Government of Canada invests in Hamilton-based catalyst for tech innovation

News release

$6 million to establish innovation hub for businesses to commercialize healthcare solutions, support 100 life sciences firms and create 50 jobs

March 30, 2021 – Hamilton, Ontario

Home to a diverse healthcare sector, world-class research institutions and a growing number of technology companies, the Hamilton area continues to be a leader in healthcare innovation. As Ontario works towards recovery from the global pandemic, the need for made-in-Canada healthcare solutions is more important than ever. That is why the Government of Canada is investing in communities like Hamilton, who have a strong history in innovation, healthcare and collaboration and have the potential to cultivate new ideas while creating jobs and, supporting a strong economic recovery.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $6 million for Innovation Factory, which will work alongside the Synapse Life Science Consortium to launch the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem (SOPHIE).

SOPHIE will bring together Synapse’s network of experts in the life sciences field with Innovation Factory’s experience helping businesses accelerate the commercialization of their products. Through an annual cohort, businesses will receive the advisory services, testing capabilities and financial support needed from experts in the healthcare field to develop and commercialize their specialized health innovations and scale up their companies. Support though SOPHIE will create 50 jobs, maintain an additional 100 jobs and encourage 100 firms to either establish themselves or grow in southern Ontario. This investment will also leverage over $7.5 million in other investments.

This full-service innovation hub in Hamilton will boost Ontario’s position as a place to develop, test and commercialize innovative healthcare solutions while providing a single-window contact to facilities and expertise for Ontario’s next generation of innovative life science companies—creating a robust pipeline of made-in-Canada healthcare solutions.

Quotes

“SOPHIE will connect businesses, health care institutions and academia to solve real-world issues impacting healthcare here at home and around the world. By fostering this collaboration and ensuring our businesses in the life sciences sector have access to the support they need, our government is supporting the health of Canadians at a pivotal time, while creating 50 good jobs so our economy can come back strong.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Today’s investment in Innovation Factory will help some of Hamilton’s brightest entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses. This will create 50 good jobs locally and help Hamilton stay at the forefront of healthcare innovation. Our government is proud to support made-in-Canada health solutions.”
- The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister of Labour and Member of Parliament for Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas

“Today’s announcement is exciting news for the Hamilton Region. We have always been home to an innovative healthcare sector and today’s announcement is the next step in ensuring that Hamilton is at the forefront of healthcare technology and that our innovative businesses have access to the advisory services and financial support they need to succeed.”
- Bob Bratina, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East–Stoney Creek

“Through this partnership with FedDev Ontario, Innovation Factory will accelerate the commercialization efforts of innovative life science companies emerging from the dynamic southern Ontario health ecosystem. Innovation Factory will build on our history of supporting startup and scaling companies, ensuring made-in-Canada solutions can emerge with the support of Hamilton's dynamic health ecosystem.”
- David Carter, Executive Director, Innovation Factory

Canada's emerging life science sector represents a fantastic opportunity to create jobs and drive better health outcomes for citizens across the country. The Hamilton region will play a critical role in supporting this growth. Through SOPHIE, the Synapse Consortium’s world-class academic and clinical experts, facilities and infrastructure will work hand-in-hand with SMEs and entrepreneurs to build the next generation of innovative health technology.
- Alex Muggah, Director, Synapse Life Science Consortium

Quick facts

  • Hamilton is home to world-class research institutions such as McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, Mohawk College and St. Joseph’s Healthcare and hundreds of life science organizations companies, organizations and research institutions.

  • The Hamilton region has the second largest hospital network in Canada, and the country’s most research-intensive university.

  • Established in 2011, Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, offering training, workshops, mentorship and programming in the Hamilton-area, which has supported more than 2,300 businesses to accelerate their commercialization projects.

  • Since 2016, the 120-member Synapse Life Science Consortium has connected key partners in the Hamilton-area life science network to commercialize products and promote the impact of the sector.

  • FedDev Ontario has invested over $27 million in projects in the Hamilton area since 2015, including $6.5 million to the YWCA Hamilton to address critical labour gaps in fields traditionally underrepresented by women.

  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $240 million in 74 projects related to Health and Bioscience.

Associated links

Contacts

Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
catherine.mounier-desrochers@canada.ca

Media Relations
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
fdo.mediarel-relmedias.fdo@canada.ca
Toll Free: 1-866-593-5505

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Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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