VIC FEDELI: Hi, I’m Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. On behalf of Ontario, Canada, welcome to BIO Digital. This year, BIO may look a bit different... But the essence behind the conference remains the same: bringing together the best of the global Biotech industry to share, educate and discover. Today innovation is more important than ever... Bold ideas are what define our future. Here in Ontario, Canada we are up for the challenge. In fact, many companies in our province have already stepped up and contributed to the global fight against COVID-19. More than ever, creative thinking in the life sciences sector will help us address the rapidly evolving challenges we face today... And tomorrow, as we tackle life after this pandemic. Ontario’s life sciences sector is second to none. And people have taken notice of what Ontario has to offer. Here are my top five reasons why companies choose to invest in our province: TEXT ON SCREEN: 5. Diversity VIC FEDELI: There are few places in the world quite as diverse as Ontario. We have welcomed people from over 150 countries And over 200 languages are spoken here. Imagine having that type of communications power when conducting business on the world stage. But when I speak of diversity, I am also talking about our diversified economy and large array of industry sectors. Not only do we maintain leadership status in sectors like automotive, aerospace and IT... But we have a range of business expertise in everything from agriculture and mining to cleantech and financial services. And of course, all facets of Life Sciences, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and genomics. TEXT ON SCREEN: 4. Access to Global Markets VIC FEDELI: Doing business in Ontario means being “Open for Business” to the rest of the world. With free trade agreements in 50 countries it’s never been easier to grow your business in Ontario. Only a short distance to major U.S. hubs... Ontario has access to more than 187 million consumers within a day’s drive of the Greater Toronto Area. Our central location in the heart of North America makes the global market truly accessible. TEXT ON SCREEN: 3. Competitive Business Costs VIC FEDELI: Building a successful business in the knowledge economy means having access to top quality infrastructure at a reasonable cost. That’s Ontario’s advantage. Ontario continues to enjoy one of the lowest corporate income tax rates in North America. By performing R&D in Ontario, small and medium-sized manufacturers can save up to 50 per cent on their after-tax expenditures. We’re also making it easier for companies to do business in the province. Reducing regulatory burden placed on companies is a top priority... We know today’s global marketplace places a premium on speed. TEXT ON SCREEN: 2. Innovation Ecosystem VIC FEDELI: We have one of the most unique and collaborative innovation ecosystems on the planet... Business, academia and government work together to drive revolutionary ideas to market. Ontario is home to the 2nd largest IT cluster in North America... As well as over 300 AI firms who have a prominent pharmaceutical, digital health and medical technology presence. We have 49 incubators and accelerators across the province... Including the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence, focusing on research excellence in deep learning and machine learning. It’s no wonder such leaders as Sanofi, Apotex, Baxter, Roche, Pfizer, Stryker, 3M, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, and GE Healthcare, just to name a few, call Ontario home. And we are so proud to bring a strong delegation of 35 innovative Ontario companies to BIO Digital. These integral members of our life sciences innovation ecosystem look forward to virtually meeting you to foster some prosperous, long term partnerships. TEXT ON SCREEN: 1. Talent VIC FEDELI: And finally, without a doubt, Ontario’s number one advantage is our people. Ontario’s 44 incredible public universities and colleges produce more than 42,000 STEM grads per year. 69% of Ontarians aged 25-64 have a post-secondary education. That’s higher than any OECD country! Our welcoming approach to immigration expands our talent pool even further while producing different perspectives that enrich our culture of innovation. As you can see, imagination is in our DNA... And some of the best and brightest minds choose to call Ontario their home. I’d like to leave you with a short video that I’m hoping will inspire you to come and discover more about Ontario, Canada. On behalf of the province of Ontario, we wish you a productive BIO Digital. NARRATOR: Welcome to Ontario, Canada’s epicentre of life sciences activity. Where a deep pool of talent, over 66,000 strong, builds the future. [flash through sectors such as Medtech, AI, Pharmaceuticals, R&D, Biotech, Genomics] NARRATOR: Ontario, Canada: there is no limit to where innovation can take us.