Canada's Innovation Leaders article: Positioning Canada as an international magnet for medical imaging commercialization

Canada's Innovation Leaders, November 7, 2014

Since 1998, the Government of Canada has invested more than $1billion in medical imaging R&D.

Sixteen years later, Canada is known throughout the world for its expertise in medical imaging. Our many academic centres and spin-off companies are developing technologies that have the potential to profoundly affect the detection, diagnosis and treatment of disease and corner a larger percentage of the multibillion dollar global medical imaging market.

The Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization (CIMTEC) was formed in 2011 through the federally funded Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research program to further leverage the government’s investment by providing services that enable and accelerate the commercialization of medical imaging innovations for clinical use world-wide. The overarching goal is to reap health and economic benefits for Canadians through technologies that make the healthcare experience less painful; facilitate easier and faster recovery times; provide greater accuracy and efficiency; and are more cost-effective. In addition, by growing the medical imaging sector there is potential to create many well-paying jobs for highly qualified people in Canada.

CIMTEC is one of the only organizations in the world providing researchers and companies a unique set of services along the entire commercialization continuum. We help fill the capabilities gap for startups and small and medium-sized companies that don’t have the in-house resources to follow through with every step required to bring a product to market.

After three years of operation, we have worked closely with dozens of companies and researchers in Canada on a range of technologies that are addressing better, more efficient and cost-effective solutions to diagnose and treat breast, liver and prostate cancer, as well as Alzheimer’s disease and nerve disorders. In addition, companies are licensing CIMTEC’s internally developed intellectual property to propel their projects farther and faster. While CIMTEC’s reputation is growing domestically, it is also expanding internationally.

Canada is an emerging magnet for international medical imaging technology commercialization because of our best-in-class technical talent and facilities; internationally credible clinical testing; great access to U.S. markets; and, diverse funding support for new companies.

To date, CIMTEC’s intellectual property and expansive capabilities in medical imaging commercialization have attracted companies from India, the U.K., China, and the U.S., as well as investment from Asia. As CIMTEC matures and begins to move its focus outward, we anticipate that we will attract more foreign business and investment, driving economic growth and job creation in Canada.