Ottawa: Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board, this week highlighted an investment of $2 million to create the Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub. This support is part of a $10 million investment announced by François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, on March 2 for the creation of five research hubs as part of Stage 1 of the integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund (CBRF) and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund (BRIF) competition.
The Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub is being led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University. It will catalyze research and biomanufacturing innovations to help Canada produce vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics ahead of future pandemics. This multidisciplinary research hub will accelerate research and development of next-generation vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, while supporting training and development to expand the pipeline of skilled talent. It will also accelerate the translation of promising research into commercially viable products and processes.
François-Philippe Champagne said: “To continue to protect Canadians and to build a resilient biomanufacturing ecosystem, our government is taking every action possible to be equipped with the best tools. We’re proud to foster the research needed to produce cutting-edge discoveries and products in our very own labs, which will help us build a stronger, more robust life sciences sector that responds to the needs of Canadians for decades to come.”
Jean-Yves Duclos said: “The health and safety of everyone in Canada is a top priority for our government. To modernize and advance work in the areas of vaccines and therapeutics, we must continue to invest in health research—that is what these hubs will help us achieve. Together, with experts, provinces and territories, and other partners, we will keep strengthening our preparedness for possible future pandemics.”
Mona Fortier said: “To accelerate life sciences discoveries and make sure that the health of Canadians is thoroughly protected, we must collaborate and leverage the expertise of multiple sectors. Multidisciplinary research hubs like this one in the National Capital Region, co-led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University, will foster collaboration between academia, industry and the community to strengthen Canada’s talent pipeline and ensure the well-being of people and communities.”
Sylvain Charbonneau, vice-president, Research and Innovation at the University of Ottawa, said: “We are very eager to actively contribute to this groundbreaking national effort to grow a strong and competitive biomanufacturing and life sciences sector. The ultimate goal is to make Canada a global leader in emerging vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics, enhancing the national capacity to prevent and respond to future pandemics.”
– The CBRF PRAIRIE Hub: Protecting Canada by Building on Excellence in Pandemic Preparedness. Led by the University of Alberta. Accelerating the development and commercialization of vaccine, antiviral and diagnostic countermeasures for potential pandemic pathogens.
– Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub: Engineering Immunity for Pandemic Response. Led by the University of British Columbia. Helping develop next-generation immune-based therapeutics in response to pandemics that can be manufactured domestically using the latest innovations.
– Eastern Canada Preparedness Hub (ECaPH). Led by the Université de Montréal. Increasing the agility, connectivity and growth of the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector.
– Canadian Pandemic Preparedness Hub (CP2H). Led by the University of Ottawa and McMaster University). Catalyzing research and biomanufacturing innovations to help Canada produce vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnosticss.
– Canadian Hub for Health Intelligence & Innovation in Infectious Diseases (HI3). Led by the University of Toronto. Advancing the concept of ‘personalized and precise medicine’ to influence the development of vaccines, therapeutics and other public health interventions.
• A research hub is a coalition of research and research-training actors, coordinated by a health research institution that serves as an anchor for the hub. Hubs must be multidisciplinary in nature and have partners across a variety of sectors working towards objectives to advance pandemic readiness and response initiatives.
Over the last two years, the federal government has committed more than $1.8 billion to 33 projects in biomanufacturing, vaccines and therapeutics.