About INOVAIT 

Established in 2020, INOVAIT invests strategically in collaborative partnerships that build upon Canada’s strength in digital innovation and health science research to create a critical mass of world leading Image-Guided Therapy (IGT) companies. Led by the Sunnybrook Research Institute and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, the network brings together small, medium-sized, and large companies, research organizations, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations.

Our vision is for Canada to be home to a truly integrated image-guided therapy ecosystem, fueling continuous innovation that revolutionizes healthcare globally

Our mission is to connect, educate, and invest in the industry’s brightest minds and most promising ventures in order to improve patient outcomes and fuel economic development in Canada

INOVAIT is proud to be hosted by Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI), the research arm of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre — one of Canada’s premier academic health sciences centres fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. SRI is home to the Centre for Research in Image-Guided Therapeutics, which is developing new and better ways to detect, diagnose and treat complex health conditions. In addition, Sunnybrook has been recognized as a Centre of Excellence by the Focused Ultrasound Foundation, the first site in Canada – and one of only seven in the world – to receive this honour.

Through our unique

offering, we will:

  • Invest in the integration of AI and IGT devices
  • Strengthen R&D collaborations between world class research laboratories, new start-up companies, SMEs, and MNEs
  • Train highly qualified personnel

Which will in turn:

  • Increase private investment in IGT
  • Grow the industry, as measured by increased number of companies, employment, and sales
  • Strengthen Canada’s scientific, clinical, and commercial reputation in IGT

Ultimately,

  • Improving patient outcomes
  • Driving down healthcare costs
  • Fueling economic development

Management Board

The Management Board is responsible for the overall governance of the network and is composed of distinguished members drawn from the business, scientific, research and technology communities.

Dr. M. Cynthia Goh, PhD and Professor of Chemistry at University of Toronto
University of Toronto

M Cynthia Goh

Dr. Steven Beyea, PhD and Scientific Director of the Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre
IWK & Nova Scotia Health Authorities

Steven Beyea

Colette Kaminsky is the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation Canada
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Colette Kaminsky

Linda Brown, a self-employed consultant

Linda Brown

Dr.Kullervo Hynynen, PhD and Vice President of Research and Innovation at SRI
INOVAIT Co-Director and VP Research and Innovation at Sunnybrook Research Institute

Kullervo Hynynen

University of Toronto

M Cynthia Goh

Dr. M. Cynthia Goh, PhD is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Toronto and a successful entrepreneur focused on translating scientific knowledge into products that benefit society. In addition to having founded 7 science-based companies, Dr. Goh has also developed and implemented training programs, such as Techno and Entrepreneurship101 (E101 at MaRS).

IWK & Nova Scotia Health Authorities

Steven Beyea

Dr. Steven Beyea, PhD is the Scientific Director of the Biomedical Translational Imaging Centre, a research facility based at the IWK and QEII Health Centres in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and focused on medical imaging that spans academic research, clinical translation, and industry partnership/commercialization. In addition, he is also a Professor in the Department of Radiology at Dalhousie University, with cross-appointment to Health Sciences, Biomedical Engineering, and Physics. 

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Colette Kaminsky

Colette Kaminsky is the Associate Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation Canada at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Colette has an extensive background in public policy development, economic analysis, negotiations and program implementation, working both internationally and across Canada. She has previously worked at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Privy Council Office and Finance Canada. She is the founder of the Ottawa Women’s Leadership Network. She holds a Master’s in Economics from Queens University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Saskatchewan.

Linda Brown

Linda Brown is a self-employed consultant leveraging her global healthcare experience, best practice business processes and marketing and sales leadership to help start-up companies bring their technology and solutions to market. Linda previously worked at Siemens healthcare for more than 20 years as a senior executive in national and global sales management and marketing positions.

INOVAIT Co-Director and VP Research and Innovation at Sunnybrook Research Institute

Kullervo Hynynen

Dr.Kullervo Hynynen, PhD is Vice President of Research and Innovation and a senior scientist at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI), a professor in the Department of Biophysics at the University of Toronto, and is a world leader in focused ultrasound research with over 500 scientific papers and about 30 issued or pending patents. Through his career he has built various networks and consortia on focused ultrasound research and commercial development. His work has led to the creation of four companies – Insightec, Ultradiagnostics, Harmonic Medical and FUS instruments – and as Vice President of Research and Innovation and earlier a the Physical sciences Platform Director at SRI he has played a key managerial role in developing SRI commercial activity, including 17 start-ups in the last 13 years.

Team

The INOVAIT team is dedicated to the ongoing operations and success of the image-guided therapy and artificial intelligence network.

Raphael Ronen, MSc, CFA, Director, Commercialization and Administration, INOVAIT
INOVAIT Co-Director

Raphael Ronen

Alia Kuksis, MBA, Communications strategy at INOVAIT
Communications Officer

Alia Kuksis

Ahmed Nasef, MD, MBA, INOVAIT’s networking, outreach and training programs manager
Programs Manager

Ahmed Nasef

Leo Mui, MSc manages INOVAIT’s funding program
Funding Manager

Leo Mui

Sarah Quayyum, JD, legal support for INOVAIT
Legal Counsel

Sarah Quayyum

Jeeshan Iftikhar, CPA, financial analyst at INOVAIT
Financial Analyst

Jeeshan Iftikhar

Rod Engeland

INOVAIT Co-Director

Raphael Ronen

Raphael Ronen, MSc, CFA (Director, Commercialization and Administration, INOVAIT) has over 17 years in the medical device industry, with wide-ranging experience in business development and commercialization including product development, financing, technology assessment, licensing, and IP management. For the past 10 years, he has had increasing managerial positions in technology transfer and business development with various world-renowned academic institutions including MaRS Innovation, University of Toronto, and Robarts Research Institute. Most recently, he serves as Director, Business Development at Sunnybrook Research Institute. Raphael has also held senior management and advisory positions within several emerging Canadian image guided therapy companies, including FUS Instruments and Harmonic Medical. Throughout his career, Raphael has raised more than $55M in grants for commercialization activities for several industry and academic partners across Canada including the previous FedDev TDP and ICP awards to SRI, bringing together 28 industry and academic partners to advance IGT technologies. Raphael holds a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, an M.Sc. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Western Ontario, and a B.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Communications Officer

Alia Kuksis

Alia Kuksis, MBA manages INOVAIT’s communications strategy as well as the development of digital and CRM campaigns. Prior to joining INOVAIT, Alia oversaw a team focused on designing, developing, and measuring success of brand strategies and data-driven integrated marketing campaigns for major Canadian and global brands. Alia holds an MBA degree from the Schulich School of Business with a specialization in Social Innovation and Corporate Sustainability, and also a Bachelor of Commerce, specializing in Marketing, from Queen’s University.

Programs Manager

Ahmed Nasef

Ahmed Nasef, MD, MBA manages INOVAIT’s networking, outreach and training programs. Ahmed is an enthusiastic clinician entrepreneur who brings more than 11 years of lived experience in healthcare innovation, health science research, and technology commercialization. Ahmed holds an Adjunct Lecturer appointment at the Department of Medical Biophysics at the University of Toronto, and has been managing Medventions, Sunnybrook’s flagship healthcare innovation training program. Ahmed earned his MD degree from Cairo, Egypt and holds an MBA in healthcare management and technology innovation from Schulich School of Business at York University.

Funding Manager

Leo Mui

Leo Mui, MSc manages INOVAIT’s funding program for collaborative research and commercialization and works closely with industry and academia to create and sustain impactful projects in IGT and AI. He has spent his career in a variety of roles to bring science to society through entrepreneurship and commercialization. Leo obtained a master’s in organic chemistry from the University of Toronto after completing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and human geography.

Legal Counsel

Sarah Quayyum

Sarah Quayyum, JD, has spent her career working at the intersection of law and technology to contribute to projects which improve health. She provides legal support for the INOVAIT program, particularly helping guidance on related agreements. Sarah obtained her Masters of Law in Health Law, Ethics and Policy from the University of Toronto, and her JD from the University of Ottawa.

Financial Analyst

Jeeshan Iftikhar

Jeeshan Iftikhar, CPA has diverse experience in multiple financial roles. He works as a financial analyst for INOVAIT’s funding program, responsible for all financial related activities including the claim process. Jeeshan is a member of CPA Ontario and holds a bachelor’s degree in applied accounting from Oxford Brookes University (UK).

Rod Engeland

Rod Engeland, CGA/CPA, BCom (Finance) is the Executive Director of Operations and Finance at SRI. As part of senior management teams, he has over 30 years of experience in financial and strategic management, mostly in the private manufacturing industry. He oversees a 14-person finance team, 12-person operations team, and a 2-person technology transfer team.

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