Reception & Kiosk Session on Health Innovation Clusters Across Canada

Oct. 1, 2012 • Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Health Innovation Clusters:

Enhancing Regional Economic Performance in Canada

What are Health Innovation Clusters?
Today’s economic map of the world is characterized by clusters: critical masses— in one place or across geographic boundaries—of linked industries and institutions-—from suppliers to universities to government agencies—-that enjoy unusual competitive success in a particular field. The most famous examples of regional clusters are found in Silicon Valley and Hollywood, but clusters exist around the world.
Due to Canada’s small population relative to its geographic size, often economic development as a result of linked industries and institutions takes place across geographic boundaries creating the critical mass of people and ideas needed to promote innovation across a network rather than a region.  These network clusters are not unique to Canada; however, they are an important component of the Canadian innovation cluster landscape.
Clusters affect competition in three broad ways: first, by increasing the productivity of companies based in the area; second, by driving the direction and pace of innovation; and third, by stimulating the formation of new businesses within the cluster.
Geographic, cultural, and institutional proximity provides companies and institutions with special access, closer relationships, better information, powerful incentives, and other advantages. Competitive advantage lies increasingly in these clusters which bridge knowledge, relationships, and motivation regionally and across cluster networks.

About The Event

This event will feature a series of kiosk exhibits demonstrating to Members of Parliament how life sciences’ research has successfully created economic benefits in specific regions and across a network of regions by generating high-paying jobs,  wealth and increasing the quality of life in and across the regions within which they exist. Each kiosk will present the GAIN spectrum of partners—Government, Academe, Industry and the Not-for-profit sector— all of which are essential contributors towards enhancing economic performance in these clusters.

Guest Speaker

Dr. Garnette Sutherland, Professor and NeuroArm Project Leader, University of Calgary

Dr. Garnette Sutherland is a Professor of Neurosurgery at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Sutherland is a leader in a collaborative approach to research in the application of magnetic resonance technology to the study of neurological diseases, and pioneer in the development of both an intra-operative MRI system and an MR-compatible surgical robot. Through successful clinical translation of these technologies and processes, his contribution has not only helped create jobs for Canadians, but also improved neurosurgical care throughout the globe. This work has been nationally and internationally recognized through publications, invited lectureships and prestigious awards including the Order of Canada.

Kiosks and Presenters

Atlantic Regional Cluster
Orthopedic Applications Using Stereo Radiography
•  Dr. Michael Dunbar, Director of Research, Orthopedics, Capital Health, and Professor, Departments of Surgery, BioMedical Engineering, and Community Health and Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia
• Dr. Pat McGrath, Vice-President, Research, IWK Health Centre
•  Mr. Chad Munro, President and CEO, Halifax Biomedical Inc, Mabou, Nova Scotia

Montreal Heart Institute – Regional Cluster
Montreal Health Innovation Coordinating Centre
• Dr. Dominique Johnson, Director General, Montreal Health Innovations Coordinating Centre
• Dr. Nathalie Laplante, Director General, Biobank-MHI
• Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Research Centre of the Montreal Heart Institute

Ontario Brain Institute – Regional Cluster
NeuroTech Ontario: Developing Ontario’s Neurotechnology Cluster
•  Dr. Garth Smith, Manager, Industry Relations, Ontario Brain Institute
•  Dr. Donald Stuss, President and Scientific Director, Ontario   Brain Institute
•  Mr. Rob Whent, President and CEO, Online Training & 
Education Portal

Rx&D – Network Cluster
Discover, Collaborate, Innovate
•  Mr. Dave Mathis, Country Study Manager, Clinical Research, Roche Canada
•  Mr. Russell Williams, President, Canada’s Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies

University of Calgary – Network Cluster
• Mr. James Bolger, Director, Medical  Robotics, MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates
• Dr. Gordon Scarth, Vice President, Research & Development, IMRIS Inc.
• Dr. Garnette Sutherland, Professor and NeuroArm Project Leader, University of Calgary

York University/York Region Cluster
Developing the Connected Wellness Platform for Chronic Disease Care Management and Health Promotion
•  Dr. Harvey Skinner, Dean, Faculty of Health, York University
•  Mr. William Tatham, Founder and CEO, NexJ Systems
•  Dr. Dave Williams, President and CEO, Southlake Regional 
Health Centre