Investment increases Alberta’s capacity to move healthcare products to market

News release

Funding will extend the reach of Glenrose Rehabilitation Research Innovation and Technology (GRRIT) Hub services

August 29, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Government of Canada is supporting the development and commercialization of new healthcare technologies and products in Western Canada, while attracting investment and creating high-quality jobs and training opportunities.

Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation (GRHF) is receiving an investment of over $1.8 million to expand the Glenrose Rehabilitation Research Innovation and Technology (GRRIT) Hub. Funding will support the commercialization of healthcare products and expand GRRIT Hub services to Calgary. This expansion is in collaboration with the Foothills Medical Centre, Tom Baker Cancer Centre, and Ward of the 21st Century.

Funding was announced today by Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. The investment will contribute to Alberta’s life sciences sector by building on existing expertise and positioning the province’s businesses to take advantage of healthcare opportunities to increase their productivity and revenues.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace. Today’s investment contributes to a broader innovation ecosystem and strengthens Alberta's life sciences sector, which continues to be a major source of highly skilled employment, innovation, and economic diversification.

Quotes

“Canada is in a global innovation race. To win, we must rely on Canadians’ ability to continue to adapt, innovate, and maintain our competitive edge in the fast-paced and increasingly global economy. Today’s investment will expand the Glenrose Rehabilitation Research Innovation and Technology (GRRIT) Hub services. Through this expansion, we will reduce market barriers for small- and medium-sized businesses, create well-paying jobs, and enhance Alberta’s competitiveness in the life sciences sector on a global scale.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“The Government of Canada is taking the next steps toward building an equal, competitive, sustainable, and fair Canada—where science, curiosity, and innovation spur economic growth. Services offered by the Glenrose Rehabilitation Research Innovation and Technology (GRRIT) Hub are bringing innovative healthcare products to market, improving the quality of life for countless patients experiencing disabilities from injuries or diseases, and strengthening Alberta’s life sciences ecosystem.”

- Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues

“Industry and foundation partnerships through the GRRIT Hub play a vital role in turning research innovations into health solutions for Albertans across the province. Investments in health research ensure our staff and physicians can access the resources, technologies, and information they need to deliver the best possible care for our patients.”

- Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO, Alberta Health Services

Quick facts

  • The expansion of the GRITT Hub’s services is expected to:
    test the demonstration of eight healthcare products in a clinical setting;

    • assist 150 small- and medium-sized businesses;
    • help create 130 highly qualified personnel (HQP) jobs;
    • train 160 HQP specializing in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; and,
    • attract $800,000 in foreign investment over the next three years.
  • According to Deloitte, Alberta's life sciences sector generated nearly $700 million in revenues, and over 16,000 full-time positions in 2017.

  • The western Canadian life sciences sector represents nearly $15 billion in GDP (45 per cent in British Columbia, 35 per cent in Alberta, 7 per cent in Saskatchewan, and 13 per cent in Manitoba).

Associated links

Contacts

Narmin Hassam-Clark
A/Regional Communications Manager
780-399-1058
narmin.hassam-clark@canada.ca

Sharman Hnatiuk
Senior Communications Advisor
Alberta Health Services (AHS) Communications
780-863-0629
sharman.hnatiuk@ahs.ca

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