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Government of Canada Commits $20 Million to Scale Up Health & Bioscience Companies

From The Government of Canada:

The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, today announced that the Government of Canada will support a $20-million project proposal to scale up companies in health and biosciences. This will be done through an initial $7-million investment to support the establishment of the CAN Health Network with its first network partners.

The CAN Health Network is an integrated market that will allow promising companies to work directly with health care organizations to understand their needs and commercialize health technologies to meet those needs and scale up their companies. Through this integrated market, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and leading start-ups will be able to work with early adopter institutions to collaboratively research, develop and refine Canadian medical technologies to make them market-ready.

“Our government is making these investments to scale up companies and create good jobs for Canadians. The integrated market is an innovative approach supporting technology development and business growth. Through easy access to a large, consolidated domestic marketplace, companies will scale up and be anchored in Canada, commercializing technologies that can be exported around the world.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

With procurement often identified as both a barrier and an opportunity, the CAN Health Network builds directly on the recommendations of the Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table to accelerate innovation adoption through new innovation procurement models.

Health care spending in Canada reached $253 billion in 2018—11% of the country’s GDP—and the international market for medical technologies alone is estimated at $500 billion annually. With market opportunities of this magnitude, the global health technology sector is growing rapidly in Canada and around the world, and the CAN Health Network will position Canadian companies for success.

“We are thrilled to launch the CAN Health Network, one of the most ambitious health and industry partnerships in the country. The goal of this platform is to empower our already strong Canadian medical technology companies to reach their full potential and own the global market. The CAN Health Network will enable health care organizations to work directly with medical technology companies to ensure that technology being adopted is built here at home, by Canadian companies in partnership with our medical leaders. I look forward to continuing to build and grow the CAN Health Network, as it will have a positive impact on patients, medical professionals and all Canadians, now and into the future.”
– Dr. Dante Morra, Lead, CAN Health Network, and Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners

Today’s investment will build the first points of the national network in western Canada and Ontario, with further expansion planned for Quebec, Atlantic Canada and northern Canada. The successes of these initial investments will guide future funding decisions.

With $3.5 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will lead the creation of the CAN Health Network in western Canada, working with:

  • Alberta Health Services;
  • Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba;
  • O’Brien Institute for Public Health, University of Calgary; and
  • Vancouver Coastal Health.


With $3.5 million from FedDev Ontario, Trillium Health Partners will lead the creation of the CAN Health Network in southern Ontario. It will work with:

  • Bruyère;
  • Grand River Hospital;
  • The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids);
  • Prism Eye Institute;
  • SE Health;
  • Sinai Health System;
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre;
  • University Health Network; and
  • Unity Health Toronto.

By harnessing this economic opportunity with leading-edge SMEs and scale-ups, the Government of Canada will build Canadian leadership in health care technologies, creating global companies that anchor thousands of middle-class jobs here in Canada.

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