Why do we need a strategy? Ontario taxpayers currently spend over $44 billion annually on healthcare and $22 billion for education. The 5% projected rate of increase in (2011/12), healthcare spending is greater than the projected rate of increase for Ontario’s GDP, 2.4% (2011). The education system and academic research funding costs also continue to rise. Ontario is a leading global jurisdiction for innovation indicators, in terms of R&D spending to GDP ratio, and percentage of individuals with post-secondary training.
However, Ontarians do not reap the benefits of an innovation economy due to the underdevelopment of the biosciences industry sector. Our investments in research, novel commercial technologies, highly-qualified individuals, and smaller start-up corporations are, for the most part, lost to foreign markets. The commercial products and services developed from our innovations are then bought back by Ontarians (in the form of novel therapeutics, diagnostics, and devices) at considerable mark-up. The increased costs are not only a growing burden for tax payers, but more importantly, we as Ontarians have not benefited from the economic prosperity (jobs and wealth creation) that would result from a strong and sustainable domestic biosciences sector.
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