Industry Program


Kazim AghaRidout & Maybee LLP

Symposia and Organizers: 

The four symposia below will take place on Wednesday, June 5, 2019.


Contract Research Organizations: Canadian Pharma Rebooted

Deborah Nicoll-GriffithEndoParagon Inc. and President, Canadian Society for Chemistry

This symposium will feature chemistry and biochemistry leaders from several Canadian Contract Research Organizations (CROs) which deliver services across the pharma R&D continuum.  They will speak to the CRO model of operations and career opportunities for chemists in the CRO industry.  From 2007 to 2010, a huge reduction in pharmaceutical R&D spending occurred in Canada due to the closure of numerous Canadian R&D centers owned by multi-national pharmaceutical companies.1 Many Canadian chemists took the initiative to found contract research laboratories which support pharmaceutical R&D from discovery through preclinical and clinical testing.  In a recent study initiated by BioQuébec,2 CROs which provide services for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries were identified as a major socio-economic engine.  In Québec, for example, some 71 CROs were identified with total revenues of greater than $550 million; encompassing more than 4300 employees with total annual salaries of $224 million.  Across Canada, as of 2016, some 325 CROs existed with the majority in British Columbia (40), Alberta (32), Ontario (153) and Québec (71).3

IMAP Global Pharma & Biotech M&A Report 2014.
Les Organisations de recherché contractuelle au Québec: Un moteur socio-économique fort pour le Québec.  2016.
Contract Research Map,  en ligne 1e mars 2016 et Etude de caractérisation KPMG: Caractérisation des ORC du Québec.  Janvier 2016.

Invited Speakers:
Sabitha AnchooriSV ChemBioTech
Francis BeaulieuOmegaChem
René CoulombeIniXium
Marie Di MasoCOREALIS Pharma Inc.
Boris GorinEurofins Alphora Research Inc.
Anahita KeyhaniAltasciences
Lisa Studnicki HuntGL Chemtec International Ltd.


Chemistry for Sustainability: Sustainability in the Canadian Chemistry Industry

Ian Jobe, Executive Director, Chemical Institute of Canada

Sustainability encompasses much more than responsible environmental practices, green chemistry and engineering, and green house gas reduction. Sustainability is a about addressing global challenges including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and economic growth encompasses cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, innovation and infrastructure, education, good health and welling as well as occupational health and safety, and process safety.

In this session, we will learn from industry leaders

  • what sustainability means to their organizations and to them personally
  • how sustainability drives their company, the chemistry industry in Canada and globally
  • how sustainability is integral in doing the business of chemistry today

Join us to learn how Canadian chemistry industry is making a difference for society to make life healthier, easier and safer.

Students, academia, government scientific professionals, university and government administrators will learn and development knowledge around what a career in industry encompasses. Learn about sustainability in the Chemistry Industry in Canada and expand your network of connections.

We have three sessions planned around different themes:

People, Planet and Profit - Prosperity with Social Responsibility
Ian Jobe, Executive Director, Chemical Institute of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Zhongxin Zhou, Executive Director and Sr Director of Process Development and Manufacturing, Gilead Sciences Alberta, Edmonton, AB
Fred Godbille, Leader, R&D, DuPont Canada, Kingston, ON
Brenna Brown, Laboratory Manager, Brenntag, Calgary, AB
Luc Robitaille, VP Responsible Care, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Tim Clark, Technology Leader, GreenCentre Canada, Kingston, ON

Sustainability - Acting Locally Impacting Globally
(panel moderated by Caroline Piché, Association for the Development and Innovation of Chemistry in Quebec (ADICQ))
Vincent Brown, Senior Technical Advisor, Magnus, Boucherville, QC
Nicholas Laroche, Process Optimization, Nemaska Lithium, Shawinigan, QC
Alexandre Romanens, Sani-Marc, Victoriaville, QC

Sustainability from Discovery to Scale-Up towards Commercialization
(panel moderated by Tim Clark, GreenCentre Canada and Adrien Côté, Velocity))
Jayme Stabler, graduate student, Trent University, Peterborough, ON
Zouina Karkar, postdoc, CNETE Inc., Montreal, QC
Boyd Davis, Principal, Kingston Process Metallurgy, Kingston, ON
Andrew White, CEO (and co-founder), CHAR Technologies, Toronto, ON
Nathan Hordy, VP Operations (and co-founder), Anomera Inc., Montreal, QC / Mississauga, ON


Research --> Startup: What is That?

Adrien CôtéVelocity

Are you a researcher that believes the application of your work? Do you want to actually solve the grand challenges facing the world that inspired your thesis? You know careers in the sciences are not what they used to be and are up for a different career path? Capitalistic? Want to take your research to market, but not sure what the road from research to startup looks like? Curious where and how you build a science-based company? Want to know what it is like to work for a startup? Wonder what people who think this way are like? Then…

...the “Research --> Startup: What is That?” session is for you! We are going to do things differently and look to skip the PowerPoint and have founders of early stage chemistry-based companies share their journey and experiences. We’re going to really get into it and talk about all the tricky bits: financing, IP, hiring, and stress and the exciting bits: realizing personal missions, harvesting opportunities, and creating change through commercialization. We will also hear from those that help founders of science startups become successful and understand their observations of what works and what does not.

Inspiration and demystification are the goals of this session. You should come.

We are planning three panels on the following topics:

Panel 1: The founder journey
Ryan MarchewkaHalion Displays
Serxho SelmaniCarbon NanoPure
Cristina MottilloACSYNAM, Inc

Panel 2: What works and what doesn’t and who can help
Matt HeuftXerox Research Centre of Canada
Caroline PichéAssociation for the Development and Innovation of Chemistry in Quebec
Jacques SimoneauUnivalor
Jim SkinnerFedDev Ontario, Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Panel 3: Town hall: Questions answered by those who are in the trenches


Cannabis in Canada: A Promising Industry for Chemical Professionals

Kyle BonifaceZenabis Global Inc.

Canada’s 95-year prohibition on cannabis is over! In October 2018, Canada transitioned from a state of cannabis prohibition to cannabis regulation. Canadians are now able to purchase, possess, and use cannabis medically and recreationally. Increased global cannabis consumption and domestic cannabis production poses new challenges and opportunities for Canadian chemical professionals in the cannabis industry.

This symposium will feature talks from chemical professionals and industry experts, who have leadership roles within the cannabis industry. They will speak to their roles within the Licensed Producer model of operations, career opportunities for chemical professionals in the cannabis industry, and opportunities for academic and industry collaborations.

All are welcome to attend, join us to learn more.

Invited Speakers and Panelists:
Jonathan PageAurora Cannabis Inc.
Peter SampsonScientus Pharma
Brigitte Simons
Ryan LeeChemovar Health Inc.
Sherry BoodramCannDelta Inc.
Judy BoothUBC Michael Smith Labs
Lucas McCannCannDelta Inc.
Fahim NaeemBioVectra Inc.
Natasha RyzZenabis Global Inc.
Joshua EadesTilray Inc.