Life Sciences

Where innovative technology meets life changing research

Ottawa’s world-class academic research, renowned patient-centred hospitals and access to innovative government labs attract life sciences leaders from around the globe.

Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, provides companies of every size a strong base for research and development (R&D). The Ottawa Hospital is one of our country’s largest research and learning hospitals, and the Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada’s largest cardiovascular research centre. Ottawa is also home to The Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), having an international reputation for children's care and orphan diseases research.

Our city’s diverse and experienced tech community is contributing to leading-edge work in mobile health, viral vectors/oncolytic viruses' development, medical isotopes, and point-of-care (POC) blood tests devices. These technologies and innovations are changing lives for patients worldwide and are evidence of the ingenuity, skill, and passion you will find throughout Ottawa’s life sciences community.

Why Ottawa is an ideal location for life sciences leaders:

    • Headquarters to Canada’s federal government, including departments directly responsible for health regulation, protection, promotion and research funding.
    • University of Ottawa Heart Institute ranks in the top 3% of worldwide research institutions based on the quality and impact of their scientific publications.
    • $380 million provided in funding each year by universities affiliated research institutions.
    • The Ottawa Hospital’s new Civic Campus will build the hospital of the future — right here in Ottawa — and will be home to the most advanced trauma centre, most progressive digital technology, and one of the strongest neuroscience research programs in the world.
    • Ottawa is a strategic location for both Abbott Point of Care and Siemens Healthineers. Combined they account for the majority of POC clinical blood diagnostic systems globally.

Life Science Companies in Ottawa

Examples of Ottawa's Life Science Brilliance

These companies are taking advantage of Ottawa's world-class environment for leading-edge products, technologies and innovations.


Based on research led by Dr. John Bell (from The Ottawa Hospital and uOttawa), Dr. Brian Lichty (from McMaster University) and Dr. David Stojdl (formerly from CHEO and uOttawa), Turnstone Biologics was founded to advance the development of viral immunotherapies and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes therapies for treating cancers. A testament to research led innovation, the company’s commercialization outcomes have garnered significant financial support from the investor community. In 2016, Turnstone secured the largest venture capital (VC) deal in Ottawa since 2013 and the second largest biotech VC deal in Canada for 2016.


In 2005, a CHEO surgeon, a university professor, three research scientists, and one software developer founded SHOEBOX (formerly known as Clearwater Clinical) in Ottawa. Since that time, SHOEBOX is leading the evolution of hearing testing solutions for the occupational hearing conservation market. The company has developed the first automated-hearing test on an iPad that is optimized for testing outside a sound booth. More than 1,000 customers are using SHOEBOX’s solutions.

Abbott Point of Care

In Ottawa, Abbott Point of Care develops and manufactures the I-STAT System for performing rapid blood analysis at the patient’s bedside. This handheld technology can deliver lab quality results within minutes, which means that blood samples will not have to be sent off to the lab for testing. The device has been deployed in emergency departments, intensive care units, operating rooms, outpatient clinics, and physician offices.

Boston Scientific

The company develops and manufactures TheraSphere™ Y-90 Glass Microspheres in Ottawa, which are the most efficient and powerful hepatocellular carcinoma therapy that safely delivers high dose radiation with optimal patient outcomes. TheraSphere’s unique ability to deliver high dose radiation with fewer spheres allows for maximum absorbed dose, and increased tumor response while preserving healthy tissue.

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