Canada represents about 2% of the global market in the life sciences and biotech sector. This amounts to about $15bn a year with an average of 11% growth in the ten years to 2022.  

Hamilton life sciences sector continues significant growth 

Hamilton’s life sciences sector is continuing to expand, as it emerges as one of the top cities in Canada in this field.

The life sciences sector has invested about $4bn in the Hamilton region, in part due to the support offered to companies and research facilities by the Hamilton Development Economic Office.  

Hamilton and the surrounding region boasts several renowned life sciences facilities (including Canada’s only nuclear reactor for medical research) and decades of international life sciences research excellence, maintaining the city’s position as a leading life sciences location.  

In recent years, Hamilton has benefitted from major investments from Fusion Pharmaceuticals, Stryker and Affinity Biological.   

With the combination of innovation, education, research and business investment, the life sciences sector is rapidly becoming established as one of the largest direct employers in Hamilton.  

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Supported by the Hamilton-based Synapse Consortium, the burgeoning life sciences hub is benefitting from increased collaboration, accelerating commercialisation, and promoting the overall growth of the sector.  

Collaboration drives life sciences industry success 

Having established itself as one of the largest employers in Hamilton, the life sciences and biotech sector has enjoyed growth and success over recent years.  

As well as the existing number of biotech companies in the region, what makes it a good place to start a life sciences company is the network of research, medical and educational facilities focused on life sciences.  

When it comes to research, education and production, Hamilton has numerous institutions that lead the way in the industry.  

Among these are Hamilton Health Services, St Joseph’s Healthcare, Bay Area Health Trust, Innovation Factory, McMaster University and Mohawk College, each engaged in numerous collaboration projects to further the life sciences.  

This level of innovation and collaboration in the life sciences cluster in Hamilton showcases how the city has emerged as an attractive location for companies looking to accelerate their commercial operations and innovators looking to create advances in life sciences and biotech.  

Hamilton biotech sector gets innovation and investment  

When it comes to the best industries to invest in in Hamilton, manufacturing continues to lead the way. In part, this is due to the strength and growth of the McMaster Innovation Park (MIP). 

Designed and equipped to encourage investment in research and innovation, MIP now supports a range of industry start-ups, established business expansions and collaborations between educational establishments, research facilities and manufacturing companies.  

With this commercial link between academia and industry, companies looking to invest in Hamilton have an existing infrastructure that is business friendly.  

Ty Shattuck, CEO of MIP, has outlined some of the reasons Hamilton represents a good option for those looking to start a biotech or life sciences company in the city, saying: “Companies that are scaling up in Hamilton are seeing investments in the hundreds of millions and are on the cusp of being world-beaters. In the past, all of that was going to the US because we just didn’t have what they needed. That has changed. We aim to become the Boston of the north.” 

Tax breaks encourage biotech and life sciences business 

Coupled with various tax incentives offered by local and provincial governments, the landscape for investment in MIP remains positive.  

With an additional 2.1 million square feet of commercial space being built on the site, with a focus on expanding life science and advanced manufacturing capabilities. the investment opportunities are significant.  

From incubator projects to corporate-research collaboration, innovation is now an integral part of Hamilton’s innovation ecosystem, and a genuine showcase for the best places to invest in Hamilton. 

Information, data and statistics from Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Statistics Canada, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Statista Quebec, Ontario Economic Report, Hamilton MIP Today.