BACKGROUNDER - Investments in Innovative Neonatal Care Help Families Bond


Project Description 
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Health Centre

ACOA assistance: $3,000,000 (AIF Non-Repayable)

Total Project Costs: $4,883,136 

  • The IWK Health Centre, located in Halifax, NS provides highly specialized (tertiary and quaternary) quality care to women, children, youth and families in the Maritimes.  It employs over 3,200 people and is supported by over 816 volunteers.  The IWK is a respected centre for its world-class research into disorders and diseases affecting children and women.  As a teaching institution it is affiliated with Dalhousie University. 

  • This $4.9M project has sought AIF assistance of $3M for the development of Chez NICU Home which is an eHealth enabled service delivery platform. The two resulting products are: 1) a customizable turn-key solution including design recommendations, implementation strategies, evidence based clinical care recommendations, staff training, on-site and virtual technical support and user friendly hardware; and 2) a licensed, multi-platform HTML 5 designed web-based educational operating system.  

  • The IWK is partnering with Cisco Canada on the project technology and in commercialization of the resulting products. Cisco views the Chez NICU Home product as a unique opportunity to package its technology for hospital markets. 

  • This project will result in intellectual property that the IWK will be able to license to its commercial partner and to other interested parties as well as continuous revenue through the provision of product support.  

  • The project will also result in the immediate creation of seven jobs, five in research, one project manager and one system analyst. It will provide support for summer, masters and doctoral students throughout the duration of the project. Ongoing jobs will be created, and supported through revenues, for updating and creating new content and providing support to licensed sites. The majority of this work, such as commercialization management, visual design work, and software development will result in jobs in Halifax and Prince Edward Island. 

ACOA’s Innovation Programming 

ACOA’s innovation programming, which includes the Atlantic Innovation Fund and the Business Development Program, responds to the evolving needs of Atlantic businesses and researchers. It is designed to help bring to market new products, technologies and services that will improve the competitiveness and productivity of the Atlantic economy. The programs also provide support to small and medium-sized enterprises across the region to acquire or adapt innovative technologies that can improve their productivity and competitiveness, while also enabling them to build the skills they need to innovate and compete in today’s global economy.


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