About Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub

Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub brings together a multi-disciplinary, multisectoral coalition of more than 50 partner institutions (9 academic, 15 private, 6 public, 4 other research organizations, 16 not-for-profit) from across B.C., Canada and globally.

The hub’s activities are focused on three key areas:

  • Increasing specialized infrastructure for applied biomedical research, including wet lab space, core technology platforms, early-stage biomanufacturing infrastructure, and clinical trials infrastructure;
  • Supporting training and development of skilled talent for the biomanufacturing and life sciences ecosystem; and
  • Accelerating translation of promising research into commercially viable products and processes.

The B.C.-based hub is one of five from across Canada selected through Stage 1 of the integrated Canada Biomedical Research Fund and Biosciences Research Infrastructure Fund competitive process. The federal government is providing UBC with $2 million over the next four years to support CIEBH operations and project development. In the second stage, launching this spring, the five hubs will coordinate research and infrastructure project submissions towards a share of $570 million in federal funding.

CIEBH has also received funding commitments from Genome BC and Michael Smith Health Research BC to support operational efforts.

What partners are saying about CIEBH:

Academic & research organization partners

Paul McCullough, interim president, British Columbia Institute of Technology –

“The British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) is a proud partner and advocate of Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub. This announcement is an exciting complement to the recently announced National Biomanufacturing Training Centre at BCIT and recognizes the Institute’s leadership in developing our province’s healthcare workforce, securing a new realm of support for BC’s growing biosciences sector.”

Suzanne Gill, president and CEO, Genome British Columbia –

“We are delighted that UBC has been chosen to lead Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub. This world-class research facility will build on the strength of BC’s life sciences innovation ecosystem, enhance Canada’s readiness for the next public health concern, and contribute to the development of future game-changing discoveries for the benefit of Canadians.”

Dr. Bev Holmes, president and CEO, Michael Smith Health Research BC –

“As BC’s health research agency, we are well-positioned to provide support to the hub; and are confident that this partnership with UBC will advance the health research and health care systems not only within BC but also across Canada. Our support to UBC also contributes to our work to grow BC’s health research talent across the province, strengthen regional research capacity and support evidence-informed decision making.”

Dr. Joy Johnson, president and vice-chancellor, Simon Fraser University –

“Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub will advance critical research that prepares our province, our country and our world for future pandemics, and I’m so proud that SFU is a key partner. We bring a lot to the table as an institution with a proven track record in life sciences innovation, and I look forward to developing solutions in collaboration with UBC and the Hub’s academic, industry and government partners.”

Dr. Nigel Smith, director, TRIUMF –

“The establishment of the Immuno-Engineering & Biomanufacturing Hub represents an important step forward for Canadian life sciences research. This commitment will ensure that Canada can build the necessary infrastructure, train and retain the next generation of life sciences leaders, and better apply our world-leading major research resources to keep Canadians safe and healthy. We look forward to leveraging TRIUMF’s unique research capabilities alongside the University of British Columbia and this strong network of partners.”

Dr. Lisa Kalynchuk, vice-president, research and innovation, University of Victoria –

“Partnering to develop a national hub for immune-based therapeutics and technologies will help transform Canada’s ability to respond to future health crises. UVic researchers bring expertise in cell programming and manipulation, emerging pathogens and antimicrobial resistance, and the use of nanotechnology for early disease diagnosis and drug development. We’re excited to be working with our partners at UBC and across Canada to increase pandemic readiness and address emerging global health challenges.”

Dr. Volker Gerdts, director and CEO, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) –

“VIDO is proud to be a partner in Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub—providing our expertise and specialized biomanufacturing and containment capacity to help accelerate the development of next generation immune-based therapies.”

Industry partners

Dr. Ying Tam, chief scientific officer, Acuitas Therapeutics –

“We are thrilled to be a partner for Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub, led by UBC. As the global leader in the development of lipid nanoparticles, our commitment to innovation and real-world biomanufacturing expertise is an exceptional fit as the Hub looks to create the next generation of immune-based, made-in-Canada therapeutics.” He added: “Our team is excited to be a part of this initiative.” 

Dr. Chadwick King, executive director research, Amgen British Columbia –

“Amgen congratulates the University of British Columbia for leading the effort to establish a new research hub focussed on Biomanufacturing and Immuno-engineering and we are delighted to be part of this ecosystem of discovery research that fosters meaningful cross-functional engagement between industry and academia. This funding reflects an important commitment from the government of Canada to invest in the long-term development of a robust Life Sciences sector and scientific research in Canada. We encourage government to ensure that an effective policy environment is established to facilitate access to, and adoption of, innovations—an environment based on comprehensive collaboration with all stakeholders.”

David Main, president and CEO, Notch Therapeutics –

“Notch is proud to support UBC on Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub, which will build on the strengths of B.C.’s emerging biotechnology ecosystem to ensure the entire drug development pipeline can happen right here in Canada. Together, we’re poised to grow our biotech industry to enhance the protection of health for Canadians and people worldwide.”

Fabien Marino, head of manufacturing and supply, Canada and site head, vaccines, Sanofi –

“As a member of Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub, I couldn’t be more   excited about the success of Stage 1 application of the University of British Columbia. At Sanofi             Canada, we believe that investing in research and development is crucial to advancing the field of biotechnology and improving patient outcomes. It’s an honor to be part of this collaborative effort alongside such dedicated and innovative researchers.”

Dr. Allen Eaves, president and CEO, STEMCELL Technologies –

“The advancement of BC’s biotechnology and biomanufacturing ecosystem relies heavily on investments being made now in university-led research initiatives that not only foster talent locally, but often serve as launching pads of new technologies and companies in the life sciences sector. STEMCELL Technologies congratulates UBC on establishing this new research Hub and looks forward to working together to strengthen biotech in BC.”

Non-profit partners

Gordon McCauley, president and CEO, adMare BioInnovations –

“adMare is proud to be part of Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub bringing together academic and industry partners to fight future pandemics, health issues, and build a strong life sciences ecosystem. adMare will contribute to the hub through our unique talent development programs, and expertise to advance the investment readiness of new technologies that emerge.”

Dr. Stéphanie Michaud, president and CEO, BioCanRx –

“We are excited to partner with UBC on this new hub, which seeks to design a range of innovative interventions for re-programming the human immune system in response to health threats, as the technologies developed by your pandemic response could invariably be used to       advance our immune-oncology translational research program.”

Penny Walsh-McGuire, executive director, CASTL

“CASTL is thrilled to be a partner in Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub, led by the University of British Columbia and we congratulate our partners on this success. Through CASTL’s world-class training solutions, we look forward to developing the talent needed to support a resilient biomanufacturing ecosystem from coast to coast.”

Wendy Hurlburt, president and CEO, Life Sciences BC –

“The establishment of Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub, led by UBC, demonstrates BC’s leadership in advancing patient health through world-class science. By leveraging our strengths in research & academia, industry and the public sector, this initiative will accelerate the development of next-generation immune-based therapeutics using cutting-edge biomanufacturing innovations to address pandemic response. We are excited to actively support and collaborate with the hub and we celebrate its important role in advancing Canada’s leadership in immuno-engineering and the life sciences sector.”

Dr. John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs –

“As a longstanding partner of the University of British Columbia, Mitacs is thrilled by the announcement that the institution will lead the recently announced Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Research Hub. We look forward to working with the new hub to help build up a robust talent pipeline that will support the federal government’s efforts to rebuild a strong and competitive biomanufacturing and life sciences sector in Canada.”

Dr. Gilbert Walker, NMIN scientific director and CEO –

“The NanoMedicines Innovation Network (NMIN) applauds the government’s support for the B.C.-based Canada’s Immuno-Engineering and Biomanufacturing Hub. This hub will build upon and leverage NMIN’s investments in nanomedicine-related R&D, including NMIN’s three research and innovation acceleration platforms, to galvanize Canada’s global leadership in mRNA and lipid nanoparticle gene therapy and drug delivery. NMIN is proud to contribute to this initiative, which will help drive the development of life sciences technology with potential global impact.”