Health & Life Sciences

Edmonton region has a strong and consistently growing base in Health and Life Sciences, with approximately 60% of all Albertan life science companies located here.

Cluster for Health Science

Edmonton region has a strong base of activity in health science and life science. Approximately, 60% of all Alberta life science companies are located in Edmonton.

The health biotechnology and pharmaceuticals subsector as well as medical technology and devices subsector are Edmonton’s major strengths, which, together, account for 69% of the overall life science industry in Alberta.

Specialties in Cardiology, Oncology, Transplantation, and Virology

The University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry is world-renowned, with 19 different departments offering degrees at the master’s and PHD level. The University of Alberta’s research specialties include: cardiology, virology, oncology and organ transplantation.

World-Renowned Health Facilities

Edmonton is home to several specialized hospitals and leading health research institutes, the majority of which are connected to the University of Alberta. These institutes include: Alberta Diabetes Institute, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Health Sciences Education and Research Commons (HSERC) Simulation Centre, Metabolomics Innovation Centre, Neuroscience and Mental Health Institute, Mazankowski Heart Institute, Cross Cancer Centre, Peter S. Allen MR Research Centre, and the Stollery Children’s Hospital.

City Priority and Support

In April 2016, the City of Edmonton announced a new initiative to prioritize health innovation and build Edmonton as “Canada’s Health City”. The strategy aims to: create an ecosystem that attracts, retains and supports health-related talent; increases access to capital for health-related projects; and accelerates commercialization of health technology and research created in Edmonton.

Highest Health Spending and Largest Healthcare System in Canada

The total healthcare expenditure in Alberta was $26.8 billion in 2013. This equated to $6,700 per person annually – the highest per capita spending on healthcare in the country.

Edmonton is also the headquarters of Alberta Health Services (AHS), making it a strategic location for health-related companies to locate in Alberta. AHS is Canada first and largest province-wide, fully-integrated health system, responsible for delivering health services to more than 4 million people who live in Alberta. AHS’ annual operating budget exceeds $14 billion. 

Greater Edmonton’s strong economy, talented workforce, significant military presence, strong unified healthcare infrastructure, and government investment is an ideal landscape for positioning the region as an industry leader.

Dennis Filips, Founder & President of iTraumaCare

Job Force & Wage Statistics

Edmonton is a major health centre in Alberta, with more than 82,000 individuals (over 10% of Edmonton's employed labour force) working in the health care industry, as of 2014.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, Edmonton employs 1,650 general practitioners, 1,980 specialists, and 12,615 registered nurses. 

Key Industry Players

  • Ceapro Inc. 
  • Exciton Technologies Inc. 
  • Gilead Alberta ULC
  • McKesson Canada Corp.