Empowered Aging Through Innovation
Last year, CABHI’s continuing efforts to empower aging through innovation in the longevity sector resulted in significant achievements that are helping older adults age in the setting of their choice while maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being.Read a message from our President and Chief Scientist, Dr. Allison Sekuler.
funding directed toward advancing healthcare innovations
Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) working on CABHI projects
older adults and caregivers engaged with CABHI projects
secured investments by CABHI innovators and companies
in jobs created and sustained
projects approved & launched
unique solutions funded
solutions introduced into real-world clinical and commercial settings
people reached through CABHI-supported educational events, information-sharing activities, and communications
partnerships and collaborations across CABHI’s global network
news stories on CABHI innovations in the media
CABHI formally partners with AGE-WELL to accelerate the development of Canadian agetech and healthtech solutions from discovery to research, and from testing to scaling and commercializing.
CABHI and the Coordinated Accessible National (CAN) Health Network partner to bring innovative solutions to healthcare operators across Canada, promoting the adoption of Canadian technology that will enhance the delivery of healthcare in older adults.
Through the Spark-ON and Spark-CU (Colleges & Universities) programs, CABHI supports the development and testing of 24 new innovations aimed at improving the quality of life for older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers. The investment spotlighted innovations by Ontario frontline healthcare workers and students, with a focus on pandemic recovery.
CABHI invests $1 million to support five early-stage Canadian healthtech companies whose solutions improve the lives of older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers. Funding is provided through CABHI’s Mentorship, Capital, and Continuation (MC2) Capital Program, in partnership with National Bank.
The Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities invests $1.2 million in the CABHI-supported Learning Inter-Professionally Healthcare Accelerator (LIPHA) platform, a virtual learning platform that enhances the onboarding and training of nurses and personal support workers.
CABHI partners with the Louisville, Kentucky-based aging care consortium Thrive Alliance to promote aging and brain health technologies across Canada and the United States.
CABHI partners with shared services organization Mohawk Medbuy Corporation to strengthen innovation in aging and brain health by connecting companies with inventive solutions to complex healthcare challenges with hundreds of hospitals and care providers across Canada.
CABHI partners with global robotics and automation leader FUJI Corporation to develop technological solutions that enhance older adults’ lives; and share best practices across each organization’s home markets of Japan, the United States, and Canada.
Together with the Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation, CABHI provides scale-up funding for four Saskatchewan-based innovative solutions that address aging and brain health challenges with a focus on rural and Indigenous populations through the Spark+ Program.
CABHI partners with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), Canada’s leading academic centre dedicated to mental health, in support of aging and brain health innovations with a particular focus on cognitive and mental health.
CABHI launches a call for applications for the second round of its Mentorship, Capital, and Continuation (MC2) Capital Program, in partnership with National Bank – an investment program dedicated to supporting early-stage Canadian healthtech and fintech companies.
CABHI hosts its fourth annual CABHI Summit, this year on the theme of Empowered Aging Through Innovation. The conference attracts 800+ thought leaders, innovators, investors, healthcare providers, older adults, caregivers, and companies from across six continents and 25+ countries around the world. The two-day global virtual event features 50+ speakers, 60+ exhibitors, 20 sponsors, and the longevity sector’s largest combined pitch competition for agetech, neurotech, and healthcare companies with a funding pool of more than $2 million.
CABHI-supported solutions improve the quality of life of older adults, caregivers, and their families. Here are just a few examples.
CABHI is the pre-eminent innovation accelerator in the aging and brain health sector with a targeted focus on dementia. Each project funded by CABHI aligns with one or more of our core innovation themes. We assess these themes regularly to ensure they meet ongoing and emerging needs of our system stakeholders, and we are grateful to our community for their guidance in updating our current core and cross-cutting themes.
The CABHI innovation pipeline accelerates promising solutions from design and development to validation and refinement, followed by implementation and scaling in real-world settings.
CABHI connects a community of innovation in order for the best solutions to move through the pipeline and get into the hands of those who need them most. We accomplish this by:
- Supporting innovators to design, validate, and scale promising solutions
- Supporting communities and organizations to test and adopt solutions
- Engaging older adults to share their lived experiences to co-design and influence innovation
- Activating strategic partners to build on collective strength and impact
This comprehensive and coordinated approach leads to greater reach, impact, and success of CABHI solutions.
Design & Development Programs
Frontline healthcare workers were in the best position to understand the challenges older adults faced during the COVID-19 pandemic and generate fresh ideas to overcome them. CABHI launched Spark-ON in 2020 to capture and nurture promising solutions by Ontario innovators that aimed to address four critical priorities amplified by the pandemic: social connectedness, caregiver well-being, infection prevention and control, and training unregulated care providers. In 2021, the Spark-ON program supported the development, testing, and/or scaling of 18 new solutions across the province.
Recognizing the need for Canada’s future innovators to build skills, we piloted our first Spark-CU program in April 2021. Students attending six Ontario colleges and universities applied to receive $5,000 in funding to develop their business and mentorship to develop their innovations over three months. At the end of the program each of the six teams pitched to a panel of judges, with one standout team winning an additional investment of $25,000 into their newly incorporated business and access to CABHI’s full innovation network and acceleration services.
CABHI’s Student Internship Program creates opportunities for co-op and work-integrated learning for students in STEM, translational research, gerontology, business, and clinical programs by brokering placements for students with our companies. Students gain hands-on learning opportunities and connections to potential employers, creating a talent pipeline for Canadian businesses.
In January 2021, we created five internships for students from McMaster University’s Biomedical Discovery and Commercialization Program to work with companies in our innovation pipeline; 40% of these internships resulted in full-time permanent hires. In January 2022, we successfully ran the same program at McMaster. This coming fiscal year, we will reprise the program a third time, and expand it to students at other institutions, including the University of Waterloo.
Validate & Refine Programs
I2P2 provides innovators with opportunities to validate their aging and brain health solutions in clinical settings. Successful companies receive funding to support validation services across multiple care settings and gain valuable access to a range of CABHI’s acceleration services and reinvestment programs, helping them reach adoption and commercialization milestones faster. Since its inception in 2016, I2P2 has helped 24 companies gain new customers, boost revenues, establish offices in Canada, and obtain carry-on investment funds.
CABHI supports the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA) through a program that encourages later-stage CCNA projects to submit applications to enter CABHI’s innovation pipeline. Funded teams gain access to CABHI’s acceleration services, including knowledge mobilization expertise, to get their projects ready for launch across Canada and benefit from joining CABHI’s innovation community and networking with other innovators, investors, and industry partners. CABHI also recruits CCNA researchers as Scientific Officers to join CABHI’s Coaches Community, where they share their expertise in order to enhance the scientific rigour of solutions’ design and validation.
Commercialization & Scale-Up Programs
MC2 Capital supports the business validation and growth of early-stage Canadian healthtech and fintech companies. In MC2 Capital, each participating company receives an investment of up to $300,000 from CABHI and access to our acceleration services. Eligible companies may also access additional investments of up to $300,000 from the Ontario Brain Institute; $150,000 from Nova Scotian venture capital organization Innovacorp; and business financing from Clearco, the world’s largest e-commerce investor. Companies can also access additional investment opportunities through CABHI’s venture community.
MC2 Market Readiness provides companies funding of up to $300,000 and access to Silicon Valley mentors, advisors, and investors through Berkeley SkyDeck, the University of California, Berkeley’s accelerator program. To date, more than half of the companies participating in SkyDeck have received follow-on funding. Companies qualified as ready have an opportunity to showcase their solutions to more than 800 investors on SkyDeck’s Demo Day.
Care delivery organizations in Canada may find it challenging to adopt or move innovations beyond the pilot stage due to a lack of resources and time, and concerns about realizing a return on investment within a budget cycle. CABHI created MC2 Growth & Scalability to overcome these obstacles. The program provides funding of up to $50,000 to support the implementation of a CABHI-validated solution. Care delivery organizations implement a solution for three to six months in their settings under a licensing and user fee agreement with an innovator that covers training, implementation, and ongoing service and use costs. Care delivery organizations are also supported with mentorship and access to vital information to guide their use and purchase decisions at the end of the trial period.
CABHI provides tailored acceleration services designed to help innovators move their solutions through the innovation pipeline and achieve their next milestone on their journey developing, testing, validating, or implementing in real-world settings. Support is customized based on the best available evidence and the principles of integrated knowledge translation, implementation science, applied research, adult education, and business development. CABHI’s services help innovators increase market uptake and ensure success of their solutions across targeted users and settings.
CABHI’s Coaches Community provides mentorship and coaching to innovators to help them grow and scale their solutions. Coaches are subject matter experts in diverse disciplines – they are clinicians, end-users, researchers, entrepreneurs, industry partners, legal and regulatory affairs experts, marketing and sales leaders, organizational decision-makers, and venture capitalists.
CABHI’s Innovation Network is an activated group of leading healthcare organizations with geographical reach and target populations to validate and adopt innovators’ solutions. Innovators benefit from directly engaging with leaders and staff at these organizations to understand how their innovations may need to be adapted to suit different contexts and identify training and supports required to implement their solutions across multiple settings. Organizations joining the network benefit from early and discounted access to solutions that address their goals of improving their clients’ care, safety, and quality of life.
Leap is CABHI’s welcoming, diverse, and engaged virtual innovation community for older adults and caregivers. Leap connects innovators developing solutions (i.e., products, programs, services) with their intended end users to understand users’ lived experiences, needs, and preferences. Innovators use these critical insights to inform the design and delivery of their solutions for optimal success.
Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
CABHI is committed to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI).
- We integrate sex and gender-based analysis (SGBA+) considerations into our funding programs and review processes, to promote equitable access.
- We introduced the Diversity, Accessibility, and Health Equity cross-cutting innovation theme to ensure solutions are appropriate for older adults and caregivers from diverse communities.
- We integrate EDI considerations into internal operations, training, and hiring practices.
Our staff formed an internal EDI working group to improve the implementation of goals and assess progress. We continue to train staff in SGBA+, AODA, and EDI principles to reduce unconscious biases.
- CABHI committed to the Government of Canada’s 50-30 Challenge and is taking action to increase diversity on its corporate board and senior management team to achieve 50% gender parity and 30% representation of other underrepresented groups.
EDI By the Numbers
Latest Spark Call for Innovation
of applicants identified as women
of projects funded were women-led
Latest MC2 Capital Call for Innovation
of funded companies are led by female co-founders
of funded companies are led by co-founders of visible minorities
CABHI’s influence continues to grow in Canada and globally. As experts from the premier solution accelerator in the longevity sector, CABHI leaders and staff are frequently invited to speak at conferences and advise on best practices for developing, validating, commercializing, and adopting innovative products and services. We also connect and build skills among communities of practice at local, national, and international levels.
In April 2022, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) committed renewed funding to CABHI of $30M over three years, fuelling our vital work accelerating world-class aging and brain health innovations that improve the quality of life and mental health of older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers across Canada. CABHI also recently completed our second of five years of funding totalling $23.5M from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities. We are grateful for the support from our valued government stakeholders.
In 2022-2023, CABHI will advance the following objectives:
- Advance the health and well-being of Canadians at home, in the community, and in care settings
- Build a skilled workforce and system-level capacity that mobilizes innovation, from idea to uptake to impact
- Realize the full potential of Canadian innovation to build a more resilient, sustainable, and competitive economy
We will achieve these objectives by aligning our programs, services, and initiatives to address the challenges faced by the older adults, communities, and organizations we serve. We will support efforts in Ontario, Canada, and worldwide, building post-pandemic resiliency through our networks and expertise forged at the intersection of research, innovation, health, and the economy.
Advancing the Health of Older Canadians
We will advance the health and well-being of older Canadians by delivering CABHI’s funding programs to identify, develop, validate, implement, spread, and scale the most promising solutions in real-world environments—helping older adults and caregivers live their best and healthiest lives.
Mobilizing the Innovation Community
CABHI’s funding programs and acceleration services help build a skilled workforce and system-level capacity in seniors care to mobilize the most promising innovations from health and care-focused organizations, academia, and industry to improve older adults’ quality of life, while also ensuring sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective health systems.
Realizing the Full Potential of Canadian Innovation
This year, CABHI will expand and scale programs and partnerships on a national level. By continuing to collaborate with regional and provincial partners, as we have done in the past, we effectively address local needs across Canada.