The Newfoundland government and two technology sector industry groups, techNL and the affiliated Bounce Health Innovation, are aiming to develop a unified plan for the future of the province's healthtech and biotech sector, with an internal draft potentially ready as soon as the end of March.
In a request for proposals, techNL has said it is seeking a consulting firm to conduct an economic impact analysis and asset mapping, study the entrepreneurial ecosystem to identify gaps and opportunities, as well as identify investment attraction opportunities.
The Newfoundland Department of Industry, Energy and Technology, as well as Newfoundland and Labrador Health Services are both backing the project. Bounce Health Innovation, meanwhile, includes members from the fields of both life sciences and IT, including techNL and the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship.
One motivating factor behind the project may be a pair of reports issued by the provincial government and management consulting giant McKinsey & Company in the latter half of the last decade that warned startups in the region were counterproductively siloed by sector. TechNL has previously cited both documents as a motivating factor behind its creation of an Innovation Centre for established companies to collaborate with up-and-coming businesses.
Specifically, the provincial Way Forward on Technology plan and McKinsey’s Economic Growth Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador both describe an innovation landscape in which communications tend not to flow between industries, and in which founders have historically grappled with a lack of flexible office space and a generally fragmented startup economy.
The RFP deadline is the close of business on February 16, and the project will start just five days later, with a deadline of March 31. You can learn more here.