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Canadian research institutions launch med-tech institute to promote open innovation and tech transfer

A group of research universities, hospitals, government agencies and industrial partners in Canada have launched an institute to develop and commercialize advanced medical technologies.

Led by Carl-Éric Aubin, professor of mechanical engineering at Polytechnique Montréal and researcher at Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) Sainte-Justine, the TransMedTech Institute aims to accelerate the creation and implementation of healthcare innovations that address the three most prevalent diseases among Canadians: cardiovascular illnesses, musculoskeletal disorders, and cancers.

Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal, the Jewish General Hospital of Montreal and several other academic, government, socio-economic and industrial partners launched the TransMedTech Institute, contributing a total of $60 million in funding. The federal government’s Canada First Research Excellence Fund also contributed a $35.6 million grant to the institute.

“TransMedTech is a whole new way of approaching healthcare research and innovation,” says Aubin, who officially serves as executive and scientific director of the institute. “By breaking down barriers between research, medicine, industry R&D and healthcare delivery, we are establishing an extremely fertile environment for the sharing of expertise and the mobilization of knowledge, where everyone learns from the experience and know-how of others.

“Every idea,” adds Aubin, “whether it originates with a researcher, a physician, an engineer, a patient, or an industry professional, can help bring about a solution, which is then validated. We’re talking about true collective intelligence.”

Traditionally, the time between research development and commercialization is measured in years, or possibly even decades. TransMedTech’s open-innovation approach is aimed at reducing cycle times for development, validation and tech transfer.

“Patients have vital knowledge stemming from their personal experiences living with disease and in the healthcare system,” says Vincent Dumez, co-director of the Université de Montréal Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public. “They also have a growing desire to share that knowledge with members of the scientific and industrial community, and play proactive roles in the development of solutions. So the TransMedTech Institute is going to help us shift into high gear in the patient-as-partner era.”

The institute is expected to deliver a wide range of healthcare innovations, such as non-invasive screening and diagnostic tools, biomaterials, personalized rehabilitative and assistive technologies, and more.

Source: CNW

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