YORKbiotech’s AGM Focuses on the Growth of Ontario’s Innovation Economy

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Panel Discusses Challenges and Opportunities for Commercialization in York Region.

YORKbiotech’s (http://www.yorkbiotech.ca) Annual General Meeting welcomed over 70 attendees representing a broad spectrum of collaborators—from innovators of medical devices, information and communications technology, advanced health technologies digital media, biotechnology, pharmaceutical research, to hospitals, government and academia—who were all eager to discuss how they can forge partnerships towards York Region’s economic growth.

To support YORKbiotech’s aim to connect leading scientists with entrepreneurs in order to drive Ontario’s innovation agenda forward, the program began with Morris (Mickey) Milner‘s, President and CEO of htx.ca- The Health Technology Exchange (HTX), introduction of the new Health Technology Commercialization Program (HTCP). This program aims to fund defined development projects led by Ontario-based companies with at least one partner in the Ontario ecosystem for medical and assistive technologies .

Debra Scott, President of the Newmarket Chamber of Commerce, spoke about the Shared Digital Infrastructure (SDI) project, a unique collaborative partnership in Newmarket, demonstrating the importance of aligning interests to achieve goals. Mark Lievonen, President, Sanofi Pasteur Limited, identified key elements that have kept Sanofi Pasteur a leading innovative company. Janet Beed, President & CEO, Markham Stouffville Hospital spoke about the need and opportunities for inventions that could reduce healthcare costs. Peter Pekos, President & CEO of Dalton Pharma Services spoke about the opportunities for partnerships between researchers and industry.

Moderated by Grant Tipler, Head, Life Sciences & Health Services Markets, RBC Royal Bank, the panel and the attendees from the community discussed ways in which innovative ideas can be shared with those who can use and implement them towards economic growth, national prosperity and global competitiveness.

Janet LeClair, Chief Administrative Officer of YORKbiotech, believes that this collaboration is central to the Region’s growth. “Our event provided a unique platform to initiate dialogue on innovative ways of tapping into York Region’s wealth of knowledge” LeClair said. “YORKbiotech and our collaborators, aligned with Ontario’s innovation agenda, are poised to offer a unified program and service delivery model that has the support of all the key regional players, to all of York Region’s knowledge-based industries."

Stan Shapson, Vice-President Research and Innovation, York University and Chair of YORKbiotech’s Board of Directors, spoke to this vision and its realization through the opening of the Markham Convergence Centre which will further strengthen this network of industry, hospital, academia and government. “We are committed to building a regional culture of collaboration and promoting the innovative assets of York Region,” said Shapson. “YORKbiotech continues to facilitate cross-sector collaborations for access to critical mass of expertise related to R&D, commercialization, education and training resources for convergent medical technologies. This supports groundbreaking discoveries, the growth of globally-competitive companies in York Region and attracts companies from around the world.”

About YORKbiotech Inc.

YORKbiotech is a catalyst organization within Ontario’s Regional Innovation Network that facilitates partnerships to channel the wealth of intellectual, technical and commercial resources in York Region towards economic development to knowledge-based industries such as advanced health technologies, biotechnology, clean & environmental technology, digital media, information & communications technology, pharma research and advanced manufacturing.

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Sana Mulji Dutt
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