Leading in Health & Life Sciences

Halifax is home to more than 100 companies across a range of industries, from medical devices to digital health to bioproducts.

Why Halifax?

Halifax is a regional health and life sciences centre for excellence with major research centres, leading hospitals and health science centres. The capital of Nova Scotia hosts a vibrant post-secondary sector that supports R&D and commercialization, and thriving industry.

Competitive Advantages

Lower Cost

Halifax has the third lowest costs for operating a life sciences research centre out of the 50 largest cities in Canada and the USA (fDi Benchmark)

Key strengths

in medical technology, digital health, pharmaceuticals and vaccines, natural health products, and bioproducts.


in areas of neurology, multi-organ transplants, cardiology research, and cancer research.


featuring partnerships with numerous multinational biotechnology giants including Pfizer, Merck Canada Ltd, Abbott Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson & Johnson.

Health & Life Science Research Institutions

The Brain Repair Centre

Is a multidisciplinary collaboration linking world-class researchers and physicians specializing in ground-breaking brain repair treatments and technologies. They range from surgeons who replace tissue in the human brain to recover lost capability to scientists in the fields of imaging, stem cell neurobiology, pharmacology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, neurology, and cognitive neuroscience. The Brain Repair Centre is internationally known for its successful treatment of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

The Bedford Institute of Oceanography (BIO)

Is home to 600 scientists, engineers, technicians and natural resource managers and support staff from the federal departments of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment and Climate Change, Natural Resources, and National Defence. Oceanography is a multidisciplinary research field, involving geological, physical, chemical, and biological research disciplines.

The IWK Health Centre

Provides quality care to women, children, youth, and families in Atlantic Canada and beyond. It provides primary, secondary, and tertiary care services, is engaged in leading-edge research into disorders and diseases affecting children, women, and youth, and works to promote healthy lifestyles for families. It is a teaching institution affiliated with Dalhousie University and serves as a primary clinical resource for pediatric and obstetric teaching of a broad range of health professions.

BIOmedical Translational Imaging Centre (BIOTIC)

Is a multi-site imaging centre. Its multidisciplinary and cross-functional teams provide expertise in imaging research and development and collaborate on commercial development projects with industry partners, as well as research and development projects. Its advanced pre-clinical and clinical imaging equipment are housed in three labs with 12,000 square feet of lab space within two health centres.

The QEII Health Sciences Centre

Is the largest adult academic health sciences centre in Atlantic Canada. In any given year, nearly 300 NSHA researchers are engaged in more than 1200 research projects across Nova Scotia. Its expertise is recognized across the region for specialized medical services.

The Life Sciences Research Institute

Is an integrated facility where scientists, students, and entrepreneurs work together to improve the quality of health of Atlantic Canadians and beyond. The facility hosts Innovacorp, BioNova, the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine, the Brain Repair Centre, and over 100 researchers.

The National Research Council (NRC)

Has facilities in Halifax and Ketch Harbour with over 120 scientists, technicians, and support staff doing R&D in marine biosciences, biotechnology, and non-invasive technology in biodiagnostics.


Whether starting, relocating or expanding a business, you will benefit from a number of incentives at both the federal and provincial level to help you invest in Halifax. We’ll gladly assist you in identifying the ones that best suit your needs.

Healthcare Venture Fund

Administered by the Business Development Canada (BDC), this fund invests in innovative companies that improve healthcare productivity. Investments are in the areas of prevention, diagnosis, personalized treatment, and disease management. The fund enters early in the life cycle of companies and supports them through to successful commercialization.

Genome Atlantic

Through research competitions, Genome Canada provides up to 50% of project funding. Genome Atlantic has enabled nearly $100 million in research across Canada since its inception in 2000.

Notable Companies

  • ABK Biomedical

    A medical device company dedicated to the research, development and commercialization of innovative embolic therapies. ABK Biomedical recently raised a Series B round equal to C$40 million - the largest venture capital round ever in Atlantic Canada.

  • BlueLight Analytics

    Founded out of Dalhousie University in 2009, BlueLight Analytics aims to build technologies that improve light curing outcomes globally and promote value-based care in dentistry. Today, BlueLight Analytics use data to make dental practices run as efficiently as possible.
  • Appili Therapeutics

    Matches novel drug development programs with clearly defined patient needs in infectious disease. Appili has built a pipeline of assets designed to address a broad range of significant unmet medical needs to address some of the most urgent threats to global public health.
  • Immunovaccine

    A clinical-stage immuno-oncology company that wants to transform the way we engage human immunity to address some of the most complex, devastating diseases in today’s medical landscape.

Reach out to us

Nancy Phillips

Vice President, Investment & International Partnerships


Connect with our team.

Considering Halifax as your next business location? Please tell us more about your expansion plans.

Thank you for reaching out to the Halifax Partnership, Halifax's economic development organization.

We will review your email and get back to you as soon as possible.

- Nancy Phillips



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