Bringing jobs to London is one of the topics that comes up most frequently – at debates, in calls and e-mails from residents, and at the door. I’ve already told you about my plan to boost entrepreneurship in London, and to make it easier for start-ups to get off the ground. Now I’d like to discuss some of London’s economic strengths: knowing what we’re good at will show us where we can expand and intensify.
On of the areas where we are thriving is biotechnology. Many of us are aware that London’s hospitals and university, including a medical school, make us a regional centre for healthcare and health research, but there’s more to it than that. Aside from healing people and training people to heal, London professionals develop and manufacture medical equipment and treatment devices, practice high-quality sports and exercise medicine, produce medical imaging technology, and provide support and services to biotech start-up companies.
According to the LEDC, the sector employs more than 21 000 in private sector industry, hospitals and research facilities including more than 2 000 researchers.
We can build on this strength. Let’s continue to highlight our city’s biotechnology expertise to the world. It will mean more top-tier medical research and products for Canadians, and more career opportunities for Londoners.
The Stiller Centre for Technology Commercialization is a fantastic start. This facility is designed to help start-ups find markets for their biotechnology ventures. It provides lab space, flexible lease arrangements, and shared services for new enterprises in biotech areas like drug development, medical devices and imaging, cellular therapy, and alternative energy.
TechAlliance, the regional innovation centre for London and surrounding areas, offers programs for start-ups in the life sciences (plus digital media, clean technology, and advanced manufacturing) as well.
Large and small, public and private, London is full of biotechnology success stories. Famous examples include Trudell Medical International, developer of innovative aerosol drug delivery devices, the internationally recognized Fowler Kennedy Sports Medicine Centre, and the Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics Centre (CSTAR), which trains surgeons on minimally-invasive procedures.
As we promote this robust sector of our city to the rest of Canada and the world, London will continue to attract top researchers and entrepreneurs. It’s important that we begin seeing ourselves this way as well – as a place where good, exciting, and innovative things happen.