The Canadian and British Columbia governments are partnering with the country’s largest biotechnology company to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Burnaby that will create 675 B.C. jobs by 2022, and up to 2,170 by 2031.
The partnership with STEMCELL Technologies will support the development of regenerative medicine products certified for use in clinical trials, the construction of a $138-million state-of-the-art manufacturing facility by 2022, and the eventual consolidation of three of STEMCELL’s Vancouver locations into a single campus in Burnaby. Burnaby MP Terry Beech was part of the announcement.
The combined provincial and federal investment will be $45 million for STEMCELL Technologies, which has over 1,000 employees globally and approximately 900 in B.C. at four locations in Metro Vancouver. The company produces and sells over 2,500 products and exports the majority to over 70 countries.
This field of research involves using cells from healthy tissue to repair damaged tissues or organs.
"The success that is happening here at STEMCELL is a project that truly shows what can happen when we all work together,” said Terry Beech, Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour. “There are employees here that have been working for decades, working on the shoulders of giants, to make this possible and to make sure we have this kind of global leadership in this field right here in British Columbia, and right here in Burnaby, which is very exciting."
Paul Holden, president and CEO of the Burnaby Board of Trade, said that “for Burnaby, this will mean creating more than 2,000 new jobs over the next 10 years, and all of the spin-off economic and community benefits that come with that.”
STEMCELL will create between 100 and 200 jobs each year for the next four years to reach 675 new hires by 2022.
Canada’s life sciences sector includes more than 850 companies; contributes $7.8 billion in GDP, $13.2 billion in exports and $1.9 billion in R&D; and employs over 91,000 Canadians.
Stem cells were discovered in the early 1960s through the work of Canadian scientists Dr. James Till and Dr. Ernest McCulloch at the University of Toronto.