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Sunnybrook’s Medventions program expands to Atlantic Canada with the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub

June 20, 2023

A group of doctors inside of a operating room

Today, Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and INOVAIT are proud to announce the expansion of Medventions, Sunnybrook’s flagship fellowship training program in health technology innovation. The program is launching its second Canadian site in Nova Scotia, led by the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub in Halifax.

Established in 2016, the Medventions fellowship program is a four-month physician-led experience that teaches multidisciplinary teams of students and fellows how to advance patient care through technology. The program immerses fellows into the hospital to observe clinical procedures, processes and workflows to identify opportunities for change, growth and efficiency through the creation of innovative technologies. In addition to learning directly from clinicians and scientists, Medventions fellows attend seminars and a portfolio of courses, including medical research, entrepreneurship, technology development, start-up operation and legal and regulatory requirements to build a robust knowledge of creating and launching a medtech device or product.

“Growing the medical technology sector in Canada requires training an expanded workforce that can identify, develop and translate innovative ideas to products that positively impact healthcare,” says Dr. Brian Courtney, Director of Medventions at SRI. “Medventions is designed to enhance the productivity of the medical technology industry by providing the incumbent workforce with the skills and sector-specific education to contribute meaningfully and quickly to the requirements of an evolving industry.”

The Medventions fellowship program equips budding health technology leaders with the skills and expertise to address current issues within healthcare and grow medical technology companies. Through this new partnership, aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators from Atlantic Canada will gain hands-on entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial experiences in healthcare innovation and technology commercialization.

“We are excited to grow our role in nurturing the healthcare innovation ecosystem in Canada,” says Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, Vice President of Research and Innovation at SRI. “This valuable partnership provides a unique opportunity for Sunnybrook and the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub to capitalize on their innovation infrastructure and networks to create value-building capacity and skills development programs.”

“At the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub, we are fostering a culture of innovation and creating the winning conditions for the next generation of trailblazers,” says Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice-President of Research, Innovation, and Discovery and Chief Nurse Executive. “By investing in our local entrepreneurs, we are paving the way for system transformation that is built by Nova Scotians, for Nova Scotians.”

The Medventions Atlantic program will launch this fall in tandem with the Toronto-based Medventions program at SRI. The Medventions Atlantic program will have a clinical focus on psychiatry and surgical oncology. Medventions Toronto will focus on uncovering translational research and innovation opportunities in interventional cardiology. The synchronous fellowship programs will support the students’ national network-building as they embark on their learning journey together, which is a key mandate of the INOVAIT network, which is supporting the expanded Medventions program.

"By supporting and empowering young entrepreneurs, we not only drive economic growth and job creation, but also advance the quality of patient care through cutting-edge technologies and solutions,” says Susan Corkum-Greek, Minister of Economic Development, Nova Scotia. “We are committed to this important work, and we will continue to find ways to bring innovation to the forefront of healthcare."

The support of INOVAIT, Canada’s image-guided therapy network led by SRI and funded through the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, along with the Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub made expanding the Medventions program to Atlantic Canada possible. This joint investment in the program expansion will help Canada’s medtech workforce ensure they have the required skills and expertise to translate research outcomes into health benefits for Canadians.

“Our government knows that innovation is key to improving patient care and for better health outcomes for Canadians,” says The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “The expansion of the Medventions program offers a wonderful opportunity for the most innovative young entrepreneurs in Atlantic Canada to gain critical skills through first-hand experience with the medical system. This gives them a unique insight into the issues and opportunities facing our current healthcare system, and how cutting-edge tech solutions could be created and brought to market to improve patient outcomes.”

The Medventions Atlantic fellowship program is accepting applications for the 2023 Fall term. The deadline to apply for the program is June 30, 2023. For more information about the Medventions programs, contact Ahmed Nasef, Program Manager, at ahmed.nasef@sunnybrook.ca.

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About INOVAIT

Established in 2020, INOVAIT invests strategically in collaborative partnerships that build upon Canada’s strength in digital innovation and health science research to create a critical mass of world-leading Image-Guided Therapy (IGT) companies. Led by the Sunnybrook Research Institute and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, the network brings together small, medium-sized, and large companies, research organizations, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Its objective is to build a truly integrated IGT ecosystem by fueling continuous innovation that revolutionizes healthcare globally.

About Sunnybrook Research Institute

Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) is the research arm of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, an internationally recognized academic health sciences centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. With well-established programs in basic and applied sciences which span across three scientific platforms and ten clinical programs, SRI is developing innovations in care for the more than 1.3 million patients the hospital cares for annually.

About Nova Scotia Health Innovation Hub

The Health Innovation Hub is leading innovation and research within the healthcare system to deliver high-impact solutions for patients and providers. Through strategic partnerships with clinical champions, industry, healthcare foundations, governments and academic partners, the Health Innovation Hub is transforming healthcare through the best available evidence and innovative solutions. It’s also a catalyst that is fostering an innovative mindset and approach to bring about positive system change. For more information, visit innovationhub.nshealth.ca.