Ottawa invests $6 million in the Innovation Factory

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The federal government’s FedDev Ontario announced an investment of $6 million for Hamilton’s Innovation Factory, which will work alongside the Synapse Life Science Consortium to launch the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem (SOPHIE).

SOPHIE will bring together Synapse’s network of experts in the life sciences field with Innovation Factory’s experience helping businesses accelerate the commercialization of their products.

Through an annual cohort, businesses will receive the advisory services, testing capabilities and financial support needed from experts in the healthcare field to develop and commercialize their specialized health innovations and scale up their companies.

Support though SOPHIE will create 50 jobs, maintain an additional 100 jobs, and encourage 100 firms to either establish themselves or grow in southern Ontario. This investment will also leverage over $7.5 million in other investments.

“Through this partnership with FedDev Ontario, Innovation Factory will accelerate the commercialization efforts of innovative life science companies emerging from the dynamic southern Ontario health ecosystem,” said David Carter (pictured), executive director, Innovation Factory.

“Innovation Factory will build on our history of supporting startup and scaling companies, ensuring made-in-Canada solutions can emerge with the support of Hamilton’s dynamic health ecosystem.”

Hamilton is home to world-class research institutions such as McMaster University, Hamilton Health Sciences, Mohawk College and St. Joseph’s Healthcare, and hundreds of life science organizations companies, organizations and research institutions.

The Hamilton region has the second largest hospital network in Canada, and the country’s most research-intensive university.

Established in 2011, Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, offering training, workshops, mentorship and programming in the Hamilton-area, which has supported more than 2,300 businesses to accelerate their commercialization projects.

Since 2016, the 120-member Synapse Life Science Consortium has connected key partners in the Hamilton-area life science network to commercialize products and promote the impact of the sector.

“Canada’s emerging life science sector represents a fantastic opportunity to create jobs and drive better health outcomes for citizens across the country,” said Alex Muggah, director, Synapse Life Science Consortium. “The Hamilton region will play a critical role in supporting this growth. Through SOPHIE, the Synapse Consortium’s world-class academic and clinical experts, facilities and infrastructure will work hand-in-hand with SMEs and entrepreneurs to build the next generation of innovative health technology.

FedDev Ontario has invested over $27 million in projects in the Hamilton area since 2015, including $6.5 million to the YWCA Hamilton to address critical labour gaps in fields traditionally underrepresented by women. FedDev Ontario has invested more than $235 million in nearly 75 Health and Bioscience related projects since 2015.

Read the full Canadian Healthcare Technology piece here


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