Federal and provincial governments support creation of biotech manufacturing facility in the Lower Mainland

News release

Investment will create up to 2,170 jobs and promote innovation in Canada’s life sciences industry

April 25, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia

The Canadian and British Columbia governments are partnering with the country’s largest biotechnology company to build a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility that will create 675 B.C. jobs by 2022, and up to 2,170 by 2031, as well as help establish Canada as a world leader in regenerative medicine.

Today the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Bruce Ralston, British Columbia’s Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, announced a combined investment of $45 million in biotechnology company STEMCELL Technologies. The federal government and the province will each contribute $22.5 million.

This funding 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, British Columbia.

Partnership on this project is part of the federal and provincial commitment to create and maintain good middle-class jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity by investing in our life sciences sector as well as to promote innovation and global competitiveness.

STEMCELL currently 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.

Canadians pioneered the field of regenerative medicine. This field of research involves using  cells from healthy tissue to repair damaged tissues or organs. STEMCELL’s new facility will establish British Columbia as a leader in researching, developing and manufacturing a wide range of products that will contribute to the development of cell-based therapies with the potential to improve health outcomes. Stem cell research holds the potential to reduce healthcare and medication costs both in Canada, and abroad as new therapies emerge.

Securing STEMCELL’s presence in British Columbia will also benefit the province’s supply chains, public research, training and skills development and will keep valuable intellectual property in Canada.


“Canadians paved the way in stem cell research; now we’re investing in STEMCELL Technologies to help commercialize this success. The Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund investment will create nearly 700 jobs and advance life-saving innovations that will secure STEMCELL’s place in the global supply chain for years to come.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“This is the kind of opportunity our government looks for – one that can help make a real difference in the health and quality of life for people here at home and abroad. As we continue to work with companies and partners in life sciences research, we are helping create a global hub for B.C. that will allow us to create jobs for British Columbians and attract more talent and investment to our province.

– The Honourable Bruce Ralston, British Columbia Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology

“This funding provides our company with the ability to add hundreds of new high-paying jobs in B.C. to support global research leading to the therapies of the future. It also means that we can contribute to the next generation of landmark treatments and ensure that this coming wave of stem cell therapies is stamped with the Canadian maple leaf! We are proud to be an example of the sort of growth and innovation that can be accomplished when high-tech companies partner with forward-thinking governments.”

– Dr. Allen Eaves, founder and CEO, STEMCELL Technologies

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • The federal investment of $22.5 million is made possible through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy by encouraging R&D that will accelerate technology transfer and commercialization of innovative products, processes and services and facilitate the growth of innovative firms.

Associated links


Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Karl W. Sasseville
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Government of British Columbia

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