Supporting demand

New funding stream ramps up Mohawk’s impact in health technology

Published in Momentum Fall 2021

Mohawk College has well-established expertise in digital health and emerging medical technologies and a new funding stream supporting the commercialization of innovation will only make that more impactful. 

FedDev Ontario announced the launch of the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Innovation Ecosystem (SOPHIE) in the spring. It will provide faster access to technology support for life science and health tech companies, says Doug Ward, General Manager of Mohawk’s MEDIC (mHealth and eHealth Development and Innovation Centre). 

SOPHIE will invest $6 million in the Hamilton area through Innovation Factory and the Synapse Life Sciences Consortium of which Mohawk College is an anchor partner. 

Mohawk has been working with industry partners in digital health for more than a decade, primarily focusing on app development and integration of apps with healthcare platforms and databases. 

“There is so much demand out there for what MEDIC can do to get apps to market,” said Ward. 

“SOPHIE is exciting because it provides life science companies with a clear path to launch new products and grow their businesses with the support of Hamilton’s leading institutions and unlock the expertise available here at Mohawk at both MEDIC and the Medical Technologies Innovation Centre,” said Jeff McIsaac, Dean of Applied Research at Mohawk. 

Medical Technologies Innovation Centre brings together experts in engineering, health and education and offers product improvement, and testing and validation. Its facilities include the Centre for Healthcare Simulation, the Point of Care Ultrasound Applications Lab and the Medical Radiation Lab.  

Companies can access up to $100,000 in SOPHIE funding by committing to contribute a further 35 per cent of the funded amount, along with in-kind contribution.  

“The real advantage for both MEDIC and our partners is the speed with which we can do this work. We can move very quickly because the funding is earmarked,” said Ward. 

So, the six to eight months that it can take to secure funding under traditional models is compressed to just a few weeks under SOPHIE. 

“Start-ups need to get to market quickly in such a competitive landscape. That makes a huge difference for our partners.”