Ottawa to Become National Hub for Medical Device Commercialization

October 15, 2014

Much of modern health care is made possible by medical devices—the countless tools, equipment and instruments used in health care delivery and patient care. Pocket glucose monitors that check blood sugar levels on the go. Specialized retractors that support new surgical techniques. Cardiac stents that hold blocked arteries open. Medical devices are everywhere and represent a large worldwide market.

The Government of Canada recently announced a $14.9 million grant to establish the Medical Devices Commercialization Centre (MDCC), which will be housed in its initial phase at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. The new centre will be dedicated to encouraging, facilitating and accelerating the commercialization of economically viable medical devices for the Canadian and global markets.

“This Centre will foster the creation of an ecosystem that stimulates innovation and commercialization of medical devices in Canada,” said Tofy Mussivand, PhD, professor and Director of the Medical Devices Innovation Institute at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Cardiovascular Devices Program at the Heart Institute. “With this national centre, Canada is well-positioned to reap the benefits of the $335 billion worldwide market for medical devices.”

The centre will respond to the pressing need to commercialize medical devices by fostering a collaborative network focused on removing roadblocks to the commercialization of devices that have been designed and made in Canada. The funding was awarded in the latest Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program competition.

National in scope, the centre will complement existing organizations in the field and draw on innovative ideas generated across the country. It will assess clinical need and market demand in order to spur the development of new products that are safe, reliable and effective. The MDCC will improve health care while enhancing the country’s performance in a fast-growing, multi-billion-dollar global market. It will also improve Canadians’ access to the latest medical technologies.

“The evolution of medicine has relied heavily on the use of medical devices, from prevention and rehabilitation to diagnosis and treatment. They have extended life, reduced suffering and improved recovery from countless diseases,” said Thierry Mesana, MD, PhD, President and CEO of the Heart Institute.

“As patients come first, the centre will result in greater access to cutting-edge technology, which translates into speedier recovery and easier convalescence—and, therefore, improved quality of life.”