More fund­ing for bio­science com­pany

Sek­isui Di­ag­nos­tics to re­ceive $600,000 from prov­ince to ex­pand its fa­cil­ity

Journal Pioneer - - NEWS - BY STU NEATBY

An in­ter­na­tional bio­science com­pany lo­cated in P.E.I. is re­ceiv­ing $600,000 from the prov­ince to help cre­ate more biotech jobs in P.E.I. P.E.I. Pre­mier Wade MacLauch­lan an­nounced on Fri­day that Sek­isui Di­ag­nos­tics, which is based in Ja­pan, will see an in­vest­ment of $400,000 for an ex­pan­sion of its plant in the West Roy­alty Busi­ness Park. This in­vest­ment will be re­cov­ered through the prov­ince’s lease agree­ment with the com­pany, as the prop­erty is owned by the gov­ern­ment. In ad­di­tion, the prov­ince will con­trib­ute $200,000 in non-re­payable fund­ing for the com­pany’s new op­er­a­tions. At a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony on Fri­day, P.E.I. Pre­mier Wade MacLauch­lan said the prov­ince had also pro­vided $3.5 million last year for the com­pany’s ex­pan­sion of its fa­cil­ity. These funds will also be re­cov­ered through re­payable fi­nanc­ing. “What that does is cre­ate a plat­form where this team can con­tinue to do ex­cel­lent work, to be part of com­pet­i­tive prod­ucts in­ter­na­tion­ally and to be part of the suc­cess and growth of the bio­science sec­tor here in our prov­ince,” MacLauch­lan said. The cer­e­mony was at­tended by Ja­pan’s Am­bas­sador to Canada, Kim­i­hiro Ishikane. In re­marks be­fore a gath­er­ing of Sek­isui staff, Ishikane praised the role of lo­cal gov­ern­ment and post-sec­ondary in­sti­tu­tions in the suc­cess of Sek­isui Di­ag­nos­tics. The com­pany’s lo­cal work­force has grown 76 per cent since 2011. “I have to say that the com­pany’s growth here would not have been pos­si­ble with­out its close part­ner­ship with the lo­cal com­mu­nity and P.E.I. gov­ern­ment,” Ishikane said. Ishikane pointed to UPEI’s bio­science, ocean sci­ence and en­vi­ron­men­tal sci­ence pro­grams as fac­tors that have drawn com­pa­nies like Sek­isui Di­ag­nos­tics to the Is­land. “They are ac­tu­ally fos­ter­ing or ed­u­cat­ing or bring­ing up the young­sters who have suf­fi­cient knowl­edge, which can serve as an in­tel­lec­tual in­fra­struc­ture for Ja­panese com­pa­nies,” Ishikane said. “So, I think there is much po­ten­tial here.”

STU NEATBY/THE GUARDIAN

Ja­panese Am­bas­sador Kim­i­hiro Ishikane speaks at a me­dia event an­nounc­ing the ex­pan­sion of the op­er­a­tions of Sek­isui Di­ag­nos­tics in Char­lot­te­town on Fri­day.

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