Alberta’s life sciences sector has been growing over recent years, and now is set to become a leader in digital health.

Through embracing technological innovations, Alberta is preparing itself for the future of healthcare.

Backed by a province-wide electronic health records (EHR) database, a multitude of strong research and development institutions, as well as a significant AI ecosystem, Alberta is on the path to become a world-class leader in digital health.

Since 2014, biotech research and development spending has grown by 200% in the province, and an estimated $1.3 billion dollars are projected to be spent on digital transformation in the life sciences sector by 2024.

Alberta Stories

Calgary Cancer Centre

Scheduled to open in 2023, the Calgary Cancer Centre will become the second-largest comprehensive cancer care and research centre in North America.

A Comprehensive Dataset

Alberta’s healthcare system has been recognized for its modern and robust digital health system. The province has a variety of digital healthcare systems such as Netcare, MyHealth Records, and ConnectCare, and it is the only province in Canada to have an EHR system for all its citizens.

This, along with a single healthcare provider in the province (Alberta Health Services), allows for a comprehensive, unified data set that companies can use to test new innovations and scale products with greater accuracy.

Existing Expertise

Alberta holds expertise in multiple areas including the petrochemicals industry which provides opportunities in advanced continuous manufacturing. The availability of key ingredients such as feedstocks, basic chemicals, and chemical derivatives allow opportunities in next-generation manufacturing, including manufacturing of APIs and medical devices.

The province also has a strong foundation in R&D. The University of Alberta and University of Calgary are ranked in the global top 100 for life sciences programs with more than 35 research institutes, 30 Canadian Chairs in Medicine, and a Nobel Prize winner.

Over 200 life sciences companies are in Alberta, which supports over 15,000 jobs.

An Ecosystem Built for Partnerships

Alberta is home to many partners that are eager to grow the province’s life sciences sector 

Alberta Innovates

The province’s largest research and innovation agency with a focus area of promoting health innovations. Alberta Innovates develops partnerships with industry, health service delivery providers, and academic institutions to position Alberta as a leader in digital health.

AMII

A world-leading artificial research institution, the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (AMII) bridges significant AI advancements with industry. AMII frequently collaborates with the healthcare sector and has applied machine learning to diagnose schizophrenia and diseases.

Alberta Precision Exchange

APEX acts as a not-for-profit that curates and moderates the agreements between independent partners operating in an IP-protected environment. These agreements allow Alberta’s emerging diagnostic technology to be translated from lab-bench idea to real-world tools with the full support of R&D experts, industry partners, clinicians, regulatory bodies, and health care delivery experts.

Alberta Health Services

Canada’s first and largest province-wide, fully-integrated healthcare system that serves a population of nearly 4.3 million patients. AHS is Canada’s only single-window health access system with a new $459M electronic health system, Connect Care, that integrates more than 1,300 information systems from 400 facilities across the province. With this advantage, Alberta is a global leader in Real World Evidence generation.

Health Cities

Health Cities works with clinicians, innovators, philanthropic organizations, and companies to develop new models of care to drive better health outcomes and economic growth in the health sector.

BioAlberta

BioAlberta is a member-driven association that represents and promotes the province’s vibrant and diverse life sciences industry. They represent over 230 members, including industry researchers, suppliers, and producers.

Genome Alberta

Genome Alberta is a publicly funded not-for-profit corporation that initiates, funds and manages genomics research and partnerships. They strive to be the leading source of information and administration related to genomics, metabolomics, bioinformatics, and biotech research in Alberta.

The Institute of Health Economics (IHE)

A research hub for health economists, the IHE supports public policy decision makers and the health care industry by providing consistently provide relevant and impactful evidence that supports informed health system policy and investment decisions.

A Research and Development Hub

Alberta possesses a strong foundation for exploration and innovation

UAlberta Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology

A consortium of researchers aimed at understanding viruses and other pathogens, their respective disease pathogenesis, and host immune responses. The institution collaborates with over 65 international firms, agencies, and networks in over 20 different countries worldwide.

UAlberta Drug Development and Innovation Centre

A unique initiative of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta to help bridge the gap between basic sciences and clinical research. The Centre’s purpose is to foster research and education in Pharmaceutical Sciences with a dedicated team working on translational research and development in the following areas: Biopharmaceutics, Drug Delivery, Quality Control, Regulatory Sciences.

UCalgary Life Sciences Innovation Hub

Located in University Research Park, the Life Sciences Innovation Hub is a centre for research excellence and innovation. The Hub is used by students, researchers, start-ups, and companies to interact, create, and explore new ideas and concepts, as well as provide dedicated wet lab office space for companies that are developing and growing.

Calgary Cancer Centre

The new Calgary Cancer Centre, co-located within the Foothills Medical Complex, the University teaching and research hospital, will be the largest comprehensive cancer care and research centre in Canada and second largest in North America when it opens in 2023.

Nanotechnology Research Centre

Operated by the National Research Council of Canada, the Nanotechnology Research Centre is designed to expand Canadian nanotechnology expertise, capacity and capability, and foster breakthrough research.

Calgary Centre for Clinical Research (CCCR)

The CCCR facilitates access to the university’s clinical research capacity for industry-sponsored research projects.

Northern Alberta Clinical Trials and Research Centre (NACTRC)

A collaboration between Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta, the NACTRC supports investigators and researchers throughout the clinical trial process.

International Microbiome Centre (IMC)

The University of Calgary’s IMC is a translational research centre, designed to investigate the microbiome of humans, plants, animals and the physical environment. The IMC houses North America’s largest germ-free facility alongside world-renowned expertise in intravital imaging.

The Alberta Advantage

Alberta is home to a young, talented workforce and a business-friendly environment

High-ranking Programs

The University of Alberta and University of Calgary hold two of the top 150 Life Sciences programs globally.

Strong AI Ecosystem

Alberta is home to a number of AI and Machine Learning clusters, with institutions such as AMII and Quantum City being present.

Active Research Capabilities 

The Universities of Alberta and Calgary are ranked 2nd and 3rd overall respectively in Canada for number of active clinical trials.

Workforce

Alberta has the youngest population of any province with an average age of 39.

CEIV Pharma Certified

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is the first airport in Canada to be CEIV Pharma certified by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Low Tax Environment

With no provincial sales tax, no health premiums, and the lowest corporate income tax rate in Canada, Alberta possesses is a place that actively promotes and supports business and investment.

Alberta is the only province in Canada with a province-wide EHR system.

Areas of Focus

Real Evidence Generation

With a single healthcare provider and EHRs for all citizens, Alberta stands to be a leader in Real Evidence Generation, being able to provide access to a comprehensive and accurate dataset to firms in the sector.

AI/ML Ecosystem

Home to hundreds of top research and development institutions, Alberta is a prime place to explore and implement the future of digital health technologies.

Attabotics revolutionizes logistics with robotics

Listed as one of CNBC’s 50 top disruptors in 2020, Attabotics is revolutionizing supply chains and fulfillment centres. Its storage and retrieval systems integrate leading robotics, AI and Internet of Things (IOT) technology to solve complex problems. Attobotics recently raised a total of $82 million in Series C funding and received over $30 million in…

Read More

Bayer chooses Calgary for new Canadian headquarters

As the largest seed provider in the world and one of the largest agricultural companies globally, Bayer Crop Science chose Calgary as its new Canadian headquarters. Bayer’s move solidifies Calgary’s position as the agribusiness capital of Canada and an emerging hub across North America. Bayer noted corporate tax levels and the availability of office spaces…

Read More

Amino Lab offers sustainable solutions and new products to boost Alberta agriculture 

Did you know that waste from meat processing and butchering can be upcycled, while leaving a minimal environmental footprint and promoting waste reduction?   Korean biotech company, Amino Lab, has done just that – by developing a unique enzyme decomposition processing technology to upcycle animal blood.   Amino Lab became Korea’s first processing facility designed to upcycle…

Read More

Making it happen: Future focused growth in Alberta

The past few years in Alberta have been filled with unique challenges. A major recession, a sharp decline in oil prices and a global pandemic created times of uncertainty. Despite the challenges, Alberta has remained resilient and strong, and through determination and effort, has carved a path to remain a significant player on the global…

Read More