envisAGE to invest $47 million in age-tech companies
November 1, 2023
TORONTO – MEDTEQ+ and AGE-WELL have launched the envisAGE 1st Call for Innovations to support the commercialization of technologies to help Canadian seniors maintain a better quality of life, longer, while propelling companies in the AgeTech sector. The announcement was made at the first envisAGE Annual Forum as part of AgeTech Innovation Week in Toronto.
Over a five-year period, envisAGE will invest $47 million from the Strategic Innovation Fund to support up to 100 collaborative AgeTech projects that address the needs of older Canadians, caregivers, communities and organizations. The envisAGE initiative aims to support and fund impact projects over a period of 12 to 18 months (up to 24 months in exceptional cases), and to accelerate the commercialization of technology-based solutions that meet needs and promote a better quality of life, longer.
Through this program, funded by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, envisAGE’s unique collaborative model will support Canadian companies with a mature technology that has been validated and is ready to be deployed in the hands of users, whether older adults, caregivers or organizations offering services and programs to an aging population.
“Reaching early adopters or a significant set of adopters and ensuring strong positioning in a growing market, are two major challenges faced by companies. envisAGE aims to increase collaborations between companies as well as organizations that provide services, support, care, and housing for seniors. envisAGE’s collaborative model catalyzes all players in technological innovation so that companies, living environments and seniors all benefit from the implementation of innovative solutions,” said Sabrina Boutin (pictured), senior vice-president of MEDTEQ+ and executive director of envisAGE.
“We’re talking about improving quality of life and the delivery of services, as well as increasing efficiency,” she added. “The goal is to unite the strengths of all players in the ecosystem to truly meet the needs of older adults, caregivers, and service providers,” The pan-Canadian initiative is co-led by MEDTEQ+ and AGE-WELL.
With this 1st Call for Innovations, envisAGE supports collaborative projects focused on real-world technology integration with a technology readiness level of 7 or higher. Collaborators in selected projects will benefit from access to funding, project coaching and support from the envisAGE ecosystem to implement their innovation. The integration of each innovative solution will be assessed by an envisAGE Beachhead and implemented in partnership with a Community Lab, i.e. an organization working with seniors and caregivers that will integrate one or more technological solutions. Innovation Hubs, as partners in envisAGE, will contribute their expertise to collaborative projects, as needed, and develop their own stream of projects beneficial to the envisAGE ecosystem.
envisAGE’s distinctive ecosystem includes:
- SMEs: These are small and medium-sized technology companies offering products or solutions for AgeTech markets or meeting the needs of an aging population.
- Community Labs: Innovators will be able to demonstrate and implement their technological solutions in real-life environments such as retirement homes, organizations providing services, programs or care, long-term care homes, NORCs (Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities) and communities of seniors and caregivers.
- envisAGE Beachheads: Companies and Community Labs will be supported by one of ten envisAGE Beachheads ‒ centres with expertise in measuring benefits and impact, to support the deployment of a technological solution and assess the impact of integrating it into a living environment or an environment offering services to seniors and the community.
- Innovation Hubs: Five innovation hubs will provide specialized expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence and analytic sensors, and best practices so that new technologies can be adopted across Canada and in different settings.
Canadian companies (SMEs), organizations providing services, programs or care, and community organizations are invited to present their AgeTech project by submitting their letter of intent before November 21, 2023, to email@example.com, according to one of the following themes:
- Autonomy and Independence
- Cognitive Health and Dementia
- Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness
- Staying Connected
- Supportive Homes and Communities
To view the envisAGE 1st Call for Innovations – Guide for Applicants, visit www.envis-age.ca.
“We live in an increasingly technologically advanced digital world, and there is an unprecedented opportunity to deliver solutions that empower older adults to live active, healthy and independent lives, while supporting caregivers,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, scientific director and CEO, AGE-WELL.
He noted that by 2035, Canada is projected to become a “super-aged” country, with one in four Canadians over the age of 65. “By providing funding and services to companies with later-stage products, and connecting them to community organizations, envisAGE will accelerate access to innovations that benefit older adults, caregivers and healthcare providers,” he said. “Indeed, everyone will benefit from the diverse portfolio of state-of-the-art solutions created.”
Added Ms. Boutin: “envisAGE-funded projects will offer local solutions that will advance Canada’s burgeoning AgeTech sector, creating and sustaining jobs and expertise across the country, which is at the heart of envisAGE’s mission.”
envisAGE partners MEDTEQ+, a leader in accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship in the Canadian MedTech industry, with AGE-WELL, Canada’s leader in AgeTech research and technology-based solutions. envisAGE is a large-scale pan-Canadian initiative that brings stakeholders together to provide resources and support to startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to validate and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of aging and build Canadian leadership in the AgeTech market. envisAGE is funded through the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, with additional contributions from industry, non-profits, and other partners.
MEDTEQ+, a pan-Canadian consortium for industrial research and innovation in healthcare technologies, aims to accelerate the development of innovative technological solutions to improve people’s health and quality of life. MEDTEQ+ supports the validation of these technologies, their integration into the healthcare network, their commercialization, as well as their local and international outreach, by bringing together the complementary skills of industrial and institutional partners and healthcare providers. MEDTEQ+ offers support, subsidies, and investment services to innovative companies. Since December 2022, MEDTEQ+ has also been the lead partner in the envisAGE initiative, which aims to catalyze the AgeTech ecosystem and help companies grow and scale in the AgeTech market. MEDTEQ+ relies, among other things, on financial support from the Government of Quebec, the Government of Canada, the private sector, and complementary partners to foster research-industry relationships. For more information, visit www.medteq.ca/en/
AGE-WELL is Canada’s Technology and Aging Network. The pan-Canadian network brings together researchers, older adults, caregivers, partner organizations, and future leaders to accelerate the delivery of technology-based solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians. AGE-WELL researchers are producing technologies, services, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for older adults and caregivers and generate social and economic benefits for Canada. AGE-WELL is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Since December 2022, AGE-WELL has been a co-lead in the envisAGE initiative, which aims to catalyze Canada’s AgeTech ecosystem by helping companies deliver technology solutions that will change the lives of Canadians. envisAGE is funded through the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund. For more information, visit www.agewell-nce.ca.