Fund from Sunnybrook-led network will inject up to $22.7 million into the image-guided therapy sector to ultimately deliver better health care to Canadians

 

TORONTO, ON, January 18, 2023 – Today, INOVAIT and the Government of Canada announced a major investment in the field of image-guided therapy (IGT), with up to $22.7 million in contributions committed to 14 commercialization-focused R&D projects under INOVAIT’s Focus Fund program.

 

Established in 2020, INOVAIT is the pan-Canadian network hosted at Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, which aims to advance image-guided therapy to ultimately deliver better health care for Canadians. The network currently includes nearly 70 member organizations from across Canada.

The Focus Fund investment will support three-year projects at the intersection of advanced imaging, minimally-invasive surgery and artificial intelligence. These innovations will use advances in data sciences and artificial intelligence to enhance image guidance and corresponding therapies. The resulting technologies have the potential to greatly improve patient outcomes and reduce the overall cost of healthcare in Canada.

All 14 awarded projects are led by Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and involve 19 SMEs, three multinational enterprises, nine academic institutions, and four not-for-profit corporations. These organizations will invest an additional $45.4 million into these projects over three years, for a total influx of $68.1 million into the sector. The Focus Fund contributions will help attract investments into Canadian technology companies, create jobs for highly-qualified personnel, and transform our country’s IGT sector into a global leader.

 

INOVAIT encourages a collaborative approach to R&D, with project partners spanning Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan.

“At Sunnybrook, we’ve seen how strong collaboration and partnership can advance image-guided therapy technologies from discovery to the medical marketplace,” says Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, INOVAIT Co-executive Director and Vice President of Research and Innovation at Sunnybrook Research Institute. “The Focus Fund support will extend that momentum across the country, advancing new medical solutions, encouraging further investment in image-guided therapeutics and elevating Canada’s use of artificial intelligence in image-guided therapy sectors.”

“For decades, Canadian innovators have been changing the face of health care at home and around the world in ways that have benefited millions. By investing and working with industry, we will continue to see more global leaders and better health care for Canadians,” says The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Thanks to the INOVAIT Focus Fund, we are seeing more jobs, growth and game-changing solutions that will benefit Canada.”

“Healthcare professionals need the best tools available to give Canadians the best treatments possible,” says Adam van Koeverden, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health and to the Minister of Sport. “Image guided therapy has led to great progress in the medical field over the recent years. Today’s recipients of the Focus Fund will help position Canada and its industries as world leader in this sector. I would like to congratulate all 14 recipients that have been selected by INOVAIT to be part of the Focus Fund projects and I am looking forward to see how your projects will use AI and IGT to better support our healthcare professionals and improve patient outcomes.”

For more information about INOVAIT, visit www.inovait.ca.

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. Its objective is to build a truly integrated IGT ecosystem by fuelling continuous innovation that revolutionizes healthcare globally.

About Sunnybrook Research Institute

Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) is the research arm of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, an internationally recognized academic health sciences centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. With well-established programs in basic and applied sciences which span across three scientific platforms and ten clinical programs, SRI is developing innovations in care for the more than 1.3 million patients the hospital cares for annually. Recognized as a Centre of Excellence in focused ultrasound, SRI has one of the most comprehensive and successful focused ultrasound research programs in the world, with technical, scientific and clinical experts accelerating progress in the field.

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