The life sciences sector received another boost today, Oct. 28, when Premier Rodney MacDonald announced a major long-term investment in a new BioScience Enterprise Centre to be located at Dalhousie University. This new infrastructure will enable the sector to continue to thrive. The province of Nova Scotia, through InNOVAcorp, will make a financial commitment of $1.6 million each year for 20 years to fund the initiative. The planned facility will replace the existing centre on Lower Water Street in Halifax, and relocate to Dalhousie University in spring 2011. “Life sciences is one of the fastest-growing sectors in our region’s economy,” said Premier Rodney MacDonald. “It has tremendous potential not only to create employment and attract investment, but also to improve the quality of health care and life for Nova Scotians.” The investment builds on an announcement by the province and the federal government earlier this year to partner in the construction of the Life Sciences Research Institute on Dalhousie University’s campus. It will house key research assets including the Brain Repair Centre, which makes it a logical location to bring the worlds of research and industry closer together. “InNOVAcorp is uniquely positioned to interact and work together with the life sciences industry, entrepreneurs, the academic and healthcare research communities and professional services organizations,” said Dr. Tom Traves, president of Dalhousie University. “This new infrastructure will provide researchers and their students with a compelling environment to pursue their passion and apply their skills and energy to the great companies of tomorrow.” “InNOVAcorp’s BioScience Enterprise Centre has been used by many early-stage life sciences companies in need of specialized lab facilities in a highly supportive business environment,” said Dan MacDonald, InNOVAcorp’s president and CEO. “Without this type of infrastructure these companies would have nowhere to go to access the unique services they need to thrive.” InNOVAcorp continues to recruit companies in the life sciences industry and will work to ensure a seamless, one-move transition to the centre’s new location. “When industry, academia, research and healthcare collaborate to solve both technical and business oriented challenges, the life sciences industry builds momentum to succeed in the global marketplace,” said Brian Lowe, vice-president of InNOVAcorp client ImmunoVaccine Technologies and chair of BioNova, the Nova Scotia Biotechnology and Life Sciences Industry Association. “This collaboration will also help to position Nova Scotia as a leader in research and development, innovation and technology.” Since it began operations in 1999, InNOVAcorp’s BioScience Enterprise Centre has facilitated the commercialization of technology. As of 2007, clients and graduates of the BioScience Enterprise Centre employed 395 people and generated export revenues of $117 million.