When I thought about the year 2020, two things came to mind... We were supposed to be zooming around in Jetsons’ rocket cars by now, and Liberal Leader Lawrence Decore (may he rest in peace) promised Alberta’s debt would finally be paid off, though I can’t remember if he was “Brutal Cuts” or “Massive Cuts”.
Well, so much for predicting the future. It’s a good thing that when I look at the year ahead for BioAlberta and the life sciences, the vision is much clearer. In fact, the word that comes to mind is Onwards!
With Mel Wong retiring and my step into the President & CEO role, I can see there will be some changes ahead. I am grateful to Mel that we are standing on a solid foundation that he carefully built over the past four years. We are poised to deliver on the projects and advocacy initiatives currently underway. I’m excited that the Boosting Biotech project is launching this month and will bring internship and mentorship opportunities for many grad students. I also can’t wait to see what fruit will bear from the supply chain and market development model now well underway for natural product companies.
From an advocacy perspective, 2020 will focus on the important issues of national pharmacare and the impacts of PMPRB, health and pharmaceutical policy changes provincially. BioAlberta also has plans to work with government and stakeholders to design new tools to increase overall investment, as well as de-risk private capital investment in the life sciences. I’m pleased we will be bringing the recently released HQP report to life, and will be looking at how Alberta can be a leader in leveraging our health tech, digital and IoT sectors to support people “Aging in the Right Place” to finally and truly bring health closer to home for patients.
Finally, we plan to support Alberta companies at a number of international investor conferences. In January, our partner MEDTEQ will hold its Investor Summit in Montreal to showcase the Beachhead Program. BioAlberta will also coordinate Alberta’s presence at BIO International in San Diego in June, as well as ADVAMED’s Medtech Conference in Toronto in October, the first time Canada has hosted this important event.
In order to deliver on this mandate we needed a strong and enthusiastic team. I’m pleased to introduce to you Dr. Joshua Lee who joined BioAlberta as Manager, Membership. Joshua obtained his Ph.D in Medical Genetics from the University of Alberta, and brings excellent experience in co-founding a biotech start-up in addition to pharmaceutical sales experience.
I’m also excited that Trish Filevich will join the BioAlberta team as Marketing and Events Coordinator, effective January 20th. Trish is a communications professional with extensive experience in the public and not-for-profit sectors, including fundraising campaigns, disease advocacy organizations and health professional associations.
I am reminded that we couldn’t do what we do without the support and engagement of you, our members, partners and stakeholders. We are so very proud to be your voice and advocate in the life sciences industry. I look forward to working with you on these key initiatives and invite you to be active in our Association. Your engagement with us helps to increase the value we provide to our membership. I thank you for support and look forward to our continued work together in this new decade.
President and CEO