HAMILTON, ON – November 8, 2022 – Yesterday, Innovation Factory welcomed the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister Responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). The Minister toured the business accelerator, and met with emerging life science tech companies driving innovation with support from the SOPHIE program.
In March 2021, Innovation Factory and Synapse Life Sciences Consortium received a FedDev Ontario investment of $6 million to launch the Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem (SOPHIE). To date, the SOPHIE program has contributed directly to launching 25 commercialization projects, created 75 new jobs, and enabled participating companies to secure more than $50 million in funds raised.
Minister Tassi sat down with innovators who participated in the program, including Allarta Life Sciences, Bay Area Health Trust and Eye3 to understand commercialization needs and opportunities that drive economic growth across southern Ontario.
“The SOPHIE program helped us achieve a key milestone, enabling validation studies and field trials necessary to benchmark against industry and legal standards. As a result, we are in an excellent position to move forward with our commercialization plans. The support has helped us develop a business framework and establish connections that have been integral to defining our overall direction and supporting our growth at every stage to date,” said David Wilson, Founder of Eye3.
‘Our region is second to none in terms of attracting ongoing investment, promoting economic growth, and supporting emerging companies in the life science sector. We have a growing network of partners including industry experts, investors, academic institutions, and hospitals, that we connect our innovators to as they develop their tech solutions and prepare to enter the market. It is important to support the commercialization of life science and health tech innovation, given the potential impact these young companies can have both locally and globally”, said David Carter, Executive Director of Innovation Factory.
“Supporting our life sciences entrepreneurs is essential to the well-being of Canadians and keeping our economy strong,” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “I was so pleased to meet with the team at SOPHIE, and the emerging life science tech companies who are blazing the trail in this important sector. The Government of Canada is delighted to partner with Innovation Factory and Synapse Life Science consortium to continue to boost the growth of Canadian life science companies through the SOPHIE program.”
The SOPHIE program brings together Innovation Factory’s commercialization services with the Synapse Life Science Consortium’s strategic network to leverage access to Hamilton’s unique life sciences capabilities and research expertise. The SOPHIE program has elevated Hamilton as a premier region for developing, testing, and commercializing innovative solutions.
Minister Tassi’s visit to Innovation Factory also saw her participation in a roundtable meeting with life science ecosystem representatives including stakeholders and tech leaders from the Hamilton region. A key focus of the discussion provided the Minister with insight on priorities and support opportunities that could further catalyze and enhance the sector’s innovation and commercialization efforts.
About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit business accelerator, serving as the catalyst for technology innovation in the greater Hamilton area since 2011. From ideation to commercialization and scale-up; Innovation Factory provides business services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to drive market adoption, leverage intellectual property, and increase revenues, investment, and jobs. Innovators can also access sector-specific resources including exclusive smart transportation test environments and data; and a formal life science and health innovation ecosystem.
About FedDev Ontario
For more than 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth 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 their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region. Learn more about the Agency’s impact in southern Ontario by exploring the Southern Ontario Spotlight, pivotal projects, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Jennifer Gauvreau, Senior Manager, Marketing & Events
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario