How Innovation is at the Root of Investment Attraction (via InvestNB)by Meaghan Seagrave, BioNB admin January 12, 2015
In our current global-based economic environment – it is what sets us apart and makes us attractive to the outside world. Innovation is a global game and we need to ensure we are ready to play at the highest level.
The attraction of foreign direct investment or (FDI) and the development of export opportunities are necessary components of economic growth, especially for a province like New Brunswick. We are all agents of economic development and as such we need to clearly understand what sets us apart in order to effectively attract FDI and develop and exploit our export potential.
First, let’s explore what sets us apart.
- New Brunswick is home to a dozen research institutions (yes a dozen) that are either working with entrepreneurs on new innovative biotechnologies or developing innovative biotechnologies themselves. Couple that with our four universities, seven colleges and over 150 year history in agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry and it becomes clear that our little province is unmatched in terms brain-power per capita and expertise in traditional sectors.
- Together with a provincial focus on innovation, clear economic development priorities rooted in the promotion of technology transfer, investment in domestic entrepreneurs and an ecosystem set-up to support opportunities ranging from clean tech to bio tech, we have what it takes to play on the global stage.
- With our traditional sectors forced to innovate in order to survive, abundant biomass resources, a supportive entrepreneurial-focused ecosystem with sector expertise to support innovation and commercialization that spans medical technology to green energy, New Brunswick has the recipe to seed and support high-growth bio-opportunities. We are seeing new technologies that capitalize on our abundant natural resources, whether it be actual fibre from our crops and trees or extracting bio-actives from fisheries waste streams for high value cosmetics or pharmaceutical ingredients.
Global Market Opportunities
Bio innovations address global markets and issues such as securing the food supply, preserving the environment, and alternative energy, not to mention the invention of new materials and products that will improve healthcare. Investors know that bio is a strategic investment with a history of high returns and good performance. Bio serves an array of markets from health care to food and agriculture, animal health, energy, manufacturing – creating a diverse set of opportunities from our natural resources.
In short, the opportunity we have here is huge. It is a matter of understanding how New Brunswick’s bio resources and R&D capacity can be leveraged to propel us forward.
Not only is bioscience a sector waiting to explode provincially, but given our overabundance of natural resources and significant research and development capacity, New Brunswick is a prime destination for established companies looking to do product development related to human health, fish health, value-added food, biopesticides, bioenergy and biochemicals. Couple that with the fact that we have a province covered in trees and managed by 40,000 independent woodlot owners (read independent entrepreneurs), significant agricultural assets and the most diversified fisheries in the country, these assets make us a clear mark for foreign investment looking for R&D support and talent to leverage.
Innovation → FDI → Export Potential
We are primed for innovation growth in our traditional sectors and this growth will be directly tied to what sets up apart and how we leverage our: R&D capacity, provincial focus and abundant natural resources. As we build upon our value proposition, investment attraction follows closely behind as do startup companies and our overall provincial export potential. New Brunswick’s bio community, led by BioNB’s commercialization support team, is working towards demonstrating our true value proposition and contributing to the province’s economic prosperity.
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About Meaghan Seagrave:
Meaghan Seagrave is the Executive Director of BioNB, the lead agency for the development of the biosciences in New Brunswick. Meaghan has over a decade of experience working with small and start-up technology enterprises across the country in a variety of roles. With a graduate degree in agricultural sciences and several certificates and diplomas in technical communications and management development, she is well equipped to act as intermediary in a challenging and technical sector like biotechnology.