Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 28, 2011 12:30 ET

Harper Government Highlights Canadian Commercialization Success

Research and development investments strengthen economy, improve quality of life

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 28, 2011) - The Honourable Yonah Martin, Senator (British Columbia), visited Applied Biological Materials Inc. today to celebrate the company's success in commercializing a new detection system for genetic information, which received support from the Government of Canada through the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program. Senator Martin was joined by several of her caucus colleagues who are visiting other companies across Canada today to highlight similar commercialization successes that are strengthening the economy and improving the quality of life of Canadians.

"Our government is supporting Canadian companies that invest in research and development to bring new ideas to the marketplace, creating new jobs and strengthening our economy," said Senator Martin. "Applied Biological Materials is a Canadian success story and an example of how businesses can succeed when they invest in research and commercialize new discoveries."

Applied Biological Materials Inc. has developed a microRNA (miRNA) expression and detection system where miRNA is known to regulate the genome, which is the basic foundation for human health and medical conditions. The technology was developed, in part, as the result of an Industrial Research Assistance Program investment, and the system is used in life science research and biotechnology industries across Canada and the world.

"Research in miRNA holds great promise for the life science community and can ultimately contribute to innovative diagnostic assays and therapeutic modalities. Through Government of Canada support, Applied Biological Materials Inc. has been elevated to become one of the world's top players in this technology," said CEO Dr. Peter Li. "Our dominant position has opened and will continue to open new job opportunities in Canada. In short, it is almost impossible for Applied Biological Materials Inc. to take on cutting-edge research and development, like the miRNA project, without the government's support."

Increasing business investment in research and development is crucial to Canada's long-term competitiveness. To remain at the forefront of the global economy, Canadian businesses must invest in the people and ideas that will produce tomorrow's breakthroughs. Programs such as the Industrial Research Assistance Program are helping businesses innovate.

Canada ranks first among the G7 countries in terms of expenditures on research and development in the higher education sector as a share of the economy.

Canada's science and technology strategy was launched by Prime Minister Harper in 2007 with the goal of encouraging our businesses to invest in research and development and to bring new ideas into the marketplace for the benefit of all Canadians. Through the 2006, 2007 and 2008 budgets, the government provided an additional $2.2 billion in new funding for science and technology initiatives.

Years one and two of Canada's Economic Action Plan built on these investments by providing $6.3 billion in additional funding for research infrastructure, research, highly skilled people and commercialization.

For more information on Canada's science and technology strategy, please visit the Industry Canada website (

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    Gary Toft - Director of Communications
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations