SOPHIE gives life science start-ups access to expertise and funds (Healthcare Technology)

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A recent federal investment in a Hamilton-based, life science cluster has increased access to expertise and funds for innovative healthcare technology companies – like VoxNeuro.  Synapse is a life science cluster that was launched by Hamilton’s regional innovation centre, the Innovation Factory. “Synapse was ready to make the introductions to help us build our network of investors” said Kimberly Elliott, VoxNeuro’s chief operating officer. “Especially in healthcare, investors who are focused on driving positive social impact through technology are a great fit.”

Access to specialized expertise and support can make or break a life science company. That’s why a recent federal investment in Synapse – one that unlocks millions of dollars of funding for healthcare innovation for 40 Canadian companies – is welcome news for start-ups and scale-ups.

In March, FedDev Ontario announced the launch of SOPHIE, the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Innovation Ecosystem. The $6 million investment in Innovation Factory will allow Synapse to significantly increase its programming and ensure faster access to clinical and technical support for eligible life science and health tech companies.  For David Carter, executive director of Innovation Factory, the establishment of SOPHIE is about supporting healthcare innovation with a focus on community. This can be done by increasing access to expertise and preventing companies from getting stuck behind red tape.

SOPHIE offers a unique model for the future of healthcare innovation, with a multi-faceted approach to supporting companies. The majority of the funding has been earmarked to help companies scale up with R&D support: $4.5 million will be available for companies that want to leverage their R&D budget to work with one of the research institutions or hospitals affiliated with the Consortium.

Read the full Healthcare Technology story here


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