On the Up

On the Up Ontario has always been known for its groundbreaking science—now get ready for its biotech. By Kirsten Weir Ontarians are proud of their scientific history. As all Canadian schoolchildren learn, Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin in Toronto in 1921. Forty years later, Ontario Cancer Center researchers James Till and Ernest McCulloch proved the existence of stem cells. The first commercial vaccine for childhood men

Kirsten Weir
Jan 13, 2010

On the Up

Ontario has always been known for its groundbreaking science—now get ready for its biotech.


Ontarians are proud of their scientific history. As all Canadian schoolchildren learn, Frederick Banting and Charles Best discovered insulin in Toronto in 1921. Forty years later, Ontario Cancer Center researchers James Till and Ernest McCulloch proved the existence of stem cells. The first commercial vaccine for childhood meningitis was developed at the National Research Council in Ottawa in the 1990s, after 3 decades of work. And the list goes on.

The hub of Ontario science is the University of Toronto, third in the world in published research. Adding to this distinction, between 2003 and 2006, University of Toronto researchers spun out 16 new companies, helping the university rank fourth for commercialization among public universities in North America. This same trend is present throughout the Province, where pharmaceutical research and development spending has doubled...