Delivering better, faster and safer health outcomes for Canadians

News release

Innovation competition brings together more than 70 partners from across Canada for better image-guided therapies

May 21, 2019 — Toronto, Ontario

From the discovery of insulin to stem cell research, Canadians have long been at the forefront of groundbreaking innovations in health and biosciences. That's why the Government of Canada organized a competition for innovation initiatives at the intersection of data and Canada's health and biosciences sector—to invest in better health outcomes while creating and maintaining good middle-class jobs across the country.

Today the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced a historic collaboration in data and digital technology. The investment, up to $49 million, will support the Industry Consortium for Image Guided Therapy (ICIGT). This pan-Canadian network of more than 70 partners, including industry, academia, government organizations and not-for-profits, is working to systematically improve the delivery of health care.

This investment will support ICIGT's estimated $126 million project to accelerate the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies for more accurate image-guided therapies such as MRIs, CT scans and ultrasounds.

Through this investment, Canadians will benefit from better health outcomes, faster diagnoses and safer treatments that minimize side effects and the length of hospital stays. As a collaborative public-private network, ICIGT will shorten the pathway to market for promising high-impact new technologies that help to address gaps in Canadian health care systems. This investment will help position Canada as a world leader in leading-edge medical technologies that will accelerate personalized treatments for patients.

ICIGT's project will also help to create and maintain highly skilled jobs across Canada, lead to the creation of innovative new start-ups, support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses, and create new internships for students in STEM fields.

The Government of Canada believes that trust is the foundation for economic growth and innovation. The ICIGT project will adhere to the most recognized principles and measures to protect data privacy, safety and security.

Quotes

"Canadians have long been leading innovators in health and biosciences. Our government has brought together the best in the public and private sectors to find real health care solutions. The investment in the ICIGT project is helping to leverage Canada's strengths in artificial intelligence, machine learning and image-guided therapies to ultimately deliver better health care for Canadians across the country while building the trust necessary to protect data privacy, safety and security."
— The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

"Sunnybrook would like to thank the Government of Canada for this significant investment in image-guided therapeutics. For years, Sunnybrook, along with its partners, has been pioneering and commercializing groundbreaking work in this area. This important grant will help encourage further investment, inspire greater breakthroughs around the world, and elevate Canada's artificial intelligence and image-guided therapy sectors."
— Dr. Andy Smith, President and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Quick facts

  • Today Minister Bains also launched Canada's new Digital Charter, which includes a set of principles that will help build a foundation of trust in a digital world for Canadians and Canadian businesses. It will guide the Government of Canada's actions as it continues to build an innovative, people-centred and inclusive digital and data economy.

  • ICIGT will begin with more than 70 partners, comprising 56 industry partners (including small, medium-sized and large enterprises), 12 universities, and 10 research foundations, granting agencies and non-governmental organizations. ICIGT is present in eight provinces and operates out of the Sunnybrook Research Institute.

  • This project is consistent with the recommendations of the Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table for nationally robust, digitalized, interconnected and patient-centred health data infrastructure.

  • This investment is made through stream 4 of the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments in Canada's most dynamic and innovative sectors.

  • ICIGT is one of two networks selected for funding after a rigorous competition under the Strategic Innovation Fund, first announced on June 28, 2018.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada's economy. With a simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Associated links

Contacts

Dani Keenan
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
343-291-1710

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
343-291-1777
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada on Twitter: @ISED_CA


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