Ottawa invests $3M in Kingston healthtech hub
February 17, 2021
KINGSTON, Ont. – The federal government announced an investment of $3 million for the city of Kingston, in partnership with Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, Green Centre Canada, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and the Kingston Economic Development Corp., to establish a health innovation ecosystem in the region.
“Kingston is perfectly positioned to be a leader in healthcare innovation,” said Bryan Paterson (pictured), mayor of Kingston. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to further leverage these strengths as a community by establishing a health innovation hub. We will be able to create jobs and attract investment as we work towards meaningful recovery and also contribute to the healthcare sector as we address the challenges brought about by the pandemic.”
The partners will work together to position Kingston as a place to develop, test and commercialize innovative health care solutions. This collaboration will leverage three technology development labs to support local R&D needs and establish new business advisory supports to help entrepreneurs and SMEs commercialize health innovations and scale up their companies.
It will also support new investment attraction activities, such as the expansion of the Kingston Syracuse Pathway, a partnership for cross-border collaboration and trade.
The plan includes:
- Idea Generation: St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University will engage frontline healthcare workers to identify healthcare challenges and match them with local entrepreneurs, innovation networks (including students) and SMEs to develop ideas for solutions.
- Idea Testing/Validation: Three physical technology development labs will be leveraged through Queen’s University and GreenCentre Canada to provide SMEs access to hands-on expertise and specialized infrastructure in areas ranging from artificial intelligence to robotics and chemistry. SMEs will also benefit from enhanced opportunities to pilot new products, services and processes in a healthcare setting through a collaboration with Kingston Health Sciences Centre.
- Start-Up Support: SMEs will have the opportunity to access mentorship, strategic industry connections and commercialization support services, through new “health focused catalyst” programming to be delivered by Queen’s University.
- Scale-Up Support: Queen’s University will establish a mentoring cohort program for SMEs and promising ventures ready to grow their businesses. St. Lawrence College will provide SMEs with support services focused on business development through the use of behavioural insights, UX design, and business analytics.
- Access to Markets: Kingston Economic Development Corporation will undertake new business and investment attraction activities. Activities will include the expansion of the Kingston Syracuse Pathway, an existing collaborative project between the Kingston Economic Development Corporation and partner organizations in upstate New York, to support opportunities for businesses to access markets in the U.S. and attract foreign investment to the region.
The City of Kingston will coordinate with and connect relevant stakeholders and assets across the region to support the development and growth of this emerging health innovation ecosystem.
Through the project, the City of Kingston and partners expect to create 100 skilled jobs, support the development and growth of 37 SMEs and commercialize 10 new health innovations.
The project will help diversify Kingston’s economy from a solid base in tourism and public sectors into the health innovation sphere. Through strategic investments like this, the Government of Canada is building on regional strengths to help secure our position as a world leader in innovative health technologies and create the right conditions for growth and resilience in the post-COVID-19 economy.
Kingston is home to three top post-secondary institutions and four state-of-the-art healthcare facilities that boast experienced specialists and world-renowned researchers.
FedDev Ontario’s non-repayable contribution under the Community Economic Development and Diversification stream leverages an additional $3.88 million from project partners.