Under the auspices of the Capitale‐Nationale ACCORD program (Concerted Action for Regional Development Cooperation), Agnès Maltais, Minister of Labour, Employment and Social Solidarity and Minister Responsible for the Quebec City region, and Régis Labeaume, Mayor of Quebec City, recently announced their financial support for the implementation of a biomanufacturing research platform for vaccines and other medical treatments. At an assessed cost of $670,000, the project will receive $215,000 in funding from the Quebec City Bureau (BCN) and the Quebec Department of Finance and the Economy and $200,000 from the City of Quebec. In addition, the participating companies, Medicago and Folia Biotech, will be investing $255,000 between them.
The research platform, known as BioProduction21, will feature a technology developed by Medicago and will be carried out in collaboration with Folia Biotech and Laval University’s Infectious Diseases Research Centre (CRI). The technology is based on plant remedies used to produce different varieties of protein that are instrumental in developing vaccines and other technologies or applications, such as therapeutic proteins and diagnostic solutions. Quebec International, the regional economic development agency, has been mandated with managing the financial assistance.
“I am proud to say that the Parti Québécois government honours its commitments and invests in research and innovation in the Quebec City region. These R&D synergies will strengthen the region’s scientific and industrial leadership role in the biomanufacturing sector at the international level. It is important to note that the region’s strategic positioning in this regard is the product of structural decisions made over a decade ago. The biopharmaceuticals market alone is expected to account for more than $182.5 billion by 2015. This initiative will also serve to attract more solutions providers and technological applications, as well as business partners, to the region,” said Ms. Maltais.
“This project exemplifies the spirit of innovation, dynamism and confidence that drives Quebec City’s entrepreneurial community. Under our economic development strategy launched in December 2011, we are pleased to be able to support the BioProduction21 project. In so doing, we are fostering the creation of high-quality jobs, reinforcing exportable cutting-edge expertise and positioning Quebec City among the global elite of innovative cities,” said Mr. Labeaume.
ABOUT THE ACCORD PROGRAM
The ACCORD program seeks to revitalize regional economies throughout the province of Quebec. It also aims to position these regions as hubs of specific industrial skills gaining worldwide recognition. The program is focused on regional strengths and on the mobilization and dynamism of regional business communities.
The life sciences sector of excellence will contribute to the development of companies within the biomanufacturing industry by leveraging the convergence and integration of technologies designed to speed the development and optimize the marketing of health and well-being products and services. The key sub-sectors include diagnostics, vaccines, cosmeceuticals and telehealth.