Key Industries

Life Sciences

Winnipeg is a remarkable centre of discovery. When you delve into synergies among biotechnology, agriculture and life sciences, you’ll understand why. Case in point: the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health is the only Level 4 bio-containment lab in the country. We’re also host to the International Centre for Infectious Diseases, the Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, and the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals.

Winnipeg is the leading pharmaceutical manufacturing centre in Western Canada, and it’s also home to major informatics research organizations actively supporting e-health and data analytics.

All of this cost-effective innovation is built on a solid foundation comprised of the University of Manitoba, over 30 additional R&D institutions and a growing number of private-sector firms.

Health and biotech organizations grow stronger in Winnipeg.

Vital Stats

Winnipeg’s successful life sciences sector benefits from the city’s bio-commercialization resources, business incubators and among the lowest factor costs in North America. A highly supportive provincial government is an active industry partner, helping biotechnology startups gain access to capital and offering a variety of support resources.   

The sector is comprised of clusters of businesses in five key life science subsectors:

  • Medical devices
  • Functional foods and nutraceuticals
  • Bioproducts (also referred to as industrial biotech)
  • Health informatics
  • Biopharmaceuticals

Over the past 20 years, entrepreneurs within Winnipeg's biotechnology cluster have created more than 25 globally successful companies, including Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Intelligent Hospital Systems and Medicure Inc. 

Fast Facts

  • As a percentage of total workforce, Winnipeg boasts the highest concentration of life science professionals of any city in Canada. 
  • Companies in Winnipeg’s life sciences sector currently employ approximately 6,400 workers.
  • More than 400 Winnipeg establishments play a supporting role for the life sciences sector in the areas of research and development, laboratory research, and scientific and technical services.
  • The Canadian functional foods and nutraceuticals industry generated revenue in excess of $11 billion in 2011.
  • Winnipeg is home to the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Western Canada, anchored by three large pharmaceutical/medicine manufacturers:  Apotex Fermentation, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International and Vita Health Products.
  • Winnipeg's life sciences sector includes 136 manufacturing firms; 67 per cent are engaged in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing.

YES! Winnipeg Investors


Megill-Stephenson Company Megill-Stephenson

Megill Stephenson is the Winnipeg-based parent company of Birchwood Automotive Group, Longboat Development Corporation and True North Sports and Entertainment among others.

Economic Development Winnipeg

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Winnipeg, Manitoba
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