Kingston: Well Positioned Hub for the Health and Life Science Sector


By Alyssa Saturley, Insights Magazine Spring 2023

May 2023 – Centrally located between Toronto and Montreal, Kingston is ideally positioned as a powerhouse in the health and life sciences sector. The expansion of the Kingston Syracuse Pathway and proximity to areas like Boston furthers the city’s well-deserved reputation as a global leader at the forefront of medical research and innovation.

Ben McIlquham, Investment Manager of Health Innovation with the Kingston Economic Development Corporation:

“Kingston is a commanding force in the regenerative medicine space. With industry innovators like Lonza Group calling Kingston home, we’re thriving. Global leaders in pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors, Lonza Group’s international presence provides untethered access to the world. In conjunction with Octane Biotech, Kingston is a community where advanced bioprocesses and biomaterials are a shared priority, propelling us into the next generation of regenerative medicine.”

Why are professionals in the medical and life sciences fields choosing to call Kingston home?

“As one of Canada’s leading research and education cities, we have unparalleled access to the most prestigious centres of learning in the country. Queen’s University, Royal Military College and St. Lawrence College all provide a top tier talent pipeline  that, according to StatsCan, makes Kingston the science and engineering PHD capital of Canada.”

// Maclean’s rates Kingston among Canada’s top communities with amenities, transportation and health being top factors.

// First-class quality of life: thriving downtown, vibrant art and theatre scene. StatsCan: most walkable city in Ontario.

How does Kingston meet the needs of entrepreneurs?

“We foster a competitive edge. Kingston provides a community of professionals who strive to revolutionize medical technology, digital health, advanced cell/gene therapy and biopharmaceutical research. Our health sector, often referred to as a “living lab,” is abundant with resources and top tier talent.”

Kingston’s reputation is growing on the international stage. Site Selection Magazine recognizes Kingston as being among the top Canadian cities in which to invest. It’s easy to see why, with groups like StartupBlink choosing to spotlight all we have to offer, featuring Kingston as #1 Small City in Canada for its Start-Up Ecosystem. # 7 in all of Canada for Health tech.”

What role does research play in Kingston’s momentum as a global leader in health and life science innovation?

“Our health innovation research hubs offer a diverse range of health solutions that are globally focused on supporting public and private sector businesses.

Our community partners are what differentiate us: Centre for Health Innovation, Canadian Cancer Trials Group, Ingenuity Labs, Queen’s Partnership & Innovation, Queen’s Cardiopulmonary Unit, Centre for Advanced Computing and Beaty Water Research Center are just some of the organizations that make up our world class medical and life sciences family.”

What’s next for Kingston?

“Building off the success of the federal government’s Health Innovation Kingston funding, we will continue to support SMEs in Kingston. Discussions have begun for additional wet lab space and I believe you will see the regenerative medicine and genomics scenes in Kingston continue to grow. The Faculty of Health Sciences Strategic Plan for Radical Collaboration and the Kingston Health Sciences Centre redevelopment will bring exciting new opportunities for partnerships with businesses in the life sciences.”