Backgrounder: Federal Investments to boost Toronto’s Health Tech Sector
October 9, 2020 – Toronto, Ontario
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a total FedDev Ontario investment of $13.4 million in four Toronto-based businesses and organizations to advance health innovation and create nearly 500 jobs.
Strengthening southern Ontario’s leadership in health technology solutions
- Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP), formerly known as MaRS Innovation, is a membership-based organization of the University of Toronto and affiliated teaching hospitals working together to advance health science technologies. It supports companies along the full innovation continuum—from early-stage ideas through to commercialization and scale up. FedDev Ontario’s non-repayable contribution of $6.5 million, through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem stream, will support TIAP’s expansion of programs for its members and further its geographical reach to support innovative life sciences companies in Kingston and Hamilton, through new partnerships with Queen’s University and McMaster University, along with other high-growth potential companies in Toronto. Through this project, TIAP expects to create 405 highly skilled jobs, scale up 32 life sciences companies, and support at least six companies to become anchor firms in the southern Ontario life sciences sector.
“TIAP is tremendously pleased that the Government of Canada has recognized the importance of our role in creating new health science ventures in Ontario. With this new funding, we will be able to enhance our venture creation program and, with our Members, develop new, much needed health science companies here in Ontario. We are excited to be recognized as a leader in Canadian life sciences innovation, which has so much to contribute to the economy, health and well-being of Canadians.”
- Parimal Nathwani, President and CEO, Toronto Innovation Acceleration Partners (TIAP)
- MindBeacon Holdings Inc. (MindBeacon) is a leading mental and behaviour healthcare provider that offers digital, virtual and in-person therapies, through its BEACON® platform and CBT Associates psychology clinics network. FedDev Ontario’s $4-million repayable contribution, through the Business Scale Up and Productivity stream, will support the company’s plan to scale its digital and virtual therapy platforms and expand into global markets. This expansion will enable mental health clinicians to treat five times more patients than in traditional face-to-face settings alone, and will be integral as clients seek more and more services virtually as a result of COVID-19. Through this project, MindBeacon expects to create 50 skilled positions mainly in engineering, software development, and business development in Toronto.
“MindBeacon is deeply appreciative of the FedDev Ontario investment in our mission to revolutionize and scale the delivery of effective evidence-based mental health care. This investment allows us to expand the capabilities of our technology-enabled therapy offering, and help more people seeking to improve their mental health so they can be empowered to meet the challenges of tomorrow. The support has also allowed us to create new skilled jobs across the southern Ontario technology and healthcare delivery sectors.
- Samuel L. Duboc, Chair and CEO, MindBeacon Group
- Cyclica Inc. (Cyclica) leverages cloud-based AI technology and computational biophysics to reshape the drug discovery process. FedDev Ontario’s $2-million repayable contribution, through the Business Scale Up and Productivity stream, will help Cyclica to commercialize a new drug design tool to enhance the way scientists develop, screen and personalize medicines. Fully integrated with Cyclica’s leading AI-based drug discovery software, Ligand Design, this new technology will significantly reduce the cost and time incurred in the drug discovery and trial process, supporting the development of more novel drugs, which will ultimately improve patient care. Cyclica expects to continue growing its workforce, creating 14 jobs in Toronto in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
“The funding provided by FedDev Ontario has had a significant impact on Cyclica's mandate of advancing the field of drug discovery by helping to enable the commercialization of our newest platform, Ligand Design. Ligand Design, now approaching its second year in the market, screens against multiple disease target pathways, resulting in better and more precise medicines for patients in need."
- Naheed Kurji, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Cyclica Inc.
- InputHealth offers a cloud-based suite of software solutions that enable greater patient engagement, practice automation solutions, coordination of care and advanced data analytics. FedDev Ontario’s $900,000 repayable contribution, through the Business Scale Up and Productivity stream, will support the commercialization and acceleration of its Collaborative Health Record (CHR) platform, and further the company’s expansion into the Ontario and U.S. health tech markets. InputHealth expects to create 20 highly-skilled positions in Toronto.
“We’re delighted to be supported by FedDev Ontario as we chart new courses in healthcare by empowering providers with modern, user-friendly technology that improves their ability to provide high-quality, outcomes-based care.”
- Dr. Damon Ramsey, CEO, InputHealth
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