SOURCE: The Impact Centre

The Impact Centre

SOURCE: AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

February 08, 2017 09:00 ET

AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence and the Impact Centre team up to focus on entrepreneurship and startup support

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - February 08, 2017) - The Impact Centre at the University of Toronto has been named a new AGE-WELL core facility in entrepreneurship.

This is the first new AGE-WELL core facility to be announced since 2015 when AGE-WELL was established with federal funding to support Canadian research and innovation in the area of technology and aging.

AGE-WELL core facilities promote and trigger national and international interactions for AGE-WELL and provide physical and/or virtual venues for researchers to meet, collaborate and exchange ideas. AGE-WELL has two other core facilities (details below).

The Impact Centre is a research institute at the University of Toronto that brings science to society through education, research and entrepreneurship. The Centre has had big success in incubating companies whose products impact the world.

As an AGE-WELL core facility in entrepreneurship, the Impact Centre will provide AGE-WELL researchers and trainees with startup support, one-on-one student mentoring, customized training programs on entrepreneurship, access to labs and equipment, and other services related to innovation and commercialization.

"We enthusiastically welcome the Impact Centre as a new AGE-WELL core facility that will help us to fuel entrepreneurship and nurture startups in the field of technology and aging," says Dr. Alex Mihailidis, AGE-WELL Scientific Director. Dr. Mihailidis is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto and the Barbara G. Stymiest Research Chair in Rehabilitation Technology at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, University Health Network (UHN).

"AGE-WELL and the Impact Centre share a strong interest in the development of innovative real-world products and services," says Dr. Mihailidis. "This new relationship will provide crucial support for AGE-WELL startups, researchers, trainees and network partners. We see many synergies and successes ahead."

AGE-WELL's other core facilities are the iDAPT (Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology) Research Centre at Toronto Rehab-UHN, and the IRMACS Centre (Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences) at Simon Fraser University. The IRMACS Centre is an AGE-WELL core facility in collaborative research technology. iDAPT provides AGE-WELL researchers with access to its simulation environments. For more, see AGE-WELL Core Facilities.

"I am extremely impressed with what the AGE-WELL team has accomplished to date," says Dr. Richard McAloney, the Impact Centre's Director of Entrepreneurship. "This is a testament to the quality of the management, researchers, trainees and network partners."

"The Impact Centre and AGE-WELL's goals are well aligned and we look forward to combining our complementary expertise," says Dr. McAloney. "Through this effort we will be able to find opportunities to promote healthy aging that would otherwise slip through the cracks and we'll be able to bring those to the world faster."

Mark Elias, a researcher and entrepreneur, says the new partnership will benefit "any health startup" working in the technology and aging space. Mr. Elias is Co-Founder and CEO of Steadiwear Inc., a startup which has developed a "smart glove" to reduce hand tremors. Steadiwear receives support from AGE-WELL and is incubated at the Impact Centre. For more, see https://steadiwear.com.

"The Impact Centre's business and technology acumen combined with AGE-WELL's strength in developing technologies for healthy aging provides a blend that is ideal for any health startup," says Elias. "The Impact Centre and AGE-WELL's support has been a game changer for us. We entered the Impact Centre with an idea and one year later we have a functional unit ready to be tested clinically."

"The Impact Centre has provided me with training in key areas required to be an entrepreneur," says Dr. Pooja Viswanathan, CEO of Braze Mobility Inc, a startup that is commercializing an innovative add-on feature that can transform a regular powered wheelchair into a "smart" wheelchair able to help prevent collisions. Dr. Viswanathan, a postdoctoral fellow in computer science at the University of Toronto and an AGE-WELL trainee, receives support from AGE-WELL through a Strategic Investment Program grant. Braze is incubated at the Impact Centre. For more, see http://brazemobility.com/

"The resources, including personnel, equipment and services, offered by the Impact Centre, AGE-WELL and other core facilities such as iDAPT and Semaphore Lab, have been integral in developing our product in a cost-effective manner helping us get to market faster," says Dr. Viswanathan. "Today's announcement, formalizing the relationship between AGE-WELL and the Impact Centre, is great news for startups that have innovative solutions to support healthy aging."

About AGE-WELL:

AGE-WELL NCE Inc. (http://www.agewell-nce.ca/, @AGEWELL_NCE) is a federally-funded Canadian network of industry, non-profit organizations, government, care providers, end users, and academic partners working together using high-quality research to drive innovation and create technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers. Its vision is to harness and build upon the potential of emerging and advanced technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), e-health, information communication technologies (ICTs), and mobile technologies to stimulate technological, social, and policy innovation.

About the Impact Centre:

The Impact Centre (http://www.impactcentre.ca/, @ImpactUofT) is a research institute at the University of Toronto that strives to bring science to society through industry projects and partnerships, entrepreneurial companies, and unique training programs. We connect exceptional research, talent, innovative companies, and government to create products and services both for existing industry partners and as the basis for startups.

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