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Life Sciences in British Columbia

British Columbia (B.C.) is home to a thriving life sciences sector with a history of fostering top scientific talent and generating innovative discoveries and initiatives. Our growing life sciences industry is at the forefront of developments in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and medical technology. B.C. is producing world-leading products and services in the areas of HIV-AIDS, oncology, and genomics.

Sector Profile

B.C. Advantages


B.C. is home to 50+ Life Sciences research centres and several centres of excellence

Life Sciences BC (2018-2021)

B.C. has the fastest growing Life Sciences sector in Canada

Life Sciences BC (2018-2021)

Canada ranks 4th in the world in scientific publications

World Economic Forum (2019)
  • Bio-innovation excellence – B.C. is home to 1,100 biopharmaceutical and medical device firms and laboratories, including several companies each with greater than $1 Billion in market capitalization, one of Canada’s largest biotech companies, and the nation’s largest medical device design company. Recognized globally, B.C. science is world renown in several fields including antibodies, genomics, vaccine research and development, oncology, and nano and precision medicines.
  • Skilled and educated workforce – B.C. life sciences companies employ more than 20,000 employees and have a growing number of students graduating from life science programs in our 25 post-secondary institutions.
  • Local partners – Public-private partnerships with institutions such as Life Sciences BC link global industry with local organizations, while programs such as the Cascadia Innovation Corridor initiative links Vancouver, Seattle, and Portland to increase opportunities locally and globally.
  • Supportive government – Canadian controlled businesses in B.C. may qualify for scientific research and experimental development (SR&ED) tax credits of up to 10% of research costs.
  • Reduced tariffs – Life science companies can find substantial benefit in Canada’s free trade agreements, such as the elimination of tariffs on Canadian goods produced by the life sciences sector.
  • Competitive edge – With B.C.’s ideal location on the West Coast, competitive corporate income tax rate, affordable labour costs, and access to clean power, it makes sense to bring your life sciences business to B.C.

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