Government of Canada supports advancement of women and commercialization in southern Ontario’s health sciences sector 

News release

FedDev Ontario invests $10 million to support 180 companies, create and maintain 480 jobs, and 270 job opportunities for women

July 11, 2022 - Ottawa, Ontario

Health sciences are essential to ensuring the vitality and well-being of Canadians, and the need for made-in-Canada solutions continues as we finish the fight against COVID-19. Despite the potential in this dynamic sector, innovators frequently face challenges in bringing their promising technologies to market. Further to this, women remain under-represented, especially in positions of leadership. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting both women and growth in this sector.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Jenna Sudds, Member of Parliament for Kanata–Carleton and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Women, Gender Equality and Youth, announced a non-repayable contribution of $10 million for the Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®) to expand the Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™) program, through the Jobs and Growth Fund.

EAHN™ is a collaborative ecosystem designed to connect health science companies with access to capital, business resources and coaching to commercialize innovative technologies and match commercial-ready health technologies with health organization members. Once matched, health organization members work to evaluate the company’s proposed innovation and distribute and adopt the technology, while showcasing the product to the global market. This investment will help expand the EAHN™ program by leveraging the existing network of over 20 hospitals across southern Ontario so that more companies can access this initiative and validate their technologies in a health setting.

The project will support 180 SMEs, including financial support for more than 30 SMEs with high-potential health technologies, and create and maintain 480 jobs in the region. Application intake is open and details can be found on OBIO®’s EAHN™ website.  

To increase the representation of women in the health and life sciences sector, OBIO® will also launch the Women in Health Initiative (WiHI). This programming will provide on-the-job learning as well as financial support for training costs, with a focus on preparing women for leadership positions. More than 270 women are expected to be supported through the program. More information is available on OBIO®’s website.  


“OBIO® is continuing to foster innovators of new and innovative Canadian technologies while supporting the full and equal participation of women in our economy by offering programs that set women up for a successful career. Our Government is committed to supporting the health of Canadians and our healthcare innovators, and helping women entrepreneurs reach their full potential in this important industry.”
– The Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario

“Today’s investment, through OBIO®, is supporting our local healthcare sector. With the Government of Canada's investment of $10 million, OBIO® is scaling up healthcare innovation, increasing the meaningful participation of women in this important sector, and creating inclusive economic growth across our region.”
– Jenna Sudds, Member of Parliament for Kanata–Carleton and Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister of Women, Gender Equality and Youth

“We are delighted to expand the EAHN™ program and provide more Canadian health technology companies with an opportunity to partner with Canadian healthcare organizations. Through the Women in Health Initiative, we will leverage our in-house training expertise and extensive network of professionals, advisors and companies to ensure the career success of women participating in the health science industry. Our overarching goal at OBIO® is to ensure that the health science industry has the capabilites to help domestic companies access the Canadian market.”
– Dr. Maura Campbell, President and CEO, Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization

Quick facts

  • Founded in 2009, and led by CEO, Dr. Maura Campbell, OBIO® supports the development and commercialization of health technology through early-stage investment, advisory services, strategic alliances, stakeholder engagement and industry promotion.

  • The EAHN™ network consists of partner hospitals spanning across southern Ontario, including research hospitals in Toronto and Ottawa, and regional hospitals in Hamilton, Kingston and Newmarket.

  • Today’s announcement, builds on an additional $10 million in FedDev Ontario support, provided to OBIO® since 2015, to assist high-potential health and life sciences companies to grow, scale up and attract global investment.

  • FedDev Ontario is delivering $224 million of the Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) to help businesses in southern Ontario and the organizations who support them, future-proof, build resiliency and prepare for growth by transitioning to a green, inclusive and competitive economy.

  • Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested over $175 million in over 40 projects related to Health and Bioscience. 

Associated links


Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

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