No biotech here

Stats Can published their biotechnology survey this week. As is usually the case, the organization had to lump together the four Atl. provinces because there’s not enough activity to split them out.

The #s don’t look good. Little old Saskatchewan has a larger biotech industry than all four atl. provinces combined. Manitoba’s industry has five times the revenue from biotechnology than all four Atl. provinces combined.

And of course the R&D picture doesn’t get much better. $10 million. That’s all the biotech R&D going on in all of Atlantic Canada. $10 million. $1.7 billion in biotech R&D across Canada in 2005, $10 million in all of Atlantic Canada.

Actually, I’m still searching for a ‘new economy’ industry where New Brunswick has actually got some traction (except call centres). Not environmental technologies. Not biotech. Not general IT (NB has actually retrenched in the IT biz since 2000). I guess you could cite the energy sector in Saint John. Maybe aquaculture in Charlotte county. Certainly not tourism (not new economy anyway). Tourism industry revenues are down to 1997 levels and as a percentage of the overall economy well before that.

Maybe I should ask any Business New Brunswick staff that read this blog. Please indicate specific industries that BNB has worked on over the past 5 or 10 years that are now strong in the province and at least performing at the national level for job creation, etc. At one time they were working on ‘e-learning’ but that has all but collapsed (except for a few success stories such as Provinent). I’d be curious.

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