For years now, Alberta has been talking about a more diversified economy. With the province struggling to make ends meet because of lower oil prices, the general feeling is that we have not really diversified at all. However most Albertans would be surprised at some of the sectors that are making a significant contribution to keep the economic engine ticking along. One sector is agriculture and the other is biotechnology – and they are closely related.
The province’s biotech industry generated about $1.2 billion in revenue last year and nearly 4,600 people were directly employed in the sector according to a BioAlberta survey. One of the factors cited as contributing to the growth of the biotech industry is the ability to take advantage of the research done at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions.
Ellen Goddard suggests that resulting bioeconomy in Alberta is a standout in the Canadian context and when it comes to ag biotech we stand even taller. She is a Professor in Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. She talked with Freelance Broadcaster Don Hill in the latest Genome Alberta podcast.