Current Projects

BioTalent Canada’s understanding of the bio-economy, project expertise, research and human resources (HR) knowledge have resulted in new and innovative HR solutions, products and services that benefit Canada, the bio-economy and companies and organizations within it. This know-how and enviable track record has led to new projects that further benefit and strengthen the industry in the global marketplace and reinforce BioTalent Canada’s position as the leading HR innovator and go-to source for HR projects and solutions for Canada’s bio-economy. BioTalent Canada’s projects and solutions development leverage results from supporting projects to maximize the effectiveness for the industry.

For information on projects BioTalent Canada has successfully completed please see the Completed Projects Portfolio.


Connecting and Advancing Women in Biotech

January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2017

Indsutry need: Women constitute over 60% of physical and life sciences post-secondary graduates in Canada, yet as reported in the 2013 “Sequencing the Data”  labour market study the number of biotech companies hiring women has decreased 11.5% in the last five years - this represents a significant lost talent pool. With skills shortages and access to talent still impeding the industry it is important women are connected to career opportunities and able to advance within the industry will help address these skills gaps.

The project will leverage the existing network model established by Women in Bio, an international networking organization for women in the biotech industry, which has successfully started a chapter in Montreal and will provide ongoing support to the networks in the long term. Working with project partners, BioTalent Canada will conduct a needs assessment to identify key challenges women face when integrating into the bio-economy, particularly institutional gaps, as well as supports. The organization will develop local networks in Vancouver, Toronto, and Charlottetown through which women and stakeholders will work in partnership to develop sector action plans. Strategies to be implemented as part of these local plans could include reviews of human resources policies and mentoring. Read More...


Career Focus Program

August 2012 to March 2016

Industry need: Every year, thousands of talented graduates emerge from post-secondary programs that are related directly to the bio-economy—in disciplines such as chemistry, biology, agriculture and human health. Too often, however, these new grads lack the practical skills and professional maturity to step straight into jobs with Canadian biotechnology companies.

Supporting projects leveraged:

  • Career Focus 2005-08
  • Career Focus 2008-09
  • Career Focus 2009-2012

Objective: This project will provide practical work experience to 30 or more post-secondary graduates and will allow them to gain the necessary biotechnology competencies (business and science) through internship in order to secure permanent employment and to contribute to industry competitiveness as a whole. This project will benefit the industry by increasing the number of individuals in the biotechnology workforce and will benefit individual companies by giving them the opportunity to increase their number of employees.

BioTalent Canada has been successfully running this program for a number of years for past successes of this program please see Meeting the HR needs of the bio-economy – Accomplishments Report 2011 and The experience quotient - How to ensure new graduates are adequately prepared to work in Canada's bio-economy report.

Learn More>>

Funded by the Government of Canada's Sector Council Program. 


Alternative Career Paths for Internationally Educated Health Professionals

February 24, 2014 to April 30, 2016

Industry Need: BioTalent Canada recently conducted a national statistically significant study of Canadian bio-economy companies from coast to coast (published September 2013) to discover their greatest human resource (HR) challenges. From this study:

  • 33.2% of companies are experiencing skills shortages
  • 40% of companies state this has a great or major impact on achieving business objectives
  • But only 52.1% of companies have internationally trained professionals on staff (a decline of 6.7% from 2008)

Of those companies that hired immigrants:

  • 51.8% improved innovation and/or problem solving on their teams
  • 43.4% improved company productivity
  • 28.9% increased access to foreign and/or domestic markets
  • 15.7% increased access to investors and/or venture capital

BioTalent Canada also conducted a national statistically significant study of recent immigrants to Canada (published November 2013). From this study:

  • 56.8% of all immigrants surveyed were unemployed
  • Unemployment for those from clinical and pre-clinical research backgrounds ranged from 44.6% to 54.5%
  • The number one reason they came to Canada was the prospect of employment
  • The number one difficulty they face upon arrival in Canada is securing employment in their field

Objective:The overall objective of this project is to provide internationally educated professionals with alternative career path options from traditional medical professions, such as physicians, surgeons, veterinarians, nurses and pharmacists, into related occupations within the Canadian bio-economy.

BioTalent Canada has previously developed a database of transferable skills for physicians, surgeons, nurses and veterinarians into 46 Canadian bio-economy occupations in Canada. BioTalent Canada will expand on this database to include transferable skills for pharmacists. Read more...


Funded by the Government of Canada's Foreign Credential Program. 



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