The VDC will have manufacturing capabilities for human and animal vaccines and will support Canada’s emergency response for possible future pandemics. As such, the centre will play a key role in Canada’s Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy.
Post construction, the VDC will undergo commissioning to ensure that the facility utilities and equipment operate as required and meet good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards. GMP standards help ensure medicines are safely produced. The VDC will be one of only a few GMP biomanufacturing facilities in the world that produce vaccines under containment level 3.
The event on June 28, 2022, was attended by the Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan; the Honourable Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan; and his worship Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon. The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, toured the facility in May.
Funding for the VDC was provided by the Government of Canada, Government of Saskatchewan, founding corporate partners, and by individual and corporate private donations. The VDC is located within VIDO's containment level 3 facility (InterVac) which receives operational funding from Canada Foundation for Innovation under the Major Science Initiatives Fund.
The VDC is the first step in establishing VIDO as Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research. This will also include an expanded scientific team, containment level 4 capacity, and a new animal housing facility.
“From the start of the pandemic, our Government took immediate action to protect Canadians and prepare for future pandemics. We recognized the only way to move beyond the pandemic and keep people safe was through a coordinated, effective immunization campaign that included swift and reliable procurement from our government. At the same time, we are ensuring that Canadians, and the global community, have Canadian-produced vaccines to protect from future infectious disease outbreaks by investing $97.8 million from PrairiesCan since 2018, to help VIDO emerge as a world-class hub of research, development, and vaccine manufacturing capacity. Through our investments in research at the University of Saskatchewan and partnerships with industry, we continue to build domestic vaccine production capacity right here in Saskatoon, helping keep Canadians safe.”
— The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan
“Our Government is committed to restoring Canada’s biomanufacturing capacity following a 40-year decline, and our investment in VIDO’s new Vaccine Development Centre is key to our plan. This world-class facility will ensure that Canada remains on the cutting edge of the biomanufacturing and life sciences sector, which will better prepare Canada and the world for future health emergencies.”
— The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to have invested in this impressive facility and to see it now completed. The Vaccine Development Centre is a great example of the foresight and vision of VIDO and the University of Saskatchewan, and the strength and innovation in Saskatchewan’s research sector. We are confident it will attract new talent and opportunities to our province.”
— The Honourable Scott Moe, Premier of Saskatchewan
“The opening of the Vaccine Development Centre is a crucial step towards becoming Canada’s Centre for Pandemic Research. VIDO is a leader in infectious disease and vaccine research, and vaccine manufacturing, using some of the most advanced infrastructure in the world. This facility will play an important role in our future protection here in Saskatoon, as well as around the world, as we work to understand, manage, and mitigate emerging diseases.”
— Charlie Clark, Mayor of Saskatoon
“The construction completion of the Vaccine Development Centre marks a major milestone for VIDO and its role as a global leader in addressing COVID-19 and future infectious disease outbreaks. We celebrate the partnerships and investment that have led to this moment, empowering USask’s pursuit to be the university the world needs.”
— Peter Stoicheff, President, University of Saskatchewan
“We are proud that VIDO’s Vaccine Development Centre will play a role in Canada's Biomanufacturing and Life Sciences Strategy. This facility is an asset for Canadians that will advance the development of Canadian innovations to help ensure we are better prepared for the next emerging infectious disease.”
— Volker Gerdts, VIDO Director and CEO
“The Vaccine Development Centre expands VIDO’s already-impressive ability to make scientific advancements protecting Canadians and the world from the threat of infectious diseases to humans and animals. VIDO now has expanded capacity to advance our global reputation in vaccine research and development for this and future pandemic threats.”
— Baljit Singh, Vice-President Research, University of Saskatchewan