Life Sciences in Halifax

Globally Recognized Expertise and Innovation

With world-renowned research institutions, a growing startup community, and established leadership in life sciences, Halifax’s diversified neurology, diagnostics and biotechnology sectors help attract a host of health-related business events and talent to the region.

Did you know?

  • 22,000+ are employed in the life sciences sector in Halifax
  • 1,500+ businesses are directly linked to life sciences in Halifax
  • $300+ million in revenue is generated annually from life sciences in Halifax

Noteworthy Innovations from Halifax:

  • The Canadian Centre for Vaccinology (CCfV) at Dalhousie University developed Canada's first COVID-19 vaccine approved for trial.
  • BlueLight Analytics, founded out of Dalhousie University in 2009, uses data to make dental practices run as efficiently as possible. 
  • Appili Therapeutics matches novel drug development programs with clearly defined patient needs in infectious diseases.
  • Immunovaccine, a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company, is working to transform the way we engage human immunity to address some of the most complex and devastating diseases in today’s medical landscape, including COVID-19.
  • Sona Nanotech, a nanotechnology life sciences firm, is developing a rapid, point-of-care COVID-19 antigen test.
  • Halifax is home to ABK Biomedical, a medical device company dedicated to improving treatment options for patients with hypervascular tumors.

Accelerating Innovation

BioNova, the industry association for life sciences companies in Nova Scotia, leads, accelerates, and advocates for the province’s growing health and life sciences sector.

Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic, a seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based companies, leverages Dalhousie University’s world-class research expertise in bioproducts and other technologies.

Innovacorp is Nova Scotia’s early-stage venture capital organization that helps startups start and scale, with a focus on tech, life sciences, cleantech, and ocean tech.

The Brain Repair Centre researchers are shedding light on the mysteries of the brain and nervous system:

  • Discovering how our nervous system develops, wires itself, and functions to enable us to learn, remember, see, grasp objects with the right amount of force and move in coordinated ways
  • Learning how the brain and nervous system react to such stressors as lack of sleep, chemical insults, strokes, and traumatic injuries — and finding ways to protect against and recover from disruption and damage
  • Uncovering how genetics, environmental influences, and other factors contribute to neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric disorders, and devising means of early detection, diagnosis, and treatment to minimize the impact on people’s lives
  • Pioneering new technologies and approaches in terms of diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, medical treatments, disease-management protocols, rehabilitation programs, and other therapeutic interventions


Life sciences conference organizers will find Halifax home to a major medical complex, university research facilities, a broad talent pool, incubators and established companies that combine into a unique ecosystem. Expertise in areas such as cancer care, medical technologies, natural health products, bioproducts, pharmaceuticals, vaccines and brain repair make Halifax Canada's East Coast life sciences hub

- Jeff Nearing, VP Sales, Discover Halifax

Notable Research Institutions

  • BIOTIC (BIOmedical Translational Imaging Centre)
  • Brain Repair Centre
  • Canadian Center for Vaccinology
  • Dalhousie University
  • IWK Health Centre
  • QEII Health Sciences Centre

Local, in-Halifax Post Secondary Education devoted to Life Sciences

  • Dalhousie University
  • Mount Saint Vincent University
  • Nova Scotia Community College
  • Saint Mary’s University