B.C. Life Sciences Update 2021: Building on a foundation of innovation

GVBOT report highlights key factors that will determine the future of the sector in British Columbia.

Life sciences was already one of the fastest-growing sectors of the provincial economy prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, with over 2,000 companies employing approximately 17,000 people in 2018. In response to the pandemic, companies operating in the lower mainland garnered international attention by pioneering technologies and treatments that have achieved global adoption. In 2020, the B.C. life sciences sector raised a record-breaking $2.0B of market capital.

To ensure B.C. can fully realize the economic potential this groundbreaking research has unlocked, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, together with Life Sciences BC, is releasing the report B.C. Life Sciences Update 2021: Building on a foundation of innovation. Building on recommendations included in previous reports, such as the recent Industry Strategy Council’s Restart, Recover and Reimagine Prosperity for all Canadians, it highlights opportunities to address system barriers and accelerate the growth and competitiveness of B.C.’s Life Sciences sector. 

Sector Overview

Sector Overview




  • Talent
    • Enhance investment in talent to attract, develop, and retain scientific leaders with a focus on C-suite leadership that will support commercialization and company growth
  • Capital:
    • A dedicated life sciences fund to support the VC market, early-stage growth, and incubator organizations, which will accelerate and scale up the next wave of SMEs that will stay in B.C. and grow to be anchor companies
  • Regulatory & Tax Policies:
    • Implement modernized streamlined regulatory processes that are aligned globally and harmonized to ensure regulatory capacity to draw the next generation of technologies into use for and by British Columbians and Canadians
    • Implement competitive tax policies that attract and retain investment and ensure retention of intellectual property in B.C. and Canada
  • Value-based Procurement:
    • Implement streamlined value-based health procurement and sourcing strategies to create resilience of domestic capabilities through ensuring local innovation is considered and prioritized for adoption.
  • Data:
    • Invest in a coordinated, comprehensive strategy to provide faster, streamlined access to data and facilitate and create data-driven advances in research, innovation, and health outcomes
  • Infrastructure:
    • Continue to invest in research and increase investment in critical infrastructure, particularly lab space and manufacturing


Download Full Report

Life Sciences Update 2021

Download Infographic

Life Sciences Infographic

2024 News

2023 News

2022 News

2021 News

2020 News

2019 News

2018 News

2017 News

2016 News

2015 News

2014 News