News

Strengthening the Health Science Industry by Increasing the Adoption of Canadian Innovations and Focusing on Women’s Leadership

July 11, 2022

Logo EAHN

TORONTO, July 11, 2022 – The Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization (OBIO®), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing health technology innovation and commercialization, is excited to announce the expansion of Canada’s Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™) and the launch of its new Women in Health Initiative (WiHI) to train women to further ensure their participation and career success in the health science industry. Both initiatives are supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) as part of a new $10-million investment in OBIO®.

“OBIO® is continuing to foster innovators of new and innovative Canadian technologies while supporting the full and equal participation of women in our economy by offering programs that set women up for a successful career,” said the Honourable Helena Jaczek, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Agency for Southern Ontario. “Our Government is committed to supporting the health of Canadians and our healthcare innovators, and helping women entrepreneurs reach their full potential in this important industry.”

Today’s announcement, builds on an additional $10 million in FedDev Ontario support, provided to OBIO® since 2015, to assist high-potential health and life sciences companies to grow, scale up and attract global investment.

Maura Campbell, President and CEO of OBIO®, is thrilled with the continued growth of OBIO’s programs and other initiatives. “We are delighted to expand EAHN™ and provide Canadian health technology companies with an opportunity to partner with healthcare organizations. EAHN™ was developed to evaluate and facilitate the adoption of cutting-edge technologies that improve patients’ lives while providing solutions to healthcare system challenges. We are also very proud to highlight that through WiHI, OBIO’s latest initiative, we will work to ensure the career success of participating women in the health science industry by drawing on our in-house training expertise and extensive network of professionals, advisors and companies.”

Expansion of Canada’s Early Adopter Health Network (EAHN™)

EAHN™ brings together health technology companies and healthcare organizations in a collaborative health system to evaluate, refine, adopt and procure Canadian-made technology solutions. This new funding will be leveraged to grow and expand the network by creating opportunities for companies and healthcare organizations across the entire healthcare ecosystem, from tertiary care and community hospitals to primary care, long-term care organizations and homecare.

Launched in early 2020, EAHN™ partners Canadian companies’ innovative, market-ready health technologies (from medical devices and diagnostics to therapeutics and software platforms, including artificial intelligence) with healthcare organizations and supports them from evaluation to adoption and procurement planning. Through EAHN™, OBIO® provides project management and financial support to evaluate technologies in a real-world setting and facilitate their broad adoption into the healthcare system.

“EAHN™ provides Canadian health science companies access to local markets allowing them to grow here in Canada, create jobs, attract capital and expand globally,” says Gail Garland, former President and CEO of OBIO®. “Since its launch in 2020, EAHN™ has become an aggregator of health science innovations that benefit patients, address healthcare system challenges, and contribute to economic growth. I am honoured to have led the creation, implementation and expansion of this ecosystem building program.”

“EAHN™ gave us the opportunity to evaluate our novel ultrasound technology in a real-world setting,” says Joe Eibl, CEO of Flosonics Medical, which partnered with Health Sciences North in Sudbury to conduct an accelerated study on the use of FloPatch. “Our successful participation in the program was a catalyzing event as we introduce FloPatch to the North American market.”

“We are committed to adopting state-of-the-art healthcare solutions, and our EAHN™ partnership has given us the opportunity to work with the most advanced innovations developed by the Canadian health science community,” says Dr. Alan Forster, Executive Vice-President and Chief Innovation and Quality Officer, The Ottawa Hospital. “It is vital for us to collaborate across the ecosystem and support this network to ensure we achieve our goal of excellent patient care.”

Launch of OBIO’s Women in Health Initiative (WiHI)

Women are under represented in the bioeconomy workforce, particularly in senior roles, and the sector needs support to foster inclusive economic growth. OBIO’s WiHI will help women enter the health science industry, move into senior management roles, and leverage their talent to become leaders.

“WiHI continues OBIO’s longstanding focus on women entering and advancing their careers in business development roles in the health science industry,” says Gail Garland, former President and CEO of OBIO®. “Building the talent pipeline by continually supporting and building a community around women’s professional development contributes to the growth and economic development of this industry.”

Driven by OBIO’s unique capacity to advance its mission through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia and government, WiHI will expand Canada’s health science innovation ecosystem by supporting workforce development for women.

“The quality of programming devised and funded through OBIO® has played a vital role in the growth and development of not just our HealthTech company, but also our entire team,” says Pooja Viswanathan, CEO at Braze Mobility. “I am thrilled to learn about the new program specifically designed to support women leaders and scientists to equip them with the skills they need to succeed.”

About OBIO®
OBIO®, founded in 2009, is a not-for-profit, membership-based innovation organization engaged in strategy, programming, policy development and advocacy to further the commercialization of human health technologies positioning Canada as a leader in the international marketplace. OBIO® advances this goal through collaborative partnerships with industry, the investment community, academia, the health system, and government. For more information, please visit www.obio.ca and follow OBIO® on Twitter at @OBIOscience.

About FedDev Ontario

For more than 12 years, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation, growth and job creation in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving productivity, growing revenues, creating jobs, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects, our Southern Ontario Spotlight, and FedDev Ontario’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Media Contact:

Doriane Rey
Manager, Marketing & Events
Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization
dorianerey@obio.ca

Monica Granados
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
monica.granados@feddevontario.gc.ca

For any additional questions, please contact us.