Support for biotechnology continues to be high among Canadians

    New data released at National Biotechnology Week Launch event indicates
    more Canadians are familiar with how biotech can benefit their lives

    WINNIPEG, Sept. 20 /CNW Telbec/ - During today's launch of the fourth
annual National Biotechnology Week (NBW) in Winnipeg, BIOTECanada released the
results of its third annual poll of Canadians' understanding of biotech.
Results indicate the majority of Canadians support the use of products and
processes that involve biotechnology.
    "Beer, cold water detergent, door frames and pajamas all have something
in common: biotechnology. Biotech truly is an everywhere technology," said
Peter Brenders, president & CEO, BIOTECanada. "Our polling data indicates over
80 percent of Canadians support the use of products and processes that involve
    The theme of today's NBW Launch spoke to how items we use everyday are
biotech products and hold the potential to benefit almost every aspect of our
lives from our health, to the food we eat and how we travel.
    "Winnipeg is proud to host the launch of this truly national celebration
of Canadian innovation," said Dawson Reimer, Chair of the newly rebranded Life
Science Association of Manitoba. "In the past decade, Manitoba has experienced
a significant increase in activities within the life science and health
products sector. Several major publicly financed research centers exist and
the number of new companies and employees continues to grow. It's a natural
fit to host National Biotechnology Week in this province."
    Conducted in partnership with POLLARA, the data released today indicates
eight-in-ten Canadians think biotechnology will bring benefits to our health,
the environment and agriculture. "In addition to beer, cold water detergent,
etc, what Canadians may not realize is they have already benefited
significantly from biotechnology. For example, biotech innovations have led to
the development of vaccines that are saving lives and hardier crop varieties
are improving yields and increasing food supplies," said Brenders.
    Public support of the technology was also evident today with an increase
in funding to the sector announced at the Launch by The Honourable Jim
Rondeau, Minster of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines. According to
respondents, the role government can play includes that of access.
    "Canadians see an opportunity for governments to make sure Canadians have
access to treatments for rare diseases and illnesses, as well as to provide
tax incentives to encourage innovation in Canada," said Brenders. "That's part
of our discussion with federal decision makers this week during National
Advocacy Day in Ottawa, and our meetings with MPs throughout the provinces."
    The complete results of the poll are available at
and - the official website for National
Biotechnology Week.
    BIOTECanada, the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and the Life Science
Association of Manitoba would like to thank our Regional Hosts of the launch
event: Biomedical Commercialization Canada (BCC), Destination Winnipeg,
Province of Manitoba, Red River College, University of Manitoba, and the
Winnipeg Regional Health Authority.

    About National Biotechnology Week -

    This week is a celebration of the imagination and innovation of Canadian
scientists and entrepreneurs from Vancouver to Halifax. Every region of the
country participates in this national program designed to inform Canadians and
showcase Canadian excellence. Participants will take part in career fairs,
tour our Canadian biotech companies, and see how biotechnology is vital to our
future. Many more will hear from influential leaders of the industry and meet
with federal and provincial decision makers. View a full calendar of over
60 events online at National Biotechnology Week is made
possible with the support of our regional partners and funding partners:
Amgen, AstraZeneca, Genzyme, GlaxoSmithKline, Ortho Biotech, Pfizer, Pioneer
Hi-Bred, Roche, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, and Schering-Plough Canada.

    About BIOTECanada -

    BIOTECanada is dedicated to the sustainable commercial development of
biotechnology innovation in Canada. It is the national industry-funded
association with almost 200 member companies representing the broad spectrum
of biotech constituents including emerging and established companies in the
health, agricultural, and industrial sectors, as well as academic and research
institutions and other related organizations.

    About Life Science Association of Manitoba -

    LSAM is the premier association promoting Manitoba's dynamic life science
industry. We are proud to represent the Biotechnology, Pharmaceutical,
Healthcare and Medical Device sectors. Founded in 1990, LSAM provides valuable
services for organizations involved in R&D, Commercialization and
Manufacturing of Life Science products.

    Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce -

    The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization representing
business in our community. Incorporated as The Winnipeg Board of Trade by an
act of the Provincial Legislature on March 8, 1873, The Chamber is older than
the City of Winnipeg by six months.
    For 130 years, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce has served as the "voice
of business", ensuring that the business perspective is heard on the issues of
the day.

For further information:

For further information: Cate McCready, BIOTECanada, (613) 297-1172,; Bob Jones, McKim Cringan George, (204) 284-2221

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