Minister Ng announces investments to scale up Canadian companies

Government of Canada investing in $20-million project proposal to launch integrated market

VANCOUVER, July 29, 2019 /CNW/ – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion, today announced that the Government of Canada will support a $20-million project proposal to scale up companies in health and biosciences. This will be done through an initial $7-million investment to support the establishment of the CAN Health Network with its first network partners.

The CAN Health Network is an integrated market that will allow promising companies to work directly with health care organizations to understand their needs and commercialize health technologies to meet those needs and scale up their companies. Through this integrated market, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and leading start-ups will be able to work with early adopter institutions to collaboratively research, develop and refine Canadian medical technologies to make them market-ready.

With procurement often identified as both a barrier and an opportunity, the CAN Health Network builds directly on the recommendations of the Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table to accelerate innovation adoption through new innovation procurement models.

Health care spending in Canada reached $253 billion in 2018—11% of the country’s GDP—and the international market for medical technologies alone is estimated at $500 billion annually. With market opportunities of this magnitude, the global health technology sector is growing rapidly in Canada and around the world, and the CAN Health Network will position Canadian companies for success.

Today’s investment will build the first points of the national network in western Canada and Ontario, with further expansion planned for Quebec, Atlantic Canada and northern Canada. The successes of these initial investments will guide future funding decisions.

With $3.5 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will lead the creation of the CAN Health Network in western Canada, working with:

With $3.5 million from FedDev Ontario, Trillium Health Partners will lead the creation of the CAN Health Network in southern Ontario. It will work with:

By harnessing this economic opportunity with leading-edge SMEs and scale-ups, the Government of Canada will build Canadian leadership in health care technologies, creating global companies that anchor thousands of middle-class jobs here in Canada.


“Our government is making these investments to scale up companies and create good jobs for Canadians. The integrated market is an innovative approach supporting technology development and business growth. Through easy access to a large, consolidated domestic marketplace, companies will scale up and be anchored in Canada, commercializing technologies that can be exported around the world.”
– The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

“”Our government is committed to supporting Canada’s innovators and entrepreneurs. The Saskatchewan Health Authority will do tremendous work connecting health care providers in the west with promising Canadian companies that offer made-in-Canada solutions to their unique needs. This initiative will help break down barriers so that these companies to grow and thrive here in Canada.”
– The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety

Saskatchewan has a long and storied history of developing innovative health care solutions to meet the unique needs of its people. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is excited to be part of the CAN Health Network and to have a leadership role in the CAN Health West Network. In keeping with our core value of collaboration, we look forward to partnering with our health and tech industry leaders as we continue finding innovative solutions to our health care challenges.”
Suann Laurent, Chief Operating Officer, Saskatchewan Health Authority

“We are thrilled to launch the CAN Health Network, one of the most ambitious health and industry partnerships in the country. The goal of this platform is to empower our already strong Canadian medical technology companies to reach their full potential and own the global market. The CAN Health Network will enable health care organizations to work directly with medical technology companies to ensure that technology being adopted is built here at home, by Canadian companies in partnership with our medical leaders. I look forward to continuing to build and grow the CAN Health Network, as it will have a positive impact on patients, medical professionals and all Canadians, now and into the future.”
– Dr. Dante Morra, Lead, CAN Health Network, and Chief of Staff, Trillium Health Partners

“It’s an exciting time for innovation and industry in Canada, as medical technology has the ability to impact health care in a positive and profound way. This partnership brings together some of Canada’s largest and most influential organizations to utilize a coordinated approach to adopt cutting-edge technology, bridging the gap between technology ventures and health care organizations. The widespread support for this platform speaks to the readiness of industry and health care to lead in this space. I am excited for the future of medical technology and know the CAN Health Network has the ability to create more specialized technology–based jobs right here in Canada.” 
– Dr. Deepak Kaura, Lead, CAN Health West Network

Quick facts 

  • The Government of Canada will be investing up to $20 million to scale up companies.
  • This will be done through an initial $7-million investment to support the establishment of the CAN Health Network with its first partner organizations.
  • We are building on the work of the Health and Biosciences Economic Strategy Table, which has the goal of doubling the size of the industry by 2025 and making Canada one of the top three hubs in the world in this sector.
  • We need to unlock the full potential of Canadian innovation in both the public and private sectors, scaling up companies to become global leaders.
  • With over a quarter trillion dollars being spent in Canada on health care every year, there is huge potential to scale up leading Canadian firms.
  • This investment will help enable health technology companies to work directly with an integrated market of health care organizations to build global Canadian leadership.
  • This national integrated market will help give made-in-Canada innovations easy access to a large, consolidated domestic marketplace.
  • After the first sale is made within the integrated market, those technologies can then be easily sold to others in the CAN Health Network, enabling the company to scale up by leveraging the purchasing power of Canadian health care procurement.

Associated links


Establishment of the CAN Health Network

The CAN Health Network, anchored in western Canada and southern Ontario, will facilitate the adoption of Canadian health care solutions.

This project relates directly to the recommendations of Canada’s Economic Strategy Table on Health and Biosciences and aligns with both Western Economic Diversification Canada‘s (WD) and FedDev Ontario‘s focus on innovation and ecosystem development, specifically within the life sciences industry.

WD will invest $3.5 million to establish the CAN Health West Network. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is the lead proponent, and the initiative will include four other health care providers: Alberta Health Services, Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba, O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and Vancouver Coastal Health.

FedDev Ontario will invest $3.5 million to establish the CAN Health Ontario Network. Led by Trillium Health Partners, the initiative will include six other health care providers: Bruyère, Grand River Hospital, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), Prism Eye Institute, SE Health Care, Sinai Health System, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University Health Network; and Unity Health Toronto.

The CAN Health Network will work with high-growth Canadian SMEs to pilot and commercialize new technologies, while providing a dedicated market for participating health care providers to procure leading-edge health care solutions. Establishing this network will result in improved, shared procurement processes being adopted not only by the participating health care providers but also by hospitals across Canada. The success of these initial investments will guide future funding decisions.

This initiative will provide a range of benefits including:

  • New health innovations introduced into the marketplace
  • Highly qualified positions created and maintained
  • Business expenditures in research and development
  • Revenue generation for high-growth firms
  • SMEs assisted in gaining market access
  • New technologies adopted by multiple health care providers through the new shared procurement process

About Saskatchewan Health Authority

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) employs more than 40,000 people and is responsible for the planning, organization, delivery and evaluation of the health services system for the entire province of Saskatchewan. The SHA is committed to playing a leadership role in the CAN Health West Network where it hopes to break down geographic boundaries and service silos to provide more consistent and coordinated health care services across western Canada.

About Trillium Health Partners

Established in 2011, Trillium Health Partners encompasses three hospital sites: Mississauga Hospital, Credit Valley Hospital and Queensway Health Centre. In total, the three hospitals receive over 1.6 million visits per year from across the Peel and Toronto West region, making Trillium the largest community-based, academically affiliated hospital in Canada. Trillium leverages its vast network and large population base to identify best practices in developing an integrated approach to delivering health care across Ontario.

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