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 Chronic Disease Innovation Centre, 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, ARxIUM and Medicure Inc. 

Fast Facts

  • Companies in Winnipeg’s life sciences sector currently employ approximately 5,400 workers. (Winnipeg CMA, Statistics Canada, 2016)
  • 179 businesses in Winnipeg employ life science workforce. (Winnipeg CMA, Statistics Canada, 2016)
  • 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. (Winnipeg CMA, Statistics Canada, 2016)
  • Winnipeg and region is home to the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing sector in Western Canada, anchored by five pharmaceutical/medicine manufacturers:  Emergent BioSolutions, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Apotex Fermentation, Pfizer Canada Inc. and Vita Health Products.

  • $2.5B

    Industry Revenue (2016)

  • 30

    R&D institutions support industry

  • 5,400

    Employed in industry

  • 67%

    Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing

Source: Statistics Canada (2016)

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