Ontario Construction News staff writer
Seneca College’s new $9.4-million life sciences lab is under construction.
When complete, the Seneca Centre for Innovation in Life Sciences (SCILS) will enable industry-partnered, applied research in life sciences diagnostics and novel cosmetics formulations overseen by the School of Biological Sciences & Applied Chemistry – home to Canada’s first graduate certificate program in cosmetic science.
Located at the Seneca@York Campus, the 279 sq. m centre will feature a bio-safety lab and a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certifiable clean room. It will support product development, enhancement and validation, while providing industry partners access to talent and expertise from students and faculty.
“Seneca is grateful to the federal and provincial governments and our industry partners for helping to make SCILS a reality for our students, faculty and regional innovation ecosystem,” said Seneca president David Agnew. “The much-needed applied research conducted at the centre will help small- and medium-sized Canadian companies enhance, refine and test life sciences diagnostics technologies, and develop safe, marketable cosmetics products.”
Construction was funded with $2 million from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, $1 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and College Industry Innovation Fund and $1 million from the Ontario Research Fund. The remaining $5.4 million was donated by industry research partners and institutional investments.
SCILS will help address the severe labour shortages being reported in bioscience companies, among many others.
As part of this strategy, and to introduce the SCILS, Seneca and the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization are hosting an insight session on the state of talent development within the Ontario life science manufacturing sector. The event takes place Nov. 24 at Seneca Downtown.
“The Ontario government is proud to support the construction of a research lab at the Seneca Centre for Innovation in Life Sciences, helping advance ‘Ontario made’ research and innovation at our colleges,” said Jill Dunlop, Ontario minister of colleges and universities. “This investment will provide postsecondary students with more experiential learning opportunities so they can graduate with the skills, expertise and credentials that meet the demands of the job market.”