FedDev invests $15 million in new technologies
August 3, 2016
NEWMARKET, Ont. – FedDev Ontario is supporting the development of new technologies for managing patients with chronic diseases through a $15 million contribution to York University and its partners, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the University Health Network.
The project brings together university- and hospital-based researchers with the business community. The investment will be matched by $19.5 million from 36 partners, resulting in a total budget of $34.5 million, which will help position southern Ontario as a leader in health technology, while providing Canadians with better, more precise ways to manage chronic disease.
The investment by the Government of Canada was announced by the Honourable Navdeep Bains (pictured), Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“The most innovative solutions often happen when people from different fields collaborate,” said Bains. “That’s why it’s important for universities, healthcare providers, the business community and government to work together. That’s how we will come up with healthcare solutions that improve the quality of life for Canadians.”
An estimated three out of five Canadians over the age of 20 years old are diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. And the rates of chronic disease diagnosis are rising steadily every year. The treatment of chronic disease is estimated to cost Canadians $39 billion annually.
The investment, through the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative, will be used to develop and commercialize clinical applications as well as medical devices.
“This important investment by the Government of Canada recognizes the critical role of innovation and knowledge mobilization in both health promotion and healthcare,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, president and vice-chancellor, York University. “It will enable York to build on the success of our Connected Health and Wellness Project (CHWP), which demonstrated the power of providing individuals with the technology and tools they need to manage their health.”
He added that, “York has collaborated with Southlake for many years, and we anticipate an even closer working relationship as we look forward to our new campus opening in Markham Centre.”
The new funding will create nearly 130 highly skilled, well-paying jobs for Canadians working in this emerging field.
“The federal government’s investment will help Southlake to be a model hospital of the future,” said Dr. Dave Williams, president & CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre. “Fostering the commercialization of healthcare technology is a catalyst to a more sustainable healthcare system, improved quality, and the highest level of patient safety.
“By working collaboratively with startups and small to medium-sized enterprises, Southlake, through its incubator CreateIT Now, is playing a critical role in fostering the adoption of the healthcare technology to best benefit our patients and the healthcare sector as a whole.”
Dr. Peter Pisters, president and CEO of the University Health Network, said, “We are excited to be able to continue creating new technologies for patients struggling with the burden of illness. This strong support from the federal government is recognition that there is exquisite talent in our research hospitals and universities. By working together, transformational change is possible in our health system through the creation and use of novel health technologies for patient self-care. We look forward to working with lead partners, York University and Southlake Regional Centre; this collaboration will make life better for all of our patients.”
FedDev Ontario’s non-repayable contribution is expected to create 128 full-time equivalent jobs and result in the commercialization of 37 technologies and 72 new collaborations with businesses and research and healthcare institutions.
This funding will support the commercialization of: 11 health apps, five medical devices, 15 technologies that will be used to address clinical problems, and six big data platforms.
The funding will go towards total project costs of up to $34.5 million and will leverage up to $19.5 million from 36 organizations, including Cisco Systems, Janssen, Telus Health, MD Primer, ChipCare Corp., NexJ Health, University of Toronto and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
The investment builds on a previous FedDev Ontario non-repayable contribution of $15.5 million to York University to support the successful delivery of the Connected Health and Wellness Project, which resulted in the development of 40 new products, 122 jobs and 27 collaborations.
For example, FedDev Ontario funding will contribute to:
- NexJ Connected Wellness – A cloud-based platform that delivers tools to help patients and their caregivers manage chronic disease.
- Artemis – A big-data analytics platform to support advanced clinical decision making for newborns with sepsis.
- Ned – A personalized app for survivors of prostate cancer. It promotes self-care by providing patients with their lab and health results and supports providers with timely information about their patients’ health.