Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'maintain'.
Found 2 results
Montreal's Greek consulate has already felt the impact of the Greek government's austerity measures, but many in the city's 80 thousand-strong Greek community are more angry at the rioters in their homeland than they are about the cuts. Hundreds of people rioted in the streets of Athens on the weekend, setting fires and looting stores, after the Greek parliament passed a new round of measures aimed at staving off bankruptcy. Politicians voted to slash the country's minimum wage and axe one-in-five civil service jobs over the next three years. Foreign consular offices have not been left unscathed. "We have had cuts, yes," confirmed the Greek consul-general for Montreal, Thanos Kafopoulos. "But we still try to maintain service, and we are also trying to increase revenues." Kafopoulos said many Greek expatriates living in Montreal own property and have investments in their native country - and they are divided over the solution. "There is concern. There is sadness, and there is worry about the process that Greece is going through," he said. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/02/13/montreal-greeks-react.html
Wanted: biotech plan By DAVID CRANE, FreelanceFebruary 19, 2009 Sector in peril. New financing schemes are needed to maintain health of industry vital to Quebec's future New financing schemes are needed to maintain health of biotechnology industry vital to Quebec's future New financing schemes are needed to maintain health of biotechnology industry vital to Quebec's future Photograph by: Chris Schwarz, From Gazette Files Montreal has big ambitions to become a major biomedical centre in North America. The hope is that this will lead to jobs and wealth creation, just as promoting the aerospace industry has done. And it could. There's an obvious reason why. The world is on the verge of a biomedical revolution that will be a source of good jobs and prosperity for those societies that succeed in developing and commercializing the new knowledge. If the 20th century was known for great advances in the physical sciences and engineering, giving us the information and communication technology revolution, the 21st century could very well be the century of the biological revolution. But with all the new knowledge flowing out of universities and research hospitals, there's a huge problem - how to finance the growth of young startups commercializing this new knowledge into viable companies with a steady flow of revenues and profits. Montreal, for example, has dozens of such companies - like Theratechnologies, ConjuChem Biotechnologies, ProMetic Life Sciences, Enobia Pharma, Akela Pharma, Thallion Pharmaceuticals, Haemacure Corp., CryoCath Technologies, Paladin Labs, Ambrilia BioPhage Pharma, MethylGene, Alethia Biotherapeutics, Supratek Pharma, AngioChem and many more. Quite a few have products either now reaching the market or close to commercialization, or have promising projects in the clinical testing pipeline. But they must be able to attract the financing they need to keep on the road to potential success. In Canada today, the biotech industry is at a crucial point. Venture capital funding is drying up and many companies are running out of cash. Promising young companies may have to delay development of promising compounds. Or they could be forced to sell to bigger, usually foreign, players at bargain- basement prices. According to Thomson Reuters, which tracks venture investing in Canada, Montreal-area life-science companies raised only $69.9 million in venture capital last year, compared with $219.4 million in 2007. This year could be even more difficult. According to the Canadian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association, only $1.2 billion in new money for investment by venture firms in all high-tech sectors was raised last year, the lowest level on record since the mid-1990s. This is why we urgently need new financing mechanisms to sustain and grow our own life science companies. This should include a capacity to bring about mergers between young Canadian companies where complementarities exist. The industry had hoped the recent federal budget would help address their problems, but advocacy by groups such as BIOTECanada and the Canadian Venture and Private Equity Association were ignored by the Harper government. BIOTECanada had sought several initiatives. These included a one-time redemption for unused tax losses, limited to the lesser of $20 million or twice a company's annual R&D spending, and an exemption from capital-gains taxes in 2009 and 2010 for investors making new direct investments. Both measures would have required companies to reinvest in Canada. The venture-capital industry had sought creation of a $300-million fund of funds to invest in young companies and changes to the R&D tax incentive. British and U.S. biotech companies are facing many of the same challenges. In Britain, some 20 industry and academic leaders have urged the government to set up a $1.8-billion biotech fund, with half coming from government and half from the private sector. The group also wants a separate $900-million fund to make equity investments of $85 million to $170 million to help a small number of companies become more significant companies. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has established a task force to follow up on this. The biotech industry is especially hard to finance. Not only are the human body, and disease, quite complex. But biotech development cycles are long and costly - projects can take up to 20 years to become successful and cost between $200 million to $300 million, or more, to bring to market. Few compounds succeed. All of these factors make R&D financing a challenge. But the goal to improve human health is important and the economic rewards can be high. This, though, depends on finding a better financing model if either of these is to be realized in Montreal or elsewhere. David Crane is a Toronto-based writer on innovation and globalization issues. He can be reached at [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette