Backgrounder Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

FedDev Ontario Invests in Health Innovations to Support Canadians Living with Chronic Disease

The Government of Canada supports the development of new health technologies to address the rising rates of chronic disease. As part of this program, York University, Southlake Regional Healthcare Centre and the University Health Network will receive an investment of up to $15 million.

This non‑repayable contribution, through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Commercialization Partnerships (ICP), will bring together university‑ and hospital‑based researchers as well as front‑line health‑service providers to develop and commercialize new technologies. These technologies will have the potential to manage chronic disease and provide Canadians with better, more precise health services delivered at a lower cost. 

The Government's Innovation Agenda aims to make Canada a global centre for innovation – one that creates jobs, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. This investment is a prime example of that vision in action.

This project will create 128 full‑time equivalent jobs, while supporting 72 collaborations in health technology, resulting in the commercialization of 37 new technologies. These technologies will include health apps, medical devices and secure, big‑data platforms. Together, such new technologies will drive the development of personalized medicine, which aims to provide services tailored to the individual needs of patients.

For example, FedDev Ontario funding will contribute to:

  • NexJ Connected Wellness – A cloud‑based platform that delivers tools to help patients and their caregivers manage chronic disease.
  • Artemis – A big‑data analytics platform to support advanced clinical decision making for newborns with sepsis.
  • Ned – A personalized app for survivors of prostate cancer. It promotes self‑care by providing patients with their lab and health results and supports providers with timely information about their patients' health.  

In 2011, FedDev Ontario provided York University with a $15.5‑million investment to support the development and delivery of the Connected Health and Wellness Project. This project included collaborative partnerships among small‑ and medium‑ sized businesses and major health‑care institutions. The funding resulted in the development of 40 new products. It also created 122 jobs and supported 27 collaborations.

About York University

York University is Canada's third largest university. It houses one of the largest health faculties in Canada. York is a leading educator and research institution in personalized health coaching as a method of affecting behavioural change in patients. It is the only university to deliver a certificate in personalized health coaching. In 2011, York University partnered with academic, health‑care and industry players to support the delivery of the Connected Health and Wellness Project.

About the Southlake Regional Healthcare Centre

The Southlake Regional Health Centre (SRHC) is a full‑service hospital with a regional, clinically advanced focus. The hospital is a past recipient of the Innovation in the Adoption of Health Informatics Award. Southlake Regional Health Centre was a part of the Connected Health and Wellness Project funded in 2011.

About the University Health Network

The University Health Network (UHN) is Canada's leading research and academic institution and was ranked the top research hospital in Canada in 2014. The Centre for Global eHealth Innovation at UHN supports the commercialization of healthcare applications and medical devices addressing chronic diseases. UHN was a part of the Connected Health and Wellness Project funded in 2011.

FedDev Ontario's Investing in Commercialization Partnerships

Investing in Commercialization Partnerships supports business‑led partnerships with a focus on developing globally‑competitive products and services, or innovation platforms that can demonstrate commercial value.

Publicly funded universities and colleges as well as incorporated not‑for‑profit organizations, research institutions, and industry associations located in southern Ontario are eligible to apply under this initiative for projects that are business‑led and focused on new technologies with demonstrated commercial value.

For more information, visit Investing in Commercialization Partnerships

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News release: FedDev Ontario Invests in Healthcare Innovation

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Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario Economics and Industry

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