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Collaboration Leads to Success in Edmonton

Collaboration is Key to the Success of the Life Sciences Industry (and Meetings) in Edmonton

Visiting Alberta for its natural beauty alone is well worth the trip. The province is a picture-perfect destination, with the Canadian Rockies overlooking a varied landscape of lakes, forests, prairies and badlands. But there’s so much more to the region than just its physical features. This natural wonder is also shaking up life sciences research on a global scale, thanks to a dedicated community of experts and advocates.

“We’ve got the intellectual edge with our schools, an ecosystem ripe for growth and strong partnerships in place,” says Anna Look, director of meetings and conventions for Edmonton Tourism.

A major perk of visiting the Western Canadian province is access to the renowned faculty at institutions such as the Universities of Alberta and Calgary, which are synonymous with life sciences. Researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton have made a number of medical breakthroughs, including the world’s first oral antiviral treatment for Hepatitis B. The university also houses the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases, addressing the health of both animals and humans. It’s one area of the life sciences industry that makes Alberta a standout.

“There is a significant amount of research that is happening in the life sciences sector in Alberta,” says Cindy Lieu, communications manager at the Alberta Prion Research Institute.

Collaboration is key to the success of the life sciences industry in Alberta. Edmonton’s Health City initiative is just one example, connecting stakeholders who represent health-related businesses and startups. That synergy has also piqued the interest of planners and groups seeking convention leads, Look says.

One advantage of meeting in Edmonton is the ease of travelling from one research center, hospital or university to another. Health and life sciences groups are clustered around the city and can be accessed via public transportation. There’s even a light rail station that will suit your needs: Get off at the Health Sciences/Jubilee station, where you’ll find the University of Alberta, Cross Cancer Institute, Canadian Blood Services and more.

Approximately 60% of all Alberta Life Sciences businesses are located in Edmonton, with with key industry players headquartered here including Ceapro, Exciton Technologies, Gilead Alberta and McKesson Canada. And with the highest per capita funding for health care in the country, it’s easy to see why Edmonton is known as Canada’s Health City.


Editor’s note: a longer version of this article appears here.