Province Makes Strategic Investments to Strengthen Ontario’s Medical Technology Ecosystem

Ontario Together Fund continues to support homegrown innovations and manufacturing of domestic medical supplies

April 14, 2022

TORONTO — The Ontario government is supporting investments of more than $3.6 million by three Ontario companies to increase the manufacturing of domestic medical supplies and the development and export of homegrown solutions and innovations. Through the Ontario Together Fund, the province is investing more than $1.9 million to support these projects, which are expected to create at least 41 new jobs.

“Through the Ontario Together Fund, our government is making strategic investments in innovative homegrown businesses with the ideas and solutions to help us support Ontario’s vibrant innovation and medtech ecosystem,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Ontario is proud to support these three companies, and we thank them for their solutions that are enhancing our capacity to support our healthcare system while creating good, local jobs for our talented workforce.”

AceAge Inc. is a Burlington-based healthcare technology company that creates intuitive products to ease the aging process and improve health outcomes. AceAge’s product, Karie, is a smart pill dispenser that delivers, reminds, connects, and secures medication to promote medication adherence for seniors. Karie helps to reduce those taking medication from needing emergency care visits or assisted living care admissions.

AceAge is investing $1,540,000 to scale up domestic manufacturing and assembly of Karie devices to meet domestic and international demand and to make upgrades to their app. With the support of $616,000 through the Ontario Together Fund, the project will create 25 new jobs.

“Karie supports seniors and other Ontarians to maintain their independence and wellness, whether they are aging at home, supported by home care or in Retirement Living homes,” said John Simmons, CEO of AceAge. “The OTF support is significant and will allow us to continue to grow our business while creating manufacturing, science and engineering jobs here in Ontario.”

“After 3 years of development, Burlington based AceAge launched their Karie medical device in 2018 to make it easier for people and their loved ones to take the right medication at the right time,” said Jane McKenna, MPP for Burlington. “Our government is proud to support AceAge in the development and distribution of simple health tools that help encourage better health outcomes. As a direct result of this $616,000 investment from the Ontario Together Fund, AceAge will add 25 new jobs to its workforce in Burlington.”

KA Imaging is a homegrown medtech company incubated from the University of Waterloo that specializes in developing X-ray imaging technologies and systems. The company’s intellectual property portfolio includes 80 global patents.

KA Imaging is investing $1,488,000 to create the world’s first dual-energy mobile X-ray system using their Reveal 35C dual-energy X-ray detector. The mobile X-ray will have increased imaging diagnostic capacity for a variety of patients, including those in critical care and for those located in rural and remote communities where stationary X-ray machines such as CT scans and MRIs are not feasible or accessible. With the support of $967,200 through the Ontario Together Fund, the project will create four new jobs.

“Ontario Together funding will allow us to accelerate the development of the mobile X-ray system that has been on KA Imaging’s product roadmap for some time,” said Dr. Karim S. Karim, Founder and CTO of KA Imaging. “This system will be the first made-in-Ontario mobile X-ray and coupled with KA Imaging’s unique spectral Reveal 35C X-ray detector, it will become an essential component for improving Ontario’s resilience to future pandemics while growing Ontario’s high tech cluster and economy. We’re grateful for this opportunity where KA Imaging can directly benefit Ontarians by commercializing an innovative medical product that originated from fundamental research carried out at the University of Waterloo.”

“Waterloo Region is well-known for research, development and innovation, and I am very happy to see KA Imaging at the forefront this ground-breaking technology that will help a lot of people,” said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “I am very pleased to see KA Imaging working with the Ontario Together Fund to get this project going, and I’m thankful for the job opportunities it will provide in the community.”

Microbonds Inc. is a Markham-based company that is a pioneer in advanced material science, thin-film, and nanotechnology coatings. The company developed X-Wire Technology, a nano-coating, a first in the semiconductor industry. Microbonds also developed ThermoPlating, a process that allows metals to be bonded to a range of hard and soft surfaces that can be used for a variety of industries and applications.

Microbonds is investing $668,166 to produce its metal-infused textiles to create more effective personal protective equipment (PPE), in addition to its uses for other medical and health applications. With the support of $334,000 through the Ontario Together Fund, the project is expected to create 12 new jobs.

“We are excited and grateful for the support of the Ontario Together Fund,” Robert Lyn, Managing Director and CTO of Microbonds Inc. “This funding will accelerate the commercialization of our breakthrough metal-infused textile technology into growing health and protection markets. Metal-infused textiles enable a diverse array of health-related products, such as self-cleaning medical scrubs and air filters for infection control in healthcare settings. OTF funding will enable our company to hire highly skilled technology personnel in engineering, operations, manufacturing and support roles; while also positioning the company as a global leading supplier of critical advanced materials for health and protection.”

“I’m very proud to know that MicroBonds in Markham has been chosen to assist with the increase of manufacturing of domestic medical supplies”, said Logan Kanapathi, MPP for Markham-Thornhill. “They have had much success in getting many projects from prototype to production with their antimicrobial treatments to address the emerging local manufacturing needs and health challenges we face after the pandemic. This will create even more high paying jobs in Markham-Thornhill, strengthen our health care system and keep our economy moving forward.”

These investments in innovative local businesses align with the province’s recently announced Life Sciences Strategy, a plan to make Ontario a global hub for biomanufacturing and life sciences while improving our preparedness for future challenges. It will create high-paying jobs, strengthen our health care system – and make it clear that Ontario is a world-leading partner in developing the medicines, vaccines and health technologies of the future.

Supporting innovative projects like these is why Ontario has invested an additional $50 million in the renewed Ontario Together Fund in 2021–22. The fund continues to support local innovators and businesses to further enhance Ontario’s domestic supply chain capacity, promote Ontario’s MedTech ecosystem and build up our manufacturing sector to ensure the province is well-prepared for future challenges.

Quick Facts

  • As of March 31, 2022, Ontario has announced a total commitment of more than $55 million through the OTF to support 45 companies and 10 organizations in supplying emergency products including PPE as well as other solutions.
  • Ontario’s Action Plan: Protecting People’s Health and Our Economy brings total investments to $16.3 billion to protect people’s health and $23.3 billion to protect our economy.
  • The government recently revealed Taking Life Sciences to the Next Level, the province’s plan to grow Ontario’s life sciences sector and secure new investments in next-generation health technologies, medicines and vaccine manufacturing. The strategy sets out ambitious goals over the next decade, including growing Ontario’s biomanufacturing and life sciences sector to employ 85,000 Ontarians in high-value jobs by 2030, a 25 per cent increase from 2020.

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