Government of Canada

Government of Canada

December 17, 2010 11:18 ET

Bringing Canada's Medical Imaging Experts Together: Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization and Research (CITCR), London, Ontario

LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 17, 2010) - The Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization and Research (CITCR) is one of five new centres to be funded by the Government of Canada through the 2010 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) competition. The CECR program is administered by the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) Secretariat, which supports successful research partnerships between universities, industry, not-for-profit organizations and government.

The centre was awarded $13.3 million over five years, allowing its members to address barriers faced by Canadian medical imaging companies, such as limited access to medical imaging equipment, that prevent the rapid commercialization of diagnostic imaging technologies emerging from Canadian universities and research centres.

Diagnostic imaging—such as ultrasounds, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computerized axial tomography (CAT)—is used in more than one-quarter of medical cases throughout the world. In 2008, the global market for these technologies was estimated at over $20 billion.

CITCR will help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) capture more of this market by bringing together Canadian researchers and technical experts in medical imaging and providing them with greater access to resources and infrastructure. This concentration will not only accelerate research and development in the medical imaging sector, but it will also attract new investments from both the public and private sector, leading to jobs and economic growth, and generate valuable intellectual property.

Dr. Aaron Fenster is the Centre Director for CITCR and he says the centre will change the landscape of the medical imaging technology sector by helping SMEs become successful and accelerating innovations coming out of universities.

"We would like to make Canada, particularly Ontario, a hub of activity in medical imaging," says Dr. Fenster. "Once we have a successful cluster of SMEs, it's going to feed on itself and generate more innovation and commercialization."

Hosted by The University of Western Ontario, with another site at the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, CITCR will be housed in the two largest medical imaging centres in Canada (among the largest in the world). CITCR provides the greatest opportunity for the Canadian medical imaging sector to establish and sustain world leadership in innovation and technological development, and to make tremendous impacts on the economy and healthcare system.

The CECR program is an initiative of three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)—in partnership with Industry Canada.

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