At the MaRS HealthKick 2015 event in Toronto today, the Ontario government announced the creation of a new fund to grow and improve the competitiveness of Ontario’s health technology sector. The announcement of the $20 million Health Technology Innovation Evaluation Fund was made by Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins, Minister of Research and Innovation Reza Moridi, and David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services.
The fund is one of six recommendations made by Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC) to accelerate the adoption of new technologies in Ontario’s health care system. Other recommendations being adopted include the creation of a dedicated Office of the Chief Health Innovation Strategist, streamlining of healthcare innovations across the province, and a change in procurement practices to focus on outcomes.
“I am proud of the incredible research capacity and innovative talent we have fostered in our province,” said Minister Moridi. “The implementation of the council’s recommendations will seize the opportunity to leverage these strengths for the benefit of not only our health care system, but our economy. Expanding our health technology sector will support job creation, increase the sustainability of the health system, and lead to tangible benefits for all Ontarians.”
As Canada’s largest health startup showcase, HealthKick seems the perfect venue for such an announcement. The annual event attracts over 350 Canadian and US investors to watch startups in medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and health IT each pitch for a chance at $20,000 in prize money.