Mayor Fred Haynes meets with several members of the Vancouver Island Life Sciences group. Haynes hopes to ensure innovation in science continues in the district and beyond. (Photo courtesy of Fred Haynes)

Vancouver Island Life Sciences innovators discuss the latest with Saanich mayor

Sciences networking group resumes in-person meetings

  • Sep. 4, 2021 12:00 a.m.

More than 50 companies and entities in Greater Victoria and Vancouver Island are actively working on life science innovation.

Scientist members of the not-for-profit group Vancouver Island Life Sciences gathered at the University of Victoria on Aug. 31 for their first in-person meeting since the pandemic began. The group has met monthly since 2016 to discuss a variety of topics.

Co-founder Samuel Mercer said the group is an inclusive community whose members include people from the biotech and biopharma, diagnostics, analytics and healthcare industries, as well as from universities, accelerators, non-profits and other interested parties.

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“We wanted to have a large definition of what life science is – and we wanted anyone who’s interested in life sciences to be able to join us,” he said.

In prior years the group’s meetings were held at Mayor Fred Haynes’ lake property. One of the exciting things about living on the south Island is the high level of science and related entrepreneurship seen in the community, Haynes said.

“I believe working together we can make this region a leading and innovative manufacturing area for medical device technologies, bringing together technologies,” he said.

Mercer said the group hosts a rich variety and growing number of life science companies, providers and researchers at every stage of development. “The membership requires an interest in and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship and innovation in life sciences, and is open to all.”

For more information about Vancouver Island Life Sciences, visit

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