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Archived - Minister of State Wong announces new research network to help Canadian seniors live independently and safely

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Toronto-based AGE-WELL network will look to new technology for better senior care

January 19, 2015 – Toronto, Ontario – Industry Canada

Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on behalf of her colleague, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced that AGE-WELL, a new network, is receiving $36.6 million over five years to help seniors live independently and safely at home.

Through a collaborative approach with industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and researchers, AGE-WELL will identify the needs of seniors and find ways to reduce the burden on their caregivers. The network will use advanced technology such as mobile communications, smart sensors and robotics to help achieve this goal. AGE-WELL will contribute to increasing the independence and quality of life of older Canadians while creating more affordable technologies that meet Canadians' needs.

Today's investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding, which includes AGE-WELL, and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Quick facts

  • On December 15, 2014, the Government of Canada named five research networks to conduct groundbreaking research that is focused on addressing major social, economic, or health- and life sciences–related issues:
    • New
      • Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life—AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)
      • Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment—BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)
      • Canadian Glycomics Network—GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)
      • Canadian Arrhythmia Network—CANet (London, Ontario)
    • Renewed
      • NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.


"Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The newest Networks of Centres of Excellence will undertake research in the important areas of biochemistry, cancer, arrhythmia, aging and brain development, leveraging nationwide talent and resources to tackle social and economic challenges that are important to Canadians."

– Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including AGE-WELL, which will develop new technologies to help seniors live independently and safely at home. These investments will improve the quality of life of Canadians and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy and a more prosperous Canada."

– Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)

"AGE-WELL will join the impressive lineup of NCEs that are already helping drive innovation in Canada by bringing together the brightest researchers and a wide range of partners. This new network offers a great opportunity for top researchers in aging to explore how we can use technology to improve the quality of life of seniors."

– Michel Perron, Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"We need new tools, devices and solutions in the marketplace that will help older adults remain at home in their later years. AGE-WELL represents a cohesive approach to developing those tools and to establishing Canada as a leader in designing and implementing technology that contributes significantly to the well-being of older people and caregivers."

– Alex Mihailidis, Joint Scientific Director, AGE-WELL

"AGE-WELL will work closely with end-users—older people and caregivers—industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and the country's top researchers and research institutions, including Simon Fraser University and our friends at Toronto Rehab. We will identify the needs of aging people and develop solutions to help them live more independently and safely at home while reducing the burden on their caregivers."

– Andrew Sixsmith, Joint Scientific Director, AGE-WELL

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

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