Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Atlantic Canada's Biotechnology Industry

Fastest Growth Rate

Canada is one of the top three countries in the world for biotechnology innovation and commercialization. Its leadership position is a strong testament to the country's world-class credentials. The sector's steady growth is largely due to its solid base of expertise and its continuous investment in research and development.

R&D support

Canada leads industrialized nations for business expenditures on research and development. The country's growing R&D capacity has resulted in a number of significant achievements including the fastest rate of growth in external patent applications among industrialized countries.

Top Firms

Atlantic Canada's dynamic and innovative biotechnology industry features some of the top new firms in the country, with over $300 million in annual private sector revenues. Biotechnological innovation has spurred development in a number of key industries, including marine sciences and health care.

Biotechnology Hotbed

Atlantic Canada is a hotbed of biotechnology activity. The region is home to over 100 bioscience companies and 25 research organizations. These include one of the largest independent manufacturers of seaweed products in North America. Atlantic Canada will soon be home to one of the first Canadian firms to introduce the technology to process specialty oilseeds for global export.

A potato

World Leaders

The four Atlantic provinces are at the forefront of global research in human health, medical technologies and diagnostics, marine biology, vaccine diagnostics, pharmaceutical and therapeutics, animal and fish health products, and agricultural technology, including a strong potato research cluster.

Two scientists examine a slide A hand holding a petri dish A woman examines a beaker of yellow liquid A hand holding a green pepper on a vine

Aerial photo of trees

What Atlantic Canada Offers

Geographically close to United States – seamless access to the lucrative US market

Highly educated workforce – more post-secondary graduates per capita than the Canadian and US averages, and home to 17 universities

Dedicated workers – among the lowest rates of turnover and absenteeism in North America

Low business costs – Canada leads the G7 countries in low business costs, with a cost advantage of 5.5 percent over the US

World-leading R&D commitment – Canada ranks first among the G7 countries for offering the most generous R&D tax incentives

How You Benefit

  • Improved communication and lower project management costs
  • Greater ability to recruit new graduates and retain their services
  • Lower turnover rates, which means corporate knowledge doesn't leave your organization along with staff
  • Improved profitability thanks to lower labour costs and operational cost efficiencies
  • Greater potential for revenue growth
  • Enhanced ability to innovate, be creative, and continuously learn
  • Opportunity to improve performance and profitability through access to government programs and services geared to the needs of the industry

How we can help you to locate and succeed here

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) is the federal government agency responsible for helping to build economic capacity in the Atlantic Provinces. Through a variety of programs and services, ACOA ensures companies locating in Atlantic Canada have access to a range of practical support to help them successfully develop their businesses.

Map of Eastern Canada and USA, highlighting Atlantic Canada

For more information, contact:

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
P.O.Box 6051, 644 Main Street
Moncton, New Brunswick
E1C 9J8 Canada

Toll-free: 1-800-561-7862 (Canada and US)
Fax: 506-851-7403

ACOA logo and the Symbol of the Government of Canada

Catalogue number: Iu89-4/3-7-2010E ISBN:978-1-100-14759-8 ACOA : 2010-02