Kingston event explores health innovation
May 11, 2022
KINGSTON, Ont. – Kingston Economic Development is pleased to be hosting the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway Cross Border Conference focused on health innovation and cutting-edge research from both sides of the border. The conference will take place on June 7, 2022 at the Holiday Inn Kingston-Waterfront (2 Princess Street).
The Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is the 4th cross-border economic partnership in Canada between business, government, and academic institutions from both sides of the border. Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is the only cross-border partnership focused on the health and life sciences sectors.
The Kingston-Syracuse Pathway Cross Border Conference will launch the renewed economic partnership with a focus on life and health sciences. This will be the first opportunity since the onset of the global pandemic for leading health care and life sciences experts and innovators to come together and dive into how the future of healthcare is evolving.
“A period of exponential growth in life sciences and the intersections of global economics, technology, and health is more topical now than ever before,” says Ben McIlquham (pictured), health innovation manager with Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “The cities of Syracuse and Kingston are both home to world-class academic, research institutions, and innovative ecosystems and are perfectly situated to lead these industries by leveraging this strengthened collaboration.”
The conference is a full-day event that includes networking, keynote speakers, panel discussions and a pitch competition for startups in the life and health sciences with a $5,000 prize for the top pitch. Discussion topics will focus on vaccines, global health, infectious diseases, research covering Lyme disease, and sharing new ideas and techniques to improve healthcare.
“The Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is about coordinating collaborative researchers and providing life science start-up companies with expanded connections and soft-landing opportunities both in Syracuse and Kingston. The Conference is an opportunity to highlight health-related research interests, resources, and economic business development projects promoted through these grass-roots cross border programs,” says Kathi Durdon, executive director at CNY Biotech Accelerator.
Innovator, entrepreneur, teacher, researcher, activist and mentor Allison Turner is the keynote speaker for the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway Conference. She is the co-founder and director of Product Development at PnuVax Incorporated.
PnuVax focuses on scale-up and lean biomanufacturing of more affordable products to prevent infectious diseases worldwide. Allison co-founded PnuVax in 2008 and has since been tackling low-cost product solutions for diseases such as yellow fever, Ebola, and MERS, and most recently shifting to COVID-19 products.
Allison’s team strives toward a goal of democratizing access to vaccines and therapeutics; PnuVax has developed the only known pneumococcal conjugate vaccine candidate with a target price of only one dollar per dose. Allison has a MASc in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University, has held academic research and teaching appointments, and is deeply involved in engaging with local start-up communities.
“We both have valuable educational and health care assets that can support each other, and the business community that relies on them. We also have the potential to support each other’s supplier networks enriching opportunities for our regional firms. And in being only two hours apart, a business from one city which wants to enter an international market can easily interact with their employees and customers on the other side in a single business day,” says David Mankiewicz, CEO, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity.
“Kingston aims to stake a bigger claim on the health innovation space and partnerships like this reinforce our competitive advantage,” says Shelley Hirstwood, director of business development, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.
“The Conference will provide an important opportunity for the partners of the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway initiative to convene, discuss and showcase collaborations to advance cross border research, innovation, and economic development,” says Jim Banting, assistant vice-principal, Partnerships and Innovation, Queen’s University. “We look forward to contributing to the conversation and to facilitating collaborations that will benefit our respective regions, organizations, and institutions.”
Full conference details can be found at investkingston.ca/KSP.