomedical Technology (CCBT) at the National Research Council’s Institute for Biodiagnostics will help create enterprises by assisting new entrepreneurs in bringing their scientific products and services into the marketplace. It will help develop research, technology and management skills, and support sustained growth in biomedical technology.
The minister says this is the first time that the province and the National Research Council (NRC) have partnered to advance life sciences technologies in Manitoba.
The government intends to increase the number of biotechnology companies in the province by 50% by 2007 and to establish two business commercialization centres by 2005.
“This NRC centre extends our commitment to research and innovation in Manitoba,” says Ian Smith, director general of the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics. “Moreover, we see this as a national centre for innovation and commercialization, attracting biomedical entrepreneurs and firms to Manitoba from across Canada and around the world.”
The new NRC facility will create and advance programs that support technology mentoring, investment opportunities and market development for medical diagnostics. The CCBT will be built adjacent to the NRC’s Institute for Biodiagnostics. Construction will begin this year.
The NRC’s Institute for Biodiagnostics performs research in medical diagnostics, focusing on technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and infrared spectroscopic imaging (IRI) for the early, non-invasive diagnosis of a variety of diseases including cancer, arthritis, heart disease, neurological conditions and osteoporosis. Research is carried out in collaboration with physicians, hospitals and other research groups in Canada and around the world.