Canada needs incentives to keep biotech innovation in country

18 June 2013 02:53  [Source: ICIS news]

MONTREAL, Canada (ICIS)--Retaining innovation in the country is a key challenge Canada is facing in the development of industrial biotechnology as businesses and initiatives are constantly seeking new incentives and opportunities, a trade group official said on Monday.

“Good ideas are portable; they can move,” said Andrew Casey, CEO of BIOTECanada, an industry association for the country’s health, industrial and agricultural biotechnology sector.

“So if you’re not doing the job that you need to do to attract them and keep them here, those ideas will go to where they’re most culpable,” he said at the World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology conference.

According to Casey, factors such as tax credits, infrastructure and investment money will determine whether industrial biotechnology companies will stay in or leave the country.

Canada has to be welcoming and accommodating for industrial biotechnology innovation, Casey said.

BIOTECanada is working with the government to find ways to encourage innovation, including taking the money it is putting into current programmes and coming up with a cohesive strategic plan.

“We have policies developed in the silos that speak to those industries and they all have their own departments that would be a reflection of those industries,” Casey said.

“The question mark is how do you bring it all together,” he said. “That’s kind of where we are right now as a country.”

The World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology conference runs through Wednesday.

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By: Tracy Dang
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