Digital Technology Supercluster investing in eight new projects through COVID-19 program

Navdeep Bains

Eight new projects focused on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic are receiving investments from the British Columbia-based Digital Technology Supercluster. The funding for each project was not disclosed.

One project will assess the feasibility of its on-the-spot screening technology for the detection of COVID-19.

These new projects are some of the 22 projects selected by the supercluster out of over 500 proposals received for its previously announced $60 million program aimed to fight COVID-19, seven of which were announced last week. The investment, drawn from the supercluster’s $153 million budget, is designed to address some of the biggest challenges faced by the country due to the pandemic.

“As provinces reopen we must remain vigilant and continue to find effective ways to protect and support our frontline workers and use technologies to prevent and predict further outbreaks while supporting Canadians in the many ways they have been impacted by COVID-19,” said Sue Paish, CEO of the Digital Technology Supercluster.

The supercluster’s COVID-19 program is supported by the federal government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative. In March, the government refocused some of its innovation programs, including the Innovation Supercluster Initiative, to help in its fight against COVID-19.

Selected project teams are eligible to receive reimbursement of between 50 and 100 percent of total project costs. The supercluster will determine the specific co-investment rate for each selected project. The eight latest projects include:

Digital Mental Health Tools for Healthcare Workers – This project, led by Starling Minds, aims to create a suite of interactive therapy tools to help healthcare organizations deliver mental healthcare support to workers.

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Looking Glass – This project, led by Kings Distributed Systems, will use science-driven modelling to better inform public policy and practice as it pertains to the pandemic.

Early Detection of COVID-19 through Artificial Intelligence – Led by Patriot One, this project aims to develop a passive screening system to identify people with elevated temperatures who are at risk of having COVID-19.

Making Virtual Care Happen – Led by Thrive Health, this app is designed to increase access to mental health services, substance use and physical health care, walk-in counselling, and peer support.

Risk Management Frameworks for Workplace Safety – ecoMine, a Vancouver-based biochemistry company, will assess the usefulness of its low-cost, on-the-spot screening technology for the detection of COVID-19.

Confidential Virtual Addiction Treatment for Healthcare Workers – This project, led by Alavida, will provide healthcare workers with confidential virtual care and treatment options for substance use.

Stronger Together – Led by Curatio, this initiative uses remote patient monitoring and a private social network platform to provide continued healthcare to discharged patients.

Digital Telework for Remote Physical Work – Led by Sanctuary AI, this project is intended to expand beyond the existing use of video and audio technologies for remote work.

Image source Digital Technology Supercluster.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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