The federal government has announced new funding for a group of organizations in the health and sciences sector of Kingston.
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (FedDev Ontario), announced a FedDev Ontario investment of $3 million.
The funding will flow through the City of Kingston to partner programs at Queen’s University, St. Lawrence College, GreenCentre Canada, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, and Kingston Economic Development Corporation. She said the funding will be used to establish a health innovation ecosystem in the region.
Craig Desjardins from the City of Kingston said the funding was secured through a joint application by all parties. Young said Kingston was selected to receive the funding because of the existing cross-sector partnerships and leadership in innovation taking place in both academia and commercial spaces.
“We want to unlock the potential of Canadian innovation right here in Kingston,” he said.
The project will bring the City’s post-secondary and healthcare institutions together to develop, test, and commercialize new healthcare technology. The collaboration will leverage three labs to support local research and development needs, as well as establish new business advisory supports to help entrepreneurs small companies commercialize health innovations, then scale up.
All in all, the funding is projected to create 100 jobs, support 37 businesses and commercialize 10 new health innovations.
Young said it will also support new investment attraction activities, such as the expansion of a Kingston-Syracuse Pathway, a partnership for cross-border collaboration and trade.
“This is about jobs,” said Mayor Bryan Paterson. “It’s about attracting new investment to Kingston, creating those quality career opportunities for people in our community. This is what economic development is about, so it’s exciting to see this come forward.”
“Kingston is punching above its weight and helping to be on the cutting edge of an industry that’s going to be increasingly important to our economy,” Paterson added.
Glenn Vollebregt, President of St. Lawrence College said the institution is excited to be involved.
“It’s very motivating to be talking in such a forward thinking, future-focused way,” he said.
“The challenges presented by the pandemic have underlined the value of healthcare innovation,” Young noted. “The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the health and safety of Canadians and a strong recovery for our economy. Today’s investment in the City of Kingston and its partners to foster and accelerate local healthcare innovations is an example of this commitment.”