Female and male scientists working in a lab

Life Sciences

Windsor-Essex is the cross-border hub of research and innovation, where dynamic and life-changing discoveries are made. Our proximity to Detroit opens opportunities for cross-border medical research studies, a diverse population for clinical trials and a direct link between Canadian and U.S. health networks. We work together to expand our medical equipment and device manufacturing, nutraceutical/pharmaceutical development and clinic trials for the benefit of our community.

We provide a business-friendly location to help advance our medical knowledge and expertise and support our communities for a sustainable future.

Sector highlights

Our life science sector earns rewards from the following advantages:

  • Developing a cross-border health corridor linking U.S. and Canadian health networks
  • Innovating products and protocols by Windsor-Essex companies
  • The Windsor Cardiac Centre achieved the first outpatient echocardiography accreditation in Canada and established two unique clinics, the Chest Pain Clinic and the INR Clinic
  • Linking the region with Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for emergency cardiac surgery

Industry profile

Windsor-Essex is home to more than 30 companies that are actively involved in the fast-growing life sciences and healthcare field. Our sector currently employs almost 25,000 people, with approximately 1,000 graduates each year from the University of Windsor and St. Clair College in programs such as nursing, occupational health and biomedical engineering.

Our geographic advantage offers companies access to health facilities in Detroit including Henry Ford Health Systems, with its five hospitals and over 45 medical centres, and the Detroit Medical Center.

Approximately 1600 nurses and health care workers who live in the Windsor-Essex region cross the border daily to work in Detroit, Michigan.

Known for being the largest producing region of softgel capsules in Canada, our highly-skilled manufacturing workforce attracts major pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies including Jamieson LaboratoriesCatalent and CapsCanada to meet their demands of extremely tight tolerances and a variety of materials.

Education and research

Education and research within the life science sector are supported by local and cross-border institutions and state-of-the-art facilities that offer life-long learning and foster opportunities that lead to new discoveries:

Research and development and international clinical trials

We support diverse opportunities and collaborations for our research and development, including international clinical trials through:

  • Eight renowned life sciences research universities within 150 km
  • Cutting-edge cancer research using natural sources being conducted at the University of Windsor
  • Lower regulatory constraints for clinical trials and higher physician practice volume in Canada than in the U.S.
  • Proximity to a large and diverse population – ideal source of subjects for clinical trials

Manufacturing capabilities

If you’re working in manufacturing development for life sciences, consider the advantages we offer:

  • High-quality medical devices and equipment manufacturing using precision and automated technology
  • Highly-skilled manufacturing workforce accustomed to working within extremely tight tolerances and a variety of materials 
  • Pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and medicine manufacturers
  • Medical and control device manufacturers
  • Medical equipment and supplies manufacturers