Minister Boissonnault announces federal investment to support Alberta’s health technology sector
Over $2.1 million through PrairiesCan will enable Alberta technology firms to ramp up commercialization of in-demand mobility and home health technologies.
December 19, 2023 – Edmonton, Alberta – PrairiesCan
Small- and medium-sized health technology companies play a vital role in developing innovative solutions that contribute to the quality of life of Canadians of all ages and abilities. These technologies are pivotal in enabling many older adults who prefer to age in place within their own homes and communities to stay healthy, mobile, and active. The Government of Canada is investing in initiatives that increase the capacity of Alberta’s health technology sector to continue bringing new ideas and applications to market.
Today, the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, announced a federal investment of more than $2.1 million for the Glenrose Hospital Foundation in Edmonton to accelerate industry applications for human mobility and home health technologies.
Federal funding is directed towards the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital’s Research & Innovation program, which focuses on commercial applications of clinical research and in assisting industry with product design, validation, and access to clinical facilities. The investment will support the hospital to acquire equipment and develop a testing centre to support health firms across Alberta working to refine prototypes and devices such as wheelchairs, adaptive bikes, remote monitoring systems and wearable technologies. The hospital will also establish a province-wide network of companies, post-secondary institutions, and other organizations to bolster collaboration in advancing new technologies to market.
Ultimately, these innovations have the potential to help transform the ability of people to age in place, carry out daily tasks, enjoy recreational activities and remain independent at home for longer and with more ease.
Today’s investment is expected to lead to the creation of 35 jobs in Alberta’s growing health and medical technology sector, assist at least 30 small- and medium-sized businesses and leverage an additional $2 million in research and development investment over the next three years.
PrairiesCan funding announced today is complemented by funding support by industry and additional not-for-profit partners. This collaboration is at the heart of the Government of Canada’s Framework to Build a Green Prairie Economy. The Framework was launched yesterday after extensive consultations with Prairie stakeholders, provinces, municipalities and Indigenous partners. It represents a new commitment for stronger collaboration between levels of government and sectors of the economy to grow a sustainable economy across the Prairies through actions aligned with the Framework’s five priorities:
- Growing key regional sectors, including natural resources, agriculture, and manufacturing;
- Effective movement of goods, people, and information;
- Expanding and capitalizing on clean electricity;
- Community economic development; and
- Economic reconciliation and inclusive growth.
This Framework is supported by dedicated PrairiesCan funding of $100 million over three years to encourage greater collaboration on investment opportunities, leverage additional funding, and attract new investments across the Prairies.
“Our government is proud to partner with the Glenrose Hospital Foundation to support the development of new technologies and solutions that improve the quality of life of Canadians and help ensure they can remain healthy, active, and mobile in their homes and in their communities. This initiative will further strengthen Alberta’s impressive and growing life sciences sector by providing local firms with more opportunities to commercialize their ideas, create jobs and bring their products to global markets.”
- The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan
“Alberta’s technology firms have the expertise, know-how and drive to bring new applications to market and transform the future of healthcare. Our work with Glenrose Research & Innovation will bolster their capacity to refine and launch new products while putting our region and our province at the forefront of meeting global demands for innovative health and mobility solutions – keeping older Canadians at home longer.”
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages
"We are entering a new age of human ability. Technology is evolving at an unprecedented pace, as is our ability to use these technological advances to unlock human potential. At the Glenrose Hospital Foundation, this is the core of our purpose. We seek to foster innovative and leading-edge technologies to reimagine human ability and create new possibilities for Albertans. The support of PrairiesCan will allow us to do just that. The innovations that will result from this partnership have the ability to impact far-and-wide, fostering breakthroughs in human mobility, supporting ageing in place, and setting a new standard for patient care."
- Mark Korthuis, President and CEO, Glenrose Hospital Foundation
“Thanks to this investment in Alberta’s health technology sector, the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital’s Research & Innovation program can tap into the expertise of our clinicians and therapists to collaborate with industry partners to research and test innovations for Albertans who require life-long rehabilitation and support. Together, we have the potential to create and commercialize technological solutions that will improve the quality of life for patients in Canada and abroad.”
- Dr. Lyle Oberg, Executive Board Chair, Alberta Health Services
Federal funding of $2,198,000 announced today is allocated through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program, administered by PrairiesCan.
The RIE program creates, grows, and nurtures inclusive regional ecosystems that support what businesses need to innovate from start to finish and an environment where companies can innovate, grow and compete.
Today’s investment builds on PrairiesCan’s previous funding of over $1.8 million in 2019 for the Glenrose Hospital Foundation to expand its research and innovation capacity.
The Building a Green Prairie Economy Act received royal assent on December 15, 2022.
The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, was named under the Act to lead extensive consultations across the Prairies to inform the development of a framework to be tabled in Parliament one year after royal assent of the Act. The Framework was tabled on December 11, 2023.
Progress reports will be tabled in Parliament in 2025 and every five years thereafter.
Office of the Minister of Northern Affairs and Minister responsible for PrairiesCan and CanNor
Prairies Economic Development Canada
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