On Tuesday, FedDev Ontario announced funding for two separate projects meant to support healthtech innovation in the province.
The financings include $3 million to establish a “health innovation ecosystem” in Kingston and $500,000 for Kitchener-based Cloud DX to export its virtual care solution.
The $3 million is being provided to the City of Kingston, with the expectation it will support the development and growth of 37 small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) and commercialize 10 new health innovations, while creating 100 skilled jobs.
“Now, more than ever, supporting and diversifying our regional economies is essential for Canada’s success and sustainability.”
The City is partnering with Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College on the project, as well as Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, and GreenCentre Canada, an organization that supports chemical and materials startups.
The idea behind the funding is to help diversify Kingston’s economy from tourism and public sectors to the health innovation sphere, at a time when the healthtech sector is in high demand and tourism is down.
“Now, more than ever, supporting and diversifying our regional economies is essential for Canada’s success and sustainability,” said Mark Gerretsen, MP for Kingston and the Islands. “With FedDev Ontario’s funding for Kingston to establish a health-centred hub we are helping to bring new health technologies and innovations to market, while improving solutions for Canadians and creating quality, local jobs.”
The $3 million comes in the form of a non-repayable contribution under the Community Economic Development and Diversification stream, and is buttressed by an additional $3.88 million from project partners.
The project is set to leverage three technology development labs to support local R&D needs, as well as establish new business supports and new investment attraction activities, such as the expansion of the Kingston Syracuse Pathway, an initiative focused on cross-border collaboration and trade with the United States.
New programming to be built out of the project includes: St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University working with frontline healthcare workers to identify health care challenges and match them with local entrepreneurs; new “health-focused catalyst” programming to be delivered by Queen’s University, providing mentorship, industry connections and commercialization services; the establishment of a mentoring cohort program for SMEs at Queen’s University; and support services focused on business development at St. Lawrence College.
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The $500,000 for Cloud DX is meant to help the company scale its own healthtech innovation.
Kitchener-based Cloud DX was founded in 2014. It has developed remote patient monitoring software for healthcare providers. The FedDev funding is meant to help Cloud DX expand in Canada and the United States, making its software more widely available to hospitals and medical clinics.
FedDev stated the project will leverage an additional $4 million in private sector investment. The funding is expected to “significantly increase” Cloud DX’s international customer base and export sales, and create 15 skilled jobs in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
Cloud DX has received a fair amount of federal funding over the past year. In August, it was promised up to $300,000 CAD from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program through the Innovative Solutions Canada program. It is also currently taking part in two Supercluster projects; the company was awarded $1.75 million in NGen to help fast-track regulatory approval and transition to manufacturing of its next-generation Remote Patient Monitoring products. It has also received co-investment from the Digital Technology Supercluster, alongside Vancouver-based Curatio, for a virtual care program designed to assist patients in preparation for joint replacement surgery.