Bioquébec in Government Representations for the Next Provincial Elections
Discussions were held in February with elected members of the Quebec Liberal Party, Coalition Avenir Québec and the Parti Québécois on three crucial issues for the sector:
1. Funding for young biotechs (who are approaching or starting clinical trials in Phase I)
2. Support for the growth of CROs
3. SR & ED tax credits
What were the observations raised by the network?
- Québec's ecosystem is confronted with highly subsidized American competition, at all stages of development, with specific programs for companies, not to mention translational projects with universities supported by NIH programs (the equivalent of the FRQS and CIHR).
- "Bridging the gap": The US private equity ecosystem is investing earlier, in conjunction with government programs, to cover the Valley of Death and multiply the startup and growth of young biotechs and ORCs.
- Business representatives find that Revenue Quebec officers do not understand the business context and activities related to life sciences, which has an impact on the way they apply internal policies related to the application of the eligibility criteria.
Solutions that give a positive perspective in the future!
The purpose of these meetings was primarily to provide forward-looking solutions to propel the sector forward. Here is what has been proposed:
- Improve the continuum of biotech funding:
- Matching Fund (ex: Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund)
- Public offering
- Bonds issue of dedicated treasures
- Flow-through shares
- Include Quebec Contract Research Organizations (CROs) in Québec Innove
- Create support programs directly to businesses (eg, IRAP in Canada or SBIR in the USA)
- Enhance and multiply models like AmorChem
- Maintain SR & ED tax credits to ensure the sustainability of many industrial research projects from Quebec's life science institutions, in addition to standardizing the application and training agents to the specificities of SR & ED in life sciences to facilitate access to tax credits.