Ontario invests $5 million to train innovators
May 26, 2021
TORONTO – The Ontario government is investing more than $5 million to train and mentor up to 150 health sciences professionals on how to secure investments for their innovative medical solutions and bring them to market. The project, led by the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization, will support the creation of new pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other medical tools.
Details were provided this week by Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development, and Nina Tangri, MPP for Mississauga – Streetsville and parliamentary assistant to the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade.
“We know there is a surging demand for new health products right now, and this program will help make sure our workers have the skills companies need to become leaders in the global health science sector,” said Minister McNaughton. “This will energize our economy but, just as importantly, create great, local jobs that make our communities stronger.”
Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization’s free training will be delivered virtually, starting in June. Program participants from bioscience companies will learn advanced business, financial and intellectual property commercialization skills that will help them secure investments, scale and grow. Participants will also receive valuable one-on-one mentorship with business development experts.
“The Business Development Skills program provides companies with the support they need to secure capital from global investors and grow their business, allowing them to build and enhance their in-house capabilities,” said Gail Garland (pictured), CEO of OBIO. “With OBIO’s support, health science companies are given the opportunity to grow and stay in Ontario, where they can create jobs and contribute to the economy, as well as position themselves as leaders in the global market.”
This new program is part of Ontario’s $115 million Skills Development Fund, designed to support fresh ideas for training and skills development that will help our economy recover and prosper. “COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of the health and life sciences sectors, both here in Ontario and around the world,” said Parliamentary Assistant Tangri. “This new program will enhance our world-class ecosystem and further develop our workers’ skills and ensure that companies have access to the skills and talent needed to invest and expand in Ontario.”
Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization is based in Toronto and provides strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of Ontario’s human health science companies through partnerships with industry, the bioscience investment community, academia, patients and government.
In 2020, an average of 870,000 people were working in Ontario’s healthcare and social assistance sector. This sector contributed $47 billion to Ontario’s economic output last year, accounting for 6.6 percent of Ontario’s real gross domestic product (GDP).
There were 34,180 job vacancies in this sector during the fourth quarter of 2020, an increase of 9,235 positions or 37 percent since the fourth quarter of 2019.