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June 1, 2015

Canada Reaches Out to Life Sciences Events

Canada is positioning itself for event planners in the Life Sciences industry.

In its 2014 Country RepTrak report, the Reputation Institute concluded that Canada was the top country in the world for hosting or participating in meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions. With notable new product coming online, including a new convention center in Halifax set to offer more than 120,000 square feet of flexible event space when it opens in 2017, and Calgary adding a further 3,000 hotel rooms by the end of that same year, the country’s MICE industry is going strong.

Meanwhile, Canada’s expertise in Life Sciences sectors--including pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and research and development--is strong enough that the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world all have operations in the country. These companies are attracted by the world-class infrastructure, including 17 medical schools and more than 100 teaching hospitals, and the highly-skilled workforce which includes a local community of over 30,000 researchers. 

Hotbeds for Life Sciences include the cities of Montréal, Waterloo, Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver and key areas of expertise include the medical device industry. More than 1,000 companies in Canada work in this sector alone, employing a workforce of 26,000, and the country ranks fourth in medical device manufacturing costs after the UK, Netherlands and France.

Michele Saran, the Executive Director, Business Events Canada (BEC), believes the country is uniquely placed to host Life Sciences events and cater to the exacting needs of such client groups.     

Notable recent conference wins from European firms operating in the Life Sciences arena include EMD Millipore, the Life Science business of Merck KGaA of Darmstadt, Germany which held their Global Sales Meeting (GSM) 2015 in Toronto.

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