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Sekisui Diagnostics to receive $600,000 from province to expand its facility

Japanese Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane speaks at a media event announcing the expansion of the operations of Sekisui Diagnostics in Charlottetown on Friday.
Japanese Ambassador Kimihiro Ishikane speaks at a media event announcing the expansion of the operations of Sekisui Diagnostics in Charlottetown on Friday. - Stu Neatby

An international bioscience company located in P.E.I. is receiving $600,000 from the province to help create more biotech jobs in P.E.I.

P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan announced on Friday that Sekisui Diagnostics, which is based in Japan, will see an investment of $400,000 for an expansion of its plant in the West Royalty Business Park. This investment will be recovered through the province’s lease agreement with the company, as the property is owned by the government. In addition, the province will contribute $200,000 in non-repayable funding for the company’s new operations.

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauchlan said the province had also provided $3.5 million last year for the company’s expansion of its facility. These funds will also be recovered through repayable financing.

"What that does is create a platform where this team can continue to do excellent work, to be part of competitive products internationally and to be part of the success and growth of the bioscience sector here in our province," MacLauchlan said.

The ceremony was attended by Japan’s Ambassador to Canada, Kimihiro Ishikane. In remarks before a gathering of Sekisui staff, Ishikane praised the role of local government and post-secondary institutions in the success of Sekisui Diagnostics.

The company’s local workforce has grown 76 per cent since 2011.

"I have to say that the company's growth here would not have been possible without its close partnership with the local community and P.E.I. government," Ishikane said.

Ishikane pointed to UPEI’s bioscience, ocean science and environmental science programs as factors that have drawn companies like Sekisui Diagnostics to the Island.

"They are actually fostering or educating or bringing up the youngsters who have sufficient knowledge, which can serve as an intellectual infrastructure for Japanese companies," Ishikane said.

"So, I think there is much potential here."

Stu.neatby@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/stu_neatby

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