CEO, McMaster Innovation Park
McMaster Innovation Park driving progress in life sciences to benefit Canadians’ health and strengthen the economy.
It has become clear that advanced manufacturing in the biotech industry will be critical to Canada’s recovery from COVID-19 & preparedness for another health crisis.
Without domestic capacity to produce COVID-19 vaccines, Canada has had to depend on other countries. “I think the nation learned an important lesson, that without domestic capacity, how do we look after our citizens during a crisis? That is one important aspect, but it also extends into economic growth,” says Ty Shattuck, CEO of McMaster Innovation Park (MIP) in Hamilton, Ont.
In fact, helping transform ideas to commercial reality is MIP’s mission.
“I think many people view healthcare and life sciences as costs. I believe that life sciences is the ultimate renewable resource. The raw materials are the ideas and discoveries, which we have a wealth of in Canada. If we can commercialize them and bring them to market, that satisfies our citizens’ needs for medicines and also creates jobs. And if we can become a net exporter and supply these products to the rest of the world, that becomes a GDP enhancer.”
In fact, helping transform ideas to commercial reality is MIP’s mission. As a bridge between academia and industry, MIP supports researchers with commercial aspirations, enables students to develop ideas in its incubator programs and connects industry with the technical talent of McMaster University and other academic institutions. Its three main areas of focus are Life Sciences Biotech, Advanced Manufacturing in Biotech, and Data Sciences.
MIP is pursuing a 2.8 million sq ft expansion, on top of its current 700,000 sq ft to support scale-up life sciences innovation, commercialization and manufacturing, including a 1.3 million sq. ft. of labs and biomanufacturing space. Part of the expansion is a partnership with the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM). Collaboratively, MIP & CCRM bring together stakeholders, expertise, infrastructure and funding to accelerate the development and commercialization of regenerative medicines.
The MIP facility will produce cells and viral vectors for Phase III clinical trials and commercial-scale manufacturing, as well as provide logistics and shipping expertise. “This really plays on Hamilton’s core strengths,” says Shattuck. “We have deep expertise in life sciences through McMaster and Mohawk College, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare. And we’ve been the manufacturing heart of Canada forever. Bringing those things together will be transformative for the region and for the whole country.”