$3 million to establish an ecosystem for businesses to commercialize health care solutions and create 100 jobs
January 26, 2021, Kingston, Ontario
In a media release today, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) stated Kingston is in a position to take on a leadership role in life sciences innovation because of the region's dynamic healthcare sector, top-tier post-secondary culture and a growing number of digital technology companies. This postion, in addition to the demands caused by the current global health crisis prpted FedDev to announce that the Government of Canada is investing in communities like Kingston where "innovative health businesses have the potential to cultivate new ideas while creating jobs and supporting a strong economic recovery from the impacts of the pandemic."
Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the FedDev said the Government "is proud to support made-in-Canada health solutions critical to solving challenges facing the world today and in the future. Today’s investment will foster some of Kingston’s most promising ideas and entrepreneurs as they grow, while creating good jobs locally and helping us stay at the forefront of healthcare innovation.”
Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario), announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $3 million for the City of Kingston, in partnership with Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, GreenCentre Canada, Kingston Health Sciences Centre and Kingston Economic Development Corporation, to establish a health innovation ecosystem in the region.
“The challenges presented by the pandemic have underlined the value of healthcare innovation. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the health and safety of Canadians and a strong recovery for our economy. Today’s investment in the City of Kingston and its partners to foster and accelerate local healthcare innovations is an example of this commitment in action," Young stated.
The project will bring some of the region’s most notable post-secondary and health care institutions together to position Kingston as a place to develop, test and commercialize innovative health care solutions. This collaboration will leverage three technology development labs to support local R&D needs and establish new business advisory supports to help entrepreneurs and SMEs commercialize health innovations and scale up their companies. It will also support new investment attraction activities, such as the expansion of the Kingston Syracuse Pathway, a partnership for cross-border collaboration and trade. For more information, please see the backgrounder.
Through this project, the City of Kingston and partners expect to create 100 skilled jobs, support the development and growth of 37 SMEs and commercialize 10 new health innovations.
This project will help diversify Kingston’s economy from a solid base in tourism and public sectors into the health innovation sphere. Through strategic investments like this, the Government of Canada is building on regional strengths to help secure our position as a world leader in innovative health technologies and create the right conditions for growth and resilience in the post-COVID-19 economy.
Mark Gerretsen, Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands remarked that “Now, more than ever, supporting and diversifying our regional economies is essential for Canada’s success and sustainability. 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."
Kingston Mayor, Bryan Paterson echoes these remarks noting that “Kingston is perfectly positioned to be a leader in healthcare innovation. We are thrilled for the opportunity to further leverage these strengths as a community by establishing a health innovation hub. We will be able to create jobs and attract investment as we work towards meaningful recovery and also contribute to the healthcare sector as we address the challenges brought about by the pandemic.”
Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $19 million in 28 projects in the Kingston area, including $1 million to support Kingston tourism operators, announced in September 2020.
Backgrounder: FedDev Ontario supports health innovation in Kingston