University of Calgary

New biomed tech centres

November 10, 2009

Biomedical centres at the leading edge

Janet Ronsky, director of the Centre for Bioengineering Research and Education in the Schulich School of Engineering and Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, announces the two centres for the innovation and commercialization of biomedical engineering technology.
Alberta’s thriving biomedical engineering industry is reaching new heights thanks to a major initiative launched today at the University of Calgary to boost research and translate new technology into commercial products for the global marketplace.

Federal and provincial governments, research funding agencies and the University of Calgary are partnering to create two new centres to foster innovation and commercialization of biomedical technologies.

A provincial investment worth $7.4 million will establish the Biovantage—Alberta Ingenuity Centre to tackle real-world medical problems to deliver biomedical technologies through collaboration with researchers, business people and clinicians.

In addition, a combined investment of $7.3 million from the University of Calgary and the Canada-Alberta Western Economic Partnership Agreement will establish a second centre, the Bose Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Technology Development Centre. This new centre will take research to the next level by combining specialized industry expertise and state-of-the-art infrastructure to focus on innovation and product development.

These new centres aim to develop technologies and better treatment methods in many areas such as stroke, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease. The incidence of these chronic medical conditions is increasing as the world’s population ages.

“Our outstanding biomedical research community is what attracts industry to our province,” said Doug Horner, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. “These new centres add to our pan-Alberta efforts to build up an even stronger biomedical community with global reach.”

The U of C’s Janet Ronsky, Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Engineering, and Jeff Dunn, Canada Research Chair in Biomedical Imaging, are the co-principal investigators of the new centres. 

“These new centres will ensure that our research translates into products and services that will improve our quality of life and stimulate the economy,” said U of C President Harvey Weingarten. “They also provide a significant educational opportunity for our students and researchers to think creatively and develop devices for a more efficient and effective health-care system.”

“Through the strategic combination of technology development and entrepreneurship, this initiative at the University of Calgary will contribute to strengthening our ability to compete in global markets,” said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, minister of state for small business and tourism on behalf of the Honourable Lynne Yelich, minister of state for Western Economic Diversification Canada.

“Bose Corporation shares a common commitment with the University of Calgary to improve people’s lives through research and innovation,” said Dave Thomas, vice-president of corporate research and development at Bose Corporation. “Our ElectroForce test instruments provide true advancements in medical device testing. They’ll be used in the new centre to help accelerate the development and commercialization of biomedical devices in order to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses. We are proud to be part of this initiative to take medical technology to new levels.” 

The new centres will enable collaboration from across many disciplines including engineering, medicine, kinesiology, science, nursing and veterinary medicine. They will also attract the interest of internationally recognized corporations like the Bose Corporation and hold potential for developing new innovative and non-invasive technologies for treatment of these diseases.

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