Again this year, the Québec delegation and its many ambassadors drew attention at the BIO conference. Both from the perspective of the bustling B2B activities in the Québec pavilion with its eye-catching design and the quality events organized alongside the main conference, the province could hardly go unnoticed in Philadelphia. Life sciences in Québec is now presenting itself on the world stage in a unique way as “The Coolest Hotspot.” This new brand identity was launched with great fanfare at the Rendez-vous Québec in the presence of Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon.
Furthermore, listening to the announcements made by the Minister concerning the financing companies active in life sciences, I made the connection with several pieces of good news previously announced regarding Québec companies in the sector. What strikes me is the seniority of all these successful companies: Alethia Biothérapeutiques was established in 2002; Angiochem in 2003; Milestone Pharmaceuticals in 2005; Theratechnologies and Bellus Santé in 1993; Clementia Pharmaceuticals in 2012. These are all companies that have shown patience, faith and resilience, which our entrepreneurs in life sciences must successfully demonstrate. To the ladies and gentlemen who have had the courage to embark on this adventure, hats off to you!
That being said, I think we need to ask questions about the business environment in Québec and particularly about the financing chain. If they had been located in another market, would these same companies have been able to accelerate their development through facilitated access to more substantial capital? Probably. The issue of the financing chain remains very much present in our environment and we must give it all the necessary. As the federal elections approach, it’s a message that we must try to communicate to each of the candidates from our ridings. We need to remind them that the objective of establishing in Canada anchor companies specializing in life sciences cannot be achieved with the existing business environment.
Summer is now (finally!) here. The cluster’s projects will continue to be developed, but we are going to take a little break to publish this article. We’ll see you back in September with, I hope, even more positive news to discuss and comment on. Until then, I wish you beautiful weather, nice terrasses, vacation, fun and the chance to enjoy the most beautiful season in Montréal.
Wishing everyone a great summer!