Unleashing the potential of clinical trials: A vision takes shape

A bold, aspirational, and achievable vision 

For the first time, BC has a shared vision for clinical trials – that reflects a future in which clinical trials investments are maximized for the benefit of all British Columbians. Health Research BC created the vision based on feedback and insights from over 170 stakeholders across the province, and it is endorsed by the BC Ministry of Health. 


BC is well positioned to expand on its clinical trial success, with: 

  • Expert clinical trial investigators and certified coordinators who conduct over 1,300 trials yearly 
  • Multiple research-focused post-secondary institutions  
  • An extensive network of clinical research hubs with over 100 sites across the province 
  • A highly diverse population of ~5.3 million people 
  • The fastest growing life sciences sector in Canada, with over 2,000 life sciences companies

Why now?

Currently, supporting infrastructure for clinical trials varies across BC’s research sites, institutes, and health authorities. As BC’s health research agency, Health Research BC is strengthening the clinical trials ecosystem. Focusing on capacity building, developing talent, improving infrastructure, and highlighting BC’s excellence in clinical trials, our efforts are aligned with BC’s Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy. Together with various partners, we can address pivotal priorities and ensure that BC remains at the cutting edge of clinical trials trends, provincially and globally. 


How will it impact BC?

The unique and highly successful clinical trials ecosystem will: 

  • Build greater connections between research and care. 
  • Increase early adoption of new and promising innovations to further improve health outcomes for BC patients.  
  • Increase capacity for clinical trials to attract more trials to the province. 
  • Create more high-skilled jobs in the conduct and delivery of clinical trials. 
  • Attract more economic investment that support growth and development of the provincial life sciences sector.  
  • Enhance BC’s research profile on the international stage. 


What can I do?

The clinical trials community in BC is coming together to amplify our strengths, tackle challenges, and drive transformational changes. We need a collaborative and multi-partner approach with engagement across BC’s entire life sciences sector to realize this shared provincial vision.


Engage with us!
We’re seeking your input. To discuss how we might work together to advance the vision or let us know what you are doing to advance clinical trials capacity, please contact Alison Orth, director, Clinical Trials BC at aorth@healthresearchbc.ca.

Updates and events

BC is investing in a new clinical trials unit which will allow biotech companies to conduct Phase 1 clinical trials in the province. Health Research BC is working with partners to support initiatives that increase research talent and expand clinical trial capacity to improve the health of British Columbians.

Health Research BC has contracted an economic analysis of clinical trials in BC. We aim to help inform next steps for expanding clinical trials capacity by capturing the direct impact of clinical research activities, the broader impact on BC’s economy, and compare the analysis to the findings from 10 years ago.

As part of the first step towards shaping a long-term clinical trials strategy for Canada, The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is proposing elements that will comprise their clinical trials strategy. If you would like to share your thoughts and suggestions, send your feedback to clinicaltrials-essaiscliniques@cihr-irsc.gc.ca.

CIHR released their report based on consultations with partners and members of the clinical trials community across Canada that took place in Fall 2022. Clinical Trials BC participated in the consultation and the shared vision of clinical trials in BC helped inform our response.

The Government of BC released the new Life Science and Biomanufacturing Strategy to position British Columbia as a global hub for life sciences and biomanufacturing, and as a leading centre for commercial scale biopharmaceutical and medical manufacturing. The shared vision strongly aligns with the strategy’s pillar of expanding clinical trials capacity in the province.