As key drivers of Ontario’s knowledge-based economy, research hospitals contribute to a wealthier province by creating innovative, cost-effective products, establishing spin-off companies and partnerships, attracting investment from at home and abroad, and generating high-level jobs.
Across the province, communities are moving towards knowledge-based economies, and Ontario’s research hospitals are helping them get there. To illustrate that transformation, we took a focused look at the city of Hamilton. Traditionally known as Ontario’s steel town, the city has seen significant growth and renewal as a result of its health research sector. And, in the words of Mayor Fred Eisenberger, that growth feeds on itself.
“Once the ball starts rolling, it just doesn’t stop”
In our Wealthier video, Mayor of Hamilton, Fred Eisenberger, explains that the health research sector has led to a spillover effect on the economy—and the community.
The city’s success in health research has led to the growth of its educational institutes. Mohawk is now ranked as one of the top colleges in Ontario with many programs geared towards applied science, and McMaster’s medical school continues to climb on Canada’s top ten list, attracting more and more bright minds. And as Hamilton’s two research hospitals—Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare—continue to create more high-level jobs, the city is able to retain those bright minds and attract new ones.
Outside the walls of health research, the sector is having a spillover effect on the community, generating a vibrant arts scene, lots of cafes and shops, and more people living and working in revitalized neighbourhoods.
The story of Hamilton offers just one example of the impact that research hospitals are having on communities in Ontario. Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, and London can all speak to similar growth and spillover. In ten years, we can only imagine what that spillover will look like for these communities, and for the province of Ontario.
Quick Facts: Ontario’s Research Hospitals
- Employ 18,000 researchers and research staff
- That’s more than twice the number employed at Ontario’s research-based pharmaceutical companies
- That’s half of the number employed at the assembly plants of Ontario’s big 5 automotive companies
- Support 41,000 jobs across Ontario
- Invest $1.4B in health research annually
- Commercialized 350 new health products in the last four years
- 14% of research investment comes from private industry
- Every dollar spent on health research generates three dollars of economic output