VICTORIA BC—April 1st, 2004 (Vancouver Island Technology Park)—Today, Genome British Columbia's University of Victoria Proteomics Centre and MDS Metro Laboratory Services celebrate the official opening of their new facilities at Vancouver Island Technology Park (VITP).

Both facilities are now in full operation, bringing 170 highly skilled technologists, scientists and researchers to 20,000 square feet of laboratory space at VITP.

Susan Brice, MLA Saanich South, will officiate at the opening, which will be attended by representatives from a number of life sciences companies.

“This is a wonderful example of what happens when academia, business and biotechnology come together,” said Brice. “This is good news for the community and shows how technology growth can support communities throughout the province.”

“As the minister responsible for the Vancouver Island Technology Park, I am pleased to see how the leading edge research and development companies at VITP are helping establish BC as Canada's leader in life sciences,” said Joyce Murray, minister responsible for BCBC.

In March 2003, MDS Metro, Genome BC and UVic signed a collaborative agreement to establish the Genome BC/UVic proteomics research facility at VITP and work together to develop and implement new analytical tools for more accurate medical diagnostics and treatments. MDS Metro also announced the relocation of its Victoria analytical facilities to VITP.

“This move and collaboration represents not only significant investment in BC's economy, but the creation of a nucleus for innovation and biotechnology excellence. Our move to VITP also reaffirms our commitment to Vancouver Island and this community,” said Bob Breen, president and COO of MDS Metro.

"This is an excellent and timely initiative for UVic. This collaboration with MDS builds on our strength and profile as a leader in proteomics research, allowing us to expand our capabilities, which will ultimately benefit BC and Canada,” said Dr. Martin Taylor, vice-president of research at the University of Victoria.

VITP provides the opportunity for complementary organizations in academia, business and biotechnology to work together to create world-class research that will contribute enormously to BC's economic development, said Dale Gann, VITP's business development and marketing manager. “Our mix of organizations and concentration of activity are attracting more medical and scientific professionals to BC.”

“The VITP model is a great example of how we can build an internationally competitive life sciences cluster in British Columbia,” said Dr. Alan Winter, president and CEO, Genome BC.