NRC Centre to spur Manitoba’s biomed
WINNIPEG – The $12 million NRC Centre for the Commercialization of
Biomedical Technology (NRC-CCBT) officially opened in mid-October. The
centre will act as a business incubator for biomedical and healthcare
technology companies as they make the transition from the idea stage to
actual sales and marketing.
The NRC-CCBT is viewed as a key element of BioMed City, a community
driven effort to establish Winnipeg as a hub for public health research,
innovation, commercialization, and skills development in Canada and
Dr. Ian Smith, director general, NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics; David
Chomiak, Manitoba's minister of science, energy and technology; Reg
Alcock, president, Treasury Board of Canada; Dr. Pierre Coulombe, NRC
The opening of the new four-storey Centre underlines the federal
government’s confidence in Manitoba’s booming life sciences community.
The NRC-CCBT is designed as a model for public-private sector
partnerships in commercialization, which is a key element of NRC’s
cluster strategy being pursued at NRC locations across Canada.
“The Government of Canada is committed to creating new networks that
support commercialization across Canada, and the NRC is taking a leading
role in the national commercialization agenda right here in Manitoba,”
said Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board and Minister
responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, on behalf of the Honourable
David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the
National Research Council (NRC).
“The NRC Centre for Biomedical Technology will be the vehicle to foster
Canadian capabilities in technologies such as biomedical devices,
products, and services that will not only be drivers of innovation and
productivity in the 21st century economy, but will also touch the lives
of individuals here in Canada and around the world.”
The Centre will be home to a wide range of individuals, firms,
organizations, and innovation support services and programs. National
and international companies will develop diagnostic and imaging hardware
and software, create data analysis and informatics products and support,
manufacture medical devices, or develop health and health information
systems. A prototyping facility for medical devices will also be
“Manitoba is home to some of the most innovative research minds
anywhere,” said David Chomiak, Minister of Energy, Science and
Technology for the province of Manitoba.
“Our $2 million investment in the new NRC Centre builds on our
commitment to bring together governments, researchers and the private
sector in partnerships to promote research that leads to life-saving
breakthroughs for patients and results in new economic activity for our
“NRC has established itself as an effective catalyst for strategic
cluster development, contributing to economic growth in communities
across Canada. The Centre embodies NRC’s approach to cluster building –
allowing the entrepreneurial spirit in local industry sectors to tap
into NRC’s primary strengths: R&D expertise, scientific and technical
information resources, and innovation assistance programs.
“The new NRC Centre adds a valuable dimension to our life sciences
expertise in the Winnipeg biomedical technology cluster. Such business
development facilities will provide the commercialization and technology
advice, competitive intelligence, and intellectual property management
services required by Canadian entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking
to market novel biomedical R&D,” said Dr. Pierre Coulombe, NRC
A special feature of the NRC-CCBT is its partnership with the Government
of Manitoba and a national not-for-profit organization, Biomedical
Commercialization Canada (BCC).
BCC will help design and oversee the programs and services within the
NRC-CCBT, and ensure community and industrial leadership. NRC provided
$10 million in funding for the NRC-CCBT as a result of a 2002 Government
of Canada decision to support NRC’s community innovation strategy. The
Government of Manitoba is contributing $2 million to the project.
Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada’s National
Research Council is a leader in the development of an innovative,
knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology. For
more information, please see the CCBT opening story and backgrounder.
The NRC-CCBT is 5,100 sq. m. facility adjacent to the NRC Institute for
Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD). The NRC-IBD develops and commercializes
non-invasive devices and technologies for the diagnosis of serious
medical conditions, such as infectious diseases, cancer, and
neurological disorders that affect millions of Canadians. With more than
150 skilled professionals, its research programs focus on applications
of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopy, and a variety of
other optical imaging techniques.
A biomedical informatics group develops and adapts state-of-the-art
methods for the analysis and monitoring of complex biomedical data,
commercializing the resulting software products and providing
The new Centre will provide partners with access to NRC’s research teams
as well as the services of the NRC Industrial Research Assistance
Program (NRC-IRAP) and the NRC Canada Institute for Scientific and
Technical Information (NRC-CISTI).
NRC-IRAP West (Saskatchewan and Manitoba), provides innovation support
and mentoring support to Canadian SMEs, and invests in more than 1,000
firms each year. NRC-CISTI is one of the leading science libraries in
the world, and provides technical and competitive intelligence services
to firms, researchers and universities across Canada. Through these
programs, NRC can deliver the important business and technology
intelligence, including the road mapping services needed to stimulate
and promote the commercialization of innovative biomedical technologies.