Life Sciences

Halifax’s life sciences sector is changing the world

Life sciences is thriving in Halifax largely due to the collaborative approach shared by innovative thinkers at research institutions—Dalhousie University, the Brain Repair Centre, the QEII Health Sciences Centre, The Life Sciences Research Institute, and BioNova, among others.

With access to some of the world’s best researchers, universities and government labs such as Dalhousie University and The Brain Repair Centre, Halifax continues to make significant investment in R&D specifically in the areas of neuroscience, marine biotech, biochemistry and biomedical engineering. This and our reputation for being exceptional hosts of major conferences makes Halifax an ideal location to bring a conference focused on life sciences.

Did You Know:

Dalhousie University, located in Halifax has four campuses throughout the Maritimes.  It's also one of the largest academic institutions in the region and a leader in the research, commercialization, and development of globally-recognized life sciences work?  With over $190 Million in research funding every year, here are some of the breakthroughs that have happened right here in Halifax.  Discover Halifax can work to connect you with Dalhousie University, or one of our other academic institutions to bring their expertise to your next event! 

  • Established the first Continuing Medical Education program in Canada, in the 1940s
  • Established Canada's first master's program in Medical Informatics
  • Dalhousie clinical faculty were involved in the world's first robotic brain telesurgery, which was performed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Saint John, New Brunswick
  • A breakthrough discovery by Dalhousie clinical researchers changed prevailing theory about the chronic rejection of heart transplants
  • World-renowned Medical Humanities Program, including music-in-medicine and artist-in-residence
  • Dalhousie Medical School researchers invented the first new class of antibiotics to come along in 30 years
  • Dalhousie ophthalmology researchers unlocked a 50-year mystery of how the retina senses motion
  • One of the most significant cancer research discoveries – the capability of reovirus to infect and kill cancer cells – was made by Dalhousie researchers
  • The First-Ever Ultrasound Machine Lending Library for Medical Students in Canada Opened at Dalhousie

In Halifax, breakthroughs are happening almost daily.  Research highlights from local Halifax Universities can be found here

Medical technology

Our research centres and private companies are making waves in diagnostic imaging, non-imaging diagnostics, therapeutic medical devices, assistive devices, pacemakers, artificial heart valves, hip implants, synthetic skin, medical laboratory diagnostic instruments, cholesterol level test kits, and more.

Learn more about Medical Technology

Digital health

In Halifax, we’re spearheading global advances in Telemedicine and Telehealth, mHealth (mobile health), big data, wearables and implantables, healthIT, and other applications.

Learn more about Digital Health

Pharmaceuticals and vaccines

Rapid antigen test for COVID-19, pharmaceuticals to treat antibiotic resistant microorganisms, a new class of cancer immunotherapies, and immuno-oncology efforts that are addressing some of the most devastating diseases in today’s medical landscape.

Learn more about Pharma & Vaccines


With four clusters of ground-breaking research activity in neurology, a rich academic and health sciences culture, and over 200 clinical trials underway, Halifax is a focal point for new discoveries and advancements in neurology. Researchers are improving lives for people with brain injury, Alzheimer’s, migraines, and other brain illnesses.

Learn more about Neurology


Halifax researchers are at the forefront of technologies aimed at predicting, treating, and minimizing the occurrences of cancer in the population. Our innovation in software, radiotherapy, immunotherapies, and education are contributing to the global fight against this chronic disease. 

Learn more about Oncology

Natural health products

The development of vitamins and minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic medicines, traditional medicines, probiotics, and products like amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Learn more about Natural Health Products


Biofuel produced from marine algae, agricultural growth enhancers from seaweed, cellulose-based biochemicals from wood waste, pharmaceutical ingredients isolated from lobster processing waste, and other innovations.

Learn more about BioProducts

Watch & Learn More

Sit back and listen to the Discover Halifax Podcast and watch a sector overview video: