PEI

Mathieu-Marc Poulin, Charlottetown bioscience worker, wins national award

Mathieu-Marc Poulin has won the Catalyst Award for 2016 for the exceptional work he did this year with the biotechnology company Delivra in Charlottetown.

'I want to find out more ways to help people using this kind of technology,' says Mathieu-Marc Poulin

Charlottetown lab technician Mathieu-Marc Poulin has won the national 'Catalyst' Award for his outstanding contribution to the biotechnology company Delivra Inc. (submitted BioTalent Canada )

Charlottetown lab technician Mathieu-Marc Poulin has won the national Catalyst Award for 2016 for the exceptional work he did this year with the biotechnology company Delivra Inc.

"When I saw that this morning, that put a big smile on my face," said Poulin, adding it's a great start to his career.

The new award was created by BioTalent Canada to recognize a new graduate who had made a significant contribution to their workplace. BioTalent Canada helps find new recruits for small- and medium-sized biotechnology companies.

Poulin was surprised to win, given that 165 employees hired last year by 67 biotech companies across the country were originally in the running. That field was narrowed down to three finalists, with Poulin named the winner.

He was hired in 2015 to work as a Research and Development Technician on the small six-member research team at Delivra's Charlottetown facility, after completing a three-year college degree in Shawinigan, Que. Delivra creates products using a skin-based delivery system.

Poulin believes his sense of initiative helped.

"Whenever I saw a problem or something we needed to get done I always tried my best to find solutions for it," said Poulin, admitting not everything he suggested always worked.

'It's where magic met magic'

BioTalent Canada president and CEO Rob Henderson hopes the award convinces more young people to consider jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. (CBC)

The president and CEO of BioTalent Canada, Rob Henderson, said Poulin's enthusiasm and energy was a defining factor, but the employer also played an important role.

"It's where magic met magic. I think not only did Mathieu-Marc integrate well because of his own skill, I think it was also a question where Delivra was a great opportunity for him because they were able to recognized that talent very early and then integrate him into an already high-performing team." 

BioTalent Canada helped Poulin get the job at Delivra through its one-year federally-subsidized $20,000 wage subsidy, which has been available for new graduates in Canada since 2005.

Poulin has always wanted to work in bioscience, and said this experience has only increased his passion.

"If I win this award it means that this really is my calling," said Poulin. "To use life to help life … I want to find out more ways to help people using this kind of technology."

Henderson hopes the Catalyst Award will encourage more young people to consider working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, by letting them know what kind of work is out there. 

"There's a whole bunch of really innovative and fantastic biotech businesses that they need to get involved in, so that we can drive the industry and innovation forward."