Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

Curious about the tenants at Innovation Place?
Check out our Meet the Tenants series to learn more about them and what they do.

Meet the Tenants

Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory

Innovation Place tenant since

5 Research Drive

Innovation Place, Regina

Tell us about Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory!

The Roy Romanow Provincial Laboratory (RRPL) works to identify, respond to and prevent illness and disease in the province. It is a part of the Laboratory Medicine Program under the Saskatchewan Health Authority. RRPL is unique to the other labs across the province in that it does the following:

  • Provides reference testing (other Saskatchewan labs send their specimens and cultures for verification and to provide more specific test results).
  • Offers specialized screening and diagnostic testing (New Born Screening program, colorectal cancer screening, etc.).
  • Conducts communicable disease detection, surveillance, infection control and prevention.
  • Tests and monitors water quality.
  • Maintains laboratory standards and quality assurance regulations.
  • Anticipates, detects and responds to outbreak of communicable disease, food-borne illnesses and pandemic threats.
  • Facilitates and supports scientific research and training activities.
  • Provides biosafety, containment, biohazard spill response programs.
  • Serves as a centre for integrated disease and data management.
  • Develops and evaluates public health policies.

Why do you love working in Saskatchewan?

Not only is Saskatchewan a wonderful place to work, but also to live in. We have a uniquely beautiful province that has a relatively small population for its size. This allows us as a province to be a close-knit community. RRPL has been providing public health services for Saskatchewan’s population for over 100 years. Our goal as the central hub in the province for public health testing is to give back to this wonderful community.

What are the chall­enges of working in Saskat­chewan?

RRPL strives to be on the leading edge of technology. However, there can be significant challenges in achieving this goal due to limited resources. The two resources that most often present a challenge are securing funding for new innovative technology and the successful recruitment and retention of trained industry professionals. It is not always easy to convince professionals from larger centres across Canada to make the Prairies their home.

Patient treatment and diagnostic decisions are often dependent on laboratory testing and the important role laboratories play in the delivery of healthcare. Greater exposure to the general public regarding the great work performed by laboratory professionals is overdue. The COVID-19 pandemic has helped to highlight this work. RRPL has been at the forefront of the testing since day 1 and, most recently, recognized on a national level for its COVID-19 testing assay development and sensitivity.

What does the future of Saskatchewan tech look like to you?

We have come very far in the past two decades; it is amazing the progress that has been made in Saskatchewan. An increase in specialized testing in Saskatchewan would eliminate the need for sending testing out of province or out of country. This would greatly benefit the people of our province by reducing test turnaround times and allowing for patient treatment and diagnosis to happen quicker. A cancer testing facility right in our own backyard would be incredible.

How does Innovation Place help you thrive in Saskatchewan’s tech sector?

RRPL officially opened at Innovation Place in May 2010 and was the result of more than seven years of planning. RRPL is well suited to being a tenant because it is focused on innovation and research in relation to laboratory testing. Testing is continually at the forefront of disease detection and continues to evolve to keep up with ever changing technology. Innovation place is easy to get to from anywhere in the city, has lots of parking and is a stone’s throw from the University of Regina.

Where’s your favourite spot at Innovation Place?

We love the Terrace building and the Terrace Café. It is a great place to grab coffee or a good lunch; Dave and his staff always help lift our day. The Terrace building is nice and quiet, giving a fantastic place to decompress and relax. Grab a table by the windows, and have a terrific view of the sky!

What’s the best advice you can give to people?

Do what you love with the ones you love. Do one thing every day that scares you. The biggest rewards in life are found outside your comfort zone. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough. Gratitude is one of the simplest ways to improve satisfaction with your life.

Life is all about managing expectations.Know your worth.

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- 2020