Industry Canada

Industry Canada

January 19, 2015 11:48 ET

Minister of State Wong Announces New Research Network to Help Canadian Seniors Live Independently and Safely

Toronto-based AGE-WELL network will look to new technology for better senior care

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 19, 2015) - Industry Canada

Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors), on behalf of her colleague, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced that AGE-WELL, a new network, is receiving $36.6 million over five years to help seniors live independently and safely at home.

Through a collaborative approach with industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and researchers, AGE-WELL will identify the needs of seniors and find ways to reduce the burden on their caregivers. The network will use advanced technology such as mobile communications, smart sensors and robotics to help achieve this goal. AGE-WELL will contribute to increasing the independence and quality of life of older Canadians while creating more affordable technologies that meet Canadians' needs.

Today's investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding, which includes AGE-WELL, and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Quick facts

  • On December 15, 2014, the Government of Canada named five research networks to conduct groundbreaking research that is focused on addressing major social, economic, or health- and life sciences-related issues:

    • New

      • Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life-AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)

      • Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment-BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)

      • Canadian Glycomics Network-GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)

      • Canadian Arrhythmia Network-CANet (London, Ontario)

    • Renewed

      • NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)

  • With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.

  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

Quotes

"Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The newest Networks of Centres of Excellence will undertake research in the important areas of biochemistry, cancer, arrhythmia, aging and brain development, leveraging nationwide talent and resources to tackle social and economic challenges that are important to Canadians."

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks, including AGE-WELL, which will develop new technologies to help seniors live independently and safely at home. These investments will improve the quality of life of Canadians and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy and a more prosperous Canada."

- Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)

"AGE-WELL will join the impressive lineup of NCEs that are already helping drive innovation in Canada by bringing together the brightest researchers and a wide range of partners. This new network offers a great opportunity for top researchers in aging to explore how we can use technology to improve the quality of life of seniors."

- Michel Perron, Vice-President, External Affairs and Business Development, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"We need new tools, devices and solutions in the marketplace that will help older adults remain at home in their later years. AGE-WELL represents a cohesive approach to developing those tools and to establishing Canada as a leader in designing and implementing technology that contributes significantly to the well-being of older people and caregivers."

- Alex Mihailidis, Joint Scientific Director, AGE-WELL

"AGE-WELL will work closely with end-users-older people and caregivers-industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and the country's top researchers and research institutions, including Simon Fraser University and our friends at Toronto Rehab. We will identify the needs of aging people and develop solutions to help them live more independently and safely at home while reducing the burden on their caregivers."

- Andrew Sixsmith, Joint Scientific Director, AGE-WELL

Related product

- Backgrounder: Announcement of NCE Competition Results

Associated links

- NCE competition results

- NCE program information

- Currently funded NCEs

- Science, technology and innovation strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment

- Seniors.gc.ca

Follow us on Twitter: @industrycanada

BACKGROUNDER

Announcement of NCE Competition Results

Since its creation in 1989, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has successfully brought together the best minds from many disciplines and sectors in efforts to solve major social, economic or health issues for Canadians.

The program supports large-scale, collaborative research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Funded networks integrate expertise from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations in a shared effort to generate and implement solutions to problems. In 2013-14, partner organizations of the networks added $63.4 million of financial and in-kind support to the funding from the NCE.

International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some in the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

The NCE program currently supports 14 research networks.

NEW NETWORK

AGE-WELL-Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life ($36.6 million), headquartered in Toronto, Ontario

Living independently and safely at home is widely recognized as an effective way for seniors to maintain their quality of life, and it also saves health care costs. AGE-WELL, housed in one of the most advanced rehabilitation research centres in the world, will use advanced technology such as mobile communications, smart sensors and robotics to help achieve this goal. Through a collaborative approach that engages end-users, industry partners, not-for-profit organizations and researchers, the network will identify the needs of aging adults and find ways to reduce the burden on their caregivers. The research program will also study the social, economic, ethical and policy challenges presented by the increasing use of technology. In addition to supporting independence and safety, this work will boost Canada's competitiveness in designing and implementing technology that optimizes the well-being of older people.

AGE-WELL collaborates with the following partners:

Industry Partners
ADL Smartcare
BlackBerry
Chartwell Retirement Residences
Clearpath Robotics
Communitech
CrossWing, Inc.
Engage Biomechanics
Extendicare
IBM
i-edit
JLG Health Solutions
Kinova
Ludoscience
MDA Space Missions
Mircom
Patterson Medical
Philips Healthcare
Physio Atlas
Point Grey Research
Proximify/UNIWeb
Quanser
Retirement Concepts
Revera
SERMAX
TelASK Technologies
Tridel
ventureLab
Vigilent Telesystems
Academic Partners
CATCH (Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare), University of Sheffield
Centre de recherche de l'Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal
Centre for Education and Research on Aging and Health, Lakehead University
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Université Laval
Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba
Centre universitaire Jean-François Champollion
The Chang School, Ryerson University
ComSanté (Centre de recherche sur la communication et la santé), Université du Québec à Montréal
Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging, McMaster University
Institute for Life Course and Aging, University of Toronto
Institute on Aging and the Social Participation of Seniors, Université Laval
Ryerson University
Schlegel-UWaterloo-Conestoga Research Institute for Aging
Sheridan Centre for Elder Research
Simon Fraser University
University of Victoria
Provincial Partners
Alberta Health, Continuing Care
Alberta Health Services, Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital
Alberta Health Services, Innovation and Research Operations
Alberta Health Services, Strategic Clinical Networks
Baycrest
Centre de réadaptation Lucie-Bruneau
Centre de santé et de services sociaux de la Montagne
Fraser Health
GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre
Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Government of Ontario
Royal Ottawa Health Care Group
Regina Qu'Appelle Regional Health Authority
Seniors Care Network
Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute
Federal Partners
Employment and Social Development Canada
Mitacs

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    343-291-2700

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca