San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee joined Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer today to celebrate the start of a new joint public-private partnership between the University of California at San Francisco and life science companies from Canada.

The Canadian Technology Accelerator, located at UCSF’s Mission Bay campus, is a program in which four Canadian companies will collaborate with UC scientists to increase innovation and commercial success.

Doer said the program will help the Canadian companies in their goal “to go from papers that are informed by work and research, to patents to products.”

Lee said the partnership shows “we know how to attract these companies here,” saying San Francisco now is home to 108 life science companies.

The city had just two such companies eight years ago, according to the mayor’s office.

Lee also said he was happy to partner with Canada, saying he grew up in Seattle, which was right across the border.

“We used to sneak over that border a lot in high school” because of the lower drinking age in Canada, he joked.

The Canadian companies will work with QB3, a technology institute created in 2000 by former Gov. Gray Davis that consists of more than 220 scientists from various UC campuses.

They will join the QB3 Digital PharmChem Garage, housed on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, which has helped to launch 60 bioscience companies in the last six years–companies that have hired more than 280 employees and raised $226 million, according to the mayor’s office.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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