Ottawa to invest $22.7 million in DI innovation
March 3, 2023
TORONTO – INOVAIT and the Government of Canada have announced a major investment in the field of image-guided therapy, with up to $22.7 million in contributions committed to 14 commercialization-focused R&D projects under INOVAIT’s Focus Fund program.
It’s the second round of funding announced by the organization. The first round seeded 46 organizations, all led by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with around $125,000 apiece. The newest investments were given to groups that have met all their milestones and appear to have the greatest chances for success in the marketplace.
The average investment is about $1.5 million to $2 million each, for a total of $22.7 million. This represents one-third of the total project expenditures; the project partners are expected to raise the remaining two-thirds.
“$22 million is a substantial amount of money, it’s not just a drop in the bucket,” said Raphael Ronen, co-executive director of INOVAIT, noting that the total economic activity this investment will spark, when the partners add their share, is over $68 million. “We feel this investment will really help move the needle when it comes to making an impact in the image-guided surgery and therapy sector.”
Established in 2020, INOVAIT is a pan-Canadian network hosted at Sunnybrook Research Institute – supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund – which aims to advance image-guided therapy to ultimately deliver better healthcare for Canadians. The network currently includes nearly 70 member organizations from across Canada.
The new Focus Fund investment will support three-year projects at the intersection of advanced imaging, minimally invasive surgery and artificial intelligence. These innovations will use advances in data sciences and artificial intelligence to enhance image guidance and corresponding therapies.
The resulting technologies have the potential to greatly improve patient outcomes and reduce the overall cost of healthcare in Canada.
All 14 awarded projects are led by Canadian SMEs and involve 19 SMEs, three multinational enterprises, nine academic institutions, and four not-for-profit corporations.
These organizations will invest an additional $45.4 million into these projects over three years, for a total influx of $68.1 million into the sector.
The Focus Fund contributions will help attract investments into Canadian technology companies, create jobs for highly qualified personnel, and transform the country’s image-guided therapy sector into a global leader.
INOVAIT encourages a collaborative approach to R&D, with project partners spanning Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.
There’s a strong Canadian component to the partnerships these companies have formed with larger firms, with more likelihood of the technologies and intellectual property they’ve developed staying in Canada.
“At Sunnybrook, we’ve seen how strong collaboration and partnership can advance image-guided therapy technologies from discovery to the medical marketplace,” said Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, INOVAIT co-executive director and vice president of Research and Innovation at Sunnybrook Research Institute. “The Focus Fund support will accelerate that momentum across the country, advancing new medical solutions, encouraging further investment in image-guided therapeutics and elevating Canada’s use of artificial intelligence in image-guided therapy sectors.”
“Healthcare professionals need the best tools available to give Canadians the best treatments possible,” said Adam van Koeverden, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport. “Image guided therapy has led to great progress in the medical field over the recent years. Today’s recipients of the Focus Fund will help position Canada and its industries as world leader in this sector.”