TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted the need for innovative training solutions to meet the increased demand for highly-skilled business development professionals in the health science industry. Today, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO) is pleased to announce the launch of its Business Development Skills Program, with a $5.25 million investment from the Ministry of Labour and the Skills Development Fund, to address these workforce challenges and help access funding that accelerates the growth of health sciences companies in the province.
“Successful fundraising is critical for health science companies to grow their business and create – and keep – new jobs in Ontario,” says Gail Garland, CEO, OBIO. “As these companies raise investment capital, they move further along the intellectual property commercialization pathway, with the ability to expand operations and add skilled employees that can help them reach their next growth target.”
According to a survey conducted last year by OBIO of more than 250 employers in Ontario’s health science industry, 83 per cent of industry leaders say access to financing should be a priority focus to speed up opportunities for health science companies to succeed. Yet finding highly-qualified business development professionals that have the necessary specialized skills to drive successful funding is a major challenge, with half (54 per cent) of industry leaders and supervisors saying they frequently face difficulties when hiring people into these roles. This skills gap will continue to jeopardize the pace of growth of health science companies during – and after – the pandemic.
“The challenges of the last year have shown us how important it is to keep our homegrown health science talent here,” says Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “OBIO’s program will move us one step closer to that goal, so that innovative companies with fresh ideas will know it’s possible to grow and thrive in our province. This sector is full of potential, and with this specialized training and mentorship, I believe we have what it takes to be a leader.”
In fact, a recent Nanos poll conducted on behalf of OBIO revealed that the majority (87 per cent) of Canadians support government spending for medical innovation and manufacturing in Canada, while 74 per cent feel it is important that healthcare providers in Canada use medical innovations developed here in Canada.
"Companies that take advantage of OBIO’s Business Development Skills program will have the opportunity to commercialize their technology right here, in Ontario,” says Maura Campbell, VP Intellectual Property & Contracts, Turnstone Biologics. "The program will ensure they have access to the talent, skills and support they need to fulfill this objective."
OBIO’s Business Development Skills Program is currently accepting applications and the program will run from June 2021 to March 2022. To apply, visit www.obio.ca/bdsp.
The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®) founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership-based organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of Ontario’s human health technologies positioning Ontario as a leader in the international marketplace. OBIO advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, the health system and government.
For more information, please visit www.obio.ca and follow OBIO on Twitter @OBIOscience.