Quebec Budget for 2018-2019 : The Life Sciences Industry, a Strategic Partner for Improving Quebecers’ Quality of Life
BROMONT (Québec), March 27 2018 – BIOQuébec welcomes the Québec government’s 2018-2019 budget, which is both balanced and focused on investments designed to improve the quality of life of the province’s population, a factor to which the biotechnology and life sciences industry contributes.
“The government’s priorities are aligned with those of the biotechnology and life sciences network’s members: everyone is committed to improving the quality of life of Quebecers,” states Anie Perrault, BIOQuébec’s Executive Manager.
The following measures directly affect Québec’s life sciences sector and are worthy of mention:
- Adding $52.5 million over five years for the expansion of the life sciences strategy
- Investing $50 million in the Québec-Ontario life sciences partnership to support venture capital investments
- Enhanced financial support for some of the sector’s centres of excellence: MEDTEQ (additional $4.9 million) and IRICoR (additional $4.1 million)
- An additional $15 million contribution to the Fonds d’accélération des collaborations en santé. A first call for projects ($40 million) was issued in September of 2017 and a second one will be issued next year
- Further financial support for the IRCM (additional $10 million)
“We also sense the government’s willingness to promote accessibility to data, specifically information for research purposes. This data is essential to ensuring the pursuit of excellence in research”, adds Anie Perrault.
Some of these facilitating measures include investing $18.5 million in the Institut de la Statistique du Québec to promote faster access to public data for university-based research.
“Currently, there is a lot of focus on artificial intelligence and its potential. As a result, it has been easier to highlight the strategic importance of data in various sectors, including the health industry. We are thrilled to note the presence of measures improving access to better quality data to foster discovery and innovation in university settings. However, innovation is also occurring in the private sector and we are eager for our biotechs and other research companies to also have improved access to data”, states Anie Perrault.
Despite ongoing challenges to obtaining credits for research and development and to integrating innovations into the health system, BIOQuébec is optimistic about the future following recent meetings between Minister Dominique Anglade and yesterday’s announcement of the first beneficiary of the BioMed Propulsion program, which was introduced in the 2016 budget and integrated into the Stratégie québécoise des sciences de la vie unveiled last May.
The direct services provided to citizens are the end result of the work done by the biotechnology and life sciences industry: the sector is one of the first links in the innovation chain - from research to marketing.