FedDev Ontario Invests in Healthcare Innovation

News Release

July 21, 2016 – Newmarket, Ontario – Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

Canadians will soon benefit from improved health‑care options to support the management of chronic disease as a result of a $15 million investment to York University and partners, Southlake Regional Health Centre and the University Health Network.

This investment by the Government of Canada was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with. Kyle Peterson, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora.

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.

An estimated three out of five Canadians over the age of 20 years old are diagnosed with at least one chronic disease. And the rates of chronic disease diagnosis are rising steadily every year. The treatment of chronic disease is estimated to cost Canadians $39 billion annually.

The investment, through the Investing in Commercialization Partnerships initiative, will be used to develop and commercialize clinical applications as well as medical devices. These technologies make use of the vast amounts of clinical data available to create health solutions that are tailored to the needs of individual patients. Such innovations have the potential to improve outcomes for patients, reduce costs for health‑care providers and create nearly 130 highly skilled, well‑paying jobs for Canadians working in this emerging field.

The project brings together university‑ and hospital‑based researchers with the business community. The investment will be matched by $19.5 million from 36 partners, resulting in a total budget of $34.5 million, which will help position southern Ontario as a leader in health technology, while providing Canadians with better, more precise ways to manage chronic disease.


"Our Government is committed to positioning Canada as a global centre for innovation – one that creates well‑paying jobs for Canadians working in this emerging field while also helping to foster a thriving middle class, drives growth across all industries and improves the lives of all Canadians. Today's announcement is a prime example of that policy in action. The most innovative solutions often happen when people from different fields collaborate. That's why it's important for universities, healthcare providers, the business community and government to work together. That's how we will come up with health‑care solutions that improve the quality of life for Canadians."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

"This investment will lead to the creation of important resources and services for patients in Canada living with chronic disease. Companies and individuals will benefit from the strategic partnerships, collaborations and new technologies that will develop as a result of this project."

– Kyle Peterson, Member of Parliament for Newmarket–Aurora

"Canada recognizes the critical role of innovation and knowledge mobilization in both health promotion and health care. It will enable York to build on the success of our Connected Health and Wellness Project (CHWP), which demonstrated the power of providing individuals with the technology and tools they need to manage their health. York has collaborated with Southlake for many years, and we anticipate an even closer working relationship as we look forward to our new campus opening in Markham Centre."

– Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice‑Chancellor,York University

"The federal government's investment will help Southlake to be a model hospital of the future. Fostering the commercialization of healthcare technology is a catalyst to a more sustainable healthcare system, improved quality, and the highest level of patient safety. By working collaboratively with startups and small to medium‑sized enterprises, Southlake, through its incubator CreateIT Now, is playing a critical role in fostering the adoption of the healthcare technology to best benefit our patients and the healthcare sector as a whole. In addition to benefits these new technologies will have for our patients, we are also creating opportunities for Canadian companies to attract investment, create jobs, and reduce the innovation gap in Canada."

– Dr. Dave Williams, President & CEO, Southlake Regional Health Centre

"We are excited to be able to continue creating new technologies for patients struggling with the burden of illness. This strong support from the federal government is recognition that there is exquisite talent in our research hospitals and universities. By working together, transformational change is possible in our health system through the creation and use of novel health technologies for patient self‑care.  We look forward to working with lead partners, York University and Southlake Regional Centre; this collaboration will make life better for all of our patients."

– Dr. Peter Pisters, President and CEO, , University Health Network

Quick Facts

  • FedDev Ontario's non-repayable contributionis expected to create 128 full‑time equivalent jobs and result in the commercialization of 37 technologies and 72 new collaborations with businesses and research and healthcare institutions.
  • This funding will support the commercialization of: 11 health apps, five medical devices, 15 technologies that will be used to address clinical problems, and six big data platforms.
  • The funding will go towards total project costs of up to $34.5 million and will leverage up to $19.5 million from 36 organizations, including Cisco Systems, Janssen, TELUS Health, MD Primer, ChipCare Corporation, NexJ Health, University of Toronto and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.
  • Today's investment builds on a previous FedDev Ontario non‑repayable contribution of $15.5 million to York University to support the successful delivery of the Connected Health and Wellness Project, which resulted in the development of 40 new products, 122 jobs and 27 collaborations.

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