Ottawa invests $10 million in new healthtech hub
August 11, 2021
WATERLOO, Ont. – The federal government announced a $10 million investment from FedDev Ontario for the University of Waterloo, in partnership with Western University, the City of Kitchener and Medical Innovation Xchange, to establish a health tech innovation hub in the region with partnerships across southwestern Ontario.
Through this project, the University of Waterloo and its partners expect to create 730 skilled jobs, support the development and growth of 135 businesses and commercialize 150 new health-related products, services or processes, leverage $40 million in project funding, and attract over $400 million in follow-on investment in the companies supported.
“Our message has been clear from the beginning of the pandemic: the health of Canadians is our top priority. With this investment, we are fostering made-in-Canada health tech solutions, creating highly skilled jobs, and supporting the businesses that will keep Canada at the forefront of this vital sector,” said Mélanie Joly (pictured), minister of economic development and official languages and minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.
The project will capitalize on the strong pipeline of health tech companies that is emerging in southwestern Ontario to connect them with an integrated suite of services ranging from mentorship and business advisory services, support for health tech product development, and access to specialized labs and clinical trial spaces at the University of Waterloo’s planned Innovation Arena and at Western University.
It will combine the digital technology acceleration strengths of the Waterloo Region with the research hospital-based assets of the London region to provide seamless support to both early-stage and scaling firms.
This project will help anchor a growing number of health tech firms in southwestern Ontario, contribute to regional growth, and attract international start-ups to southwestern Ontario.
“The Government of Canada’s investment into Velocity, the Innovation Arena, and this partnership will create opportunities for startups, scaling companies, researchers, and medical and technology innovators to work together across southwestern Ontario, expanding the pipeline of innovations for Canadians while driving economic growth,” said Dr. Vivek Goel, president and vice chancellor, University of Waterloo.
The Innovation Arena is a planned partnership between the University of Waterloo and the City of Kitchener to further develop the Health Sciences Campus in downtown Kitchener’s Innovation District. It will feature shared product development labs, manufacturing and collaborative office spaces, and will be the new home of Velocity, University of Waterloo’s flagship entrepreneurship program.
Western University’s Schulich Medicine & Dentistry school currently employs more than 2,700 full- and part-time faculty members in clinical and basic medical sciences, dentistry and at Robarts Research Institute.