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PEI Bioscience Cluster Lays out Agressive Strategy for Growth
Friday, September 14, 2012
Bioscience Cluster Lays Out Aggressive Strategy for Growth
Charlottetown, PEI, September 14, 2012---With the right investments, the Prince Edward Island Bioscience Cluster could be providing 1500 jobs and its 36 companies generating more than $200 million in annual revenue by 2015, says a new strategy for PEI’s bioscience sector released today at the PEI BioCommons Research Park.
Ron Keefe, Chair of the Board of the PEI BioAlliance and CEO of BioVectra, said that Cluster partners from businesses, research agencies, and governments are moving forward with the 42 recommendations contained in the Strategy that would effectively see a doubling of the bioscience sector’s economic impact over the next four years.
“We believe that we can continue to build on the momentum we’ve gained over the past several years, with new expansions, new companies, new products, and new markets,” said Keefe. “This Strategy represents a synthesis of what we’ve learned together to be the essential ingredients for establishing an environment for high technology companies to be successful,” he said.
BioVectra, one of five companies making significant announcements at the Open House event held at the PEI BioCommons, has just completed an $18 million expansion of its pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities and will have added thirty- five new employees at full operation, bringing their total to 190 personnel.
The event also featured the official opening of Island Abbey Foods’ new manufacturing facility at the BioCommons. John Rowe, CEO of the company, said the new 12,000 square foot location will allow the company to more than quadruple production capacity on move-in day, with five new production environments and new automation and packaging equipment.
“This added capacity will enable Island Abbey to expand to many new international markets where demand for Honibe's dehydrated honey products has been building,” said Rowe. The expansion will also enable product and market diversification as Island Abbey launches their new dried maple and agave platform technologies.
Neurodyn CEO Kenneth Cawkell announced today that the company will soon begin human testing of a new product, NeuroPro™, developed to be used in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. NeuroPro™ will be evaluated in Canadian neurology clinics beginning early in 2013.
The result of several years of testing using animal models of Parkinson’s disease, this proprietary Ginseng-based natural product has a demonstrated ability to prevent or slow the development of Parkinson’s disease in the animals.
Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (CSK) at Holland College recently received a $1.75 million, three-year award from the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to establish a Technology Access Centre at CSK. As a Technology Access Centre, CSK will work closely with industry clients to develop innovative functional foods and bioactives-based ingredients.
Technology Crops International announced the commercial launch of a new crop called Ahiflower, a plant-based source of high Omega 3 oil for use in health and nutrition products as a high quality replacement for fish oils. Steve Howatt, Vice President of Agronomy and Business Development with TCI, said that their new Kensington, PEI oilseed crusher and refinery is producing high quality oils from several specialty crops for international cosmetic and natural health product markets.
Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of National Revenue and MP for Egmont, and PEI Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning Allen Roach congratulated all the companies on their significant achievements.
Rory Francis, Executive Director of the BioAlliance, said that the company announcements represent tangible evidence of what is being accomplished within the PEI Cluster.
“ While the Strategy released today is about future growth, Islanders can already see the results in terms of job opportunities and investment in the province,” he said. Work on key elements of the Strategy including improving access to private capital, continuing development of the BioCommons Research Park, and supporting science programs in Island classrooms, will be priorities for Cluster Partners in the months ahead.
For more information, contact:
Rory Francis, PEI BioAlliance