Ag-West Bio: A catalyst for Saskatchewan's bioeconomy

In the 1980s, the biotech industry was emerging in Saskatchewan. The provincial government and the University of Saskatchewan decided a catalyst was needed to accelerate the growing ag-biotech sector.
In 1989, Ag-West Biotech was launched with a mandate to provide leadership and assistance for Saskatchewan’s ag-biotech cluster, aiding in the commercialization of new biotechnologies, helping existing companies grow, and attracting new companies to the province.
Ag-West Biotech amalgamated with the International Centre for Agricultural Science & Technology, absorbing the ICAST investment portfolio in 1997. A re-organization in 2004 saw Ag-West Biotech merge with two complementary provincial associations: Bio-Products Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Nutraceutical Network. Ag-West Bio emerged from the amalgamation with a focus on commercialization of biological applications in agriculture, environment, industry, energy and bioprocessing, as well as nutrition and health.
Since its inception, Ag-West Bio has assisted numerous companies start-up or relocate to Saskatchewan. Ag-West has also helped Canada’s regulatory system keep up with advances in biotechnology, and worked to educate the public through various publications, a website, workshops and seminars. From 1998 to 2004, Ag-West operated the Saskatchewan Agricultural Biotechnology Information Centre (SABIC), a hands-on teaching lab that was open to the public.
Today, our main focus is the commercialization of new technologies.