Annual Report 2021-22


Annual Report 2021-22

Empowered Aging Through Innovation

DIGITAL VERSION

Leadership Message

Dr.-Allison-Sekuler-headshot

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.

Last year, CABHI’s continuing efforts to empower aging through innovation in the aging and brain health 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.

Through the Spark Program, CABHI supported the development, testing, and implementation of 24 innovations by frontline healthcare workers and students. We invested more than $1 million through the Mentorship, Capital, and Continuation (MC2) Program, in partnership with National Bank, supporting five early-stage Canadian healthtech companies with promising solutions aimed at improving the quality of life of older adults, people living with dementia, and their caregivers.

We officially launched Leap, our virtual community that connects ethnoculturally and geographically diverse communities of older adults, caregivers, innovators, and system partners. To date, Leap has enabled more than 600 members from Canada, the US, and the UK to attend more than 100 events, access essential learning resources, build community, and share guidance with innovators. Last year, members’ insights helped us streamline the user experience and develop a new marketplace that curates leading agetech solutions for consideration and purchase.

CABHI also rapidly mobilized the Learning Inter-Professionally Healthcare Accelerator (LIPHA) platform, an innovative virtual learning platform that enhances the education and onboarding of skilled seniors care workers. Funded through an investment of $1.2 million from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities, LIPHA was developed in collaboration with the Ontario Centres for Learning, Research, and Innovation in Long-Term Care at Baycrest and the Kunin-Lunenfeld Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation within Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute.

We continued to expand the footprint of our network in the aging and brain health sector through formal partnerships with stakeholder organizations, including AGE-WELL, CAN Health Network, and Mohawk Medbuy. We continue to connect and build skills among communities of practice at local, national, and international levels. Finally, we hosted our fourth annual CABHI Summit in March, with the first day dedicated to exploring agetech and human connection with older adults and caregivers, and the second day focused on innovators and the business of aging well. More than 800 attendees from over 25 countries tuned in to hear more than 50 speakers and learn from 60+ exhibitors.

These significant achievements would not be possible without the support of our generous funders, the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the Baycrest Foundation, and the National Bank. I’m also extremely grateful to our Board of Directors, Seniors Advisory Panel, wider Baycrest community, and exceptional CABHI staff.

As a world-leading, digital-first solution accelerator, CABHI remains dedicated to empowering aging through innovation by bringing together all stakeholders—older adults, people living with dementia, caregivers, innovators, investors, front line care workers, clinicians, researchers, and students—to accelerate the development of innovative solutions that best meet older adults’ needs and preferences for living their best lives.

Allison Sekuler Sig

Allison Sekuler, PhD

President and Chief Scientist
Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation

Sandra A Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience, Rotman Research Institute 

President and Chief Scientist, Baycrest Academy for Research and Education at Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care

Our Impact

$139M+

funding directed toward advancing healthcare innovations

3,650+

Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) working on CABHI projects

80,500+

older adults and caregivers engaged with CABHI projects

$529M+

secured investments by CABHI innovators and companies

$58M+

in jobs created and sustained

760

jobs created

359

projects approved & launched

283

unique solutions funded

130

solutions introduced into real-world clinical and commercial settings

245,000+

people reached through CABHI-supported educational events, information-sharing activities, and communications

1,450+

partnerships and collaborations across CABHI’s global network

450+

news stories on CABHI innovations in the media

*Figures as of March 31, 2022.

2021-22 Milestones

  • March 2022

    March 2022

    March 2022

    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.

  • ​​April 2021

    ​​April 2021

    ​​April 2021

    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.

  • May 2021

    May 2021

    May 2021

    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.

  • June 2021

    June 2021

    June 2021

    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.

  • September 2021

    September 2021

    September 2021

    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.

  • October 2021

    October 2021

    October 2021

    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.

  • November 2021

    November 2021

    November 2021

    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.

  • January 2022

    January 2022

    January 2022

    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.

  • February 2022

    February 2022

    February 2022

    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.

Innovation Snapshots

CABHI-supported solutions improve the quality of life of older adults, caregivers, and their families. Here are just a few examples.

Innovation Themes

Innovation Themes picture of man in wheelchair on street

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.

Innovation Pipeline

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:

  1. Supporting innovators to design, validate, and scale promising solutions
  2. Supporting communities and organizations to test and adopt solutions
  3. Engaging older adults to share their lived experiences to co-design and influence innovation
  4. 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.

Graphic of Innovation Pipeline

Core Programs

graphic: lightbulp

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.

graphic: four arms interlocked

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.

graphic: arrow increase

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.

Acceleration Services

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.

Coaches Community

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.

Innovation Network

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.

Learn more

Leap by CABHI

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. By joining Leap's community of older adults, caregivers, innovators, and thought leaders in the aging and brain health innovation space, Leap members connect socially while learning and building new collaboration and technology skills. Leap is significantly scaling up the reach and diversity of its older adults and caregivers, bringing their insights to the design, development, validation, and dissemination of new innovative solutions; and influencing practices and policy.

Built as a virtual community centre, Leap's rooms create environments for learning, sharing stories, informing and co-designing solutions, and accessing best-in-class innovations. Since the launch of the beta version of Leap in 2021, more than 600 members from across Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom have attended more than 100 Leap events, accessed learning resources, and shared their insights with innovators. Leap members have informed the evolution of Leap itself, with May 2022’s newly launched version customized to meet their needs for a streamlined, engaging, and personalized user experience. The new version also includes a Marketplace, which curates leading agetech solutions for members' consideration and purchase.

The Leap community is currently expanding and welcoming new members from communities across Canada, North America, and globally.

Register for Leap

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

71%

of applicants identified as women

78%

of projects funded were women-led

Latest MC2 Capital Call for Innovation

50%

of funded companies are led by female co-founders

50%

of funded companies are led by co-founders of visible minorities

Thought Leadership

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.

Looking Ahead

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:

  1. Advance the health and well-being of Canadians at home, in the community, and in care settings
  2. Build a skilled workforce and system-level capacity that mobilizes innovation, from idea to uptake to impact
  3. 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 environmentshelping older adults and caregivers live their best and healthiest lives.

Learn more

  • Following last year’s successful pilot program, CABHI will fund new Spark Program for Colleges & Universities (Spark-CU) projects in 2022–2023. Spark-CU engages college and university student innovators in Ontario and Canada, creating pathways to connect with seniors; develop, test, and refine promising agetech and healthtech solutions; conduct research; generate intellectual property; and create new businesses. 
  • CABHI will expand the successful Student Internship Program, creating more skill-building opportunities for students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), translational research, gerontology, business, and clinical programs. The 2022–2023 program will support ten four-month, full-time internships funded by CABHI and collaborative partners, including BioTalent, Mitacs, and Ontario colleges and universities.
  • CABHI is launching a new MC2Capital program in spring 2022, awarding funds to five to eight innovators to grow and scale solutions with proven ability to improve seniors’ care and generate economic returns or savings within the healthcare system. 

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.

Learn more

  • CABHI will continue supporting the implementation of Canada’s National Dementia Strategy through knowledge mobilization activities targeted at:
  1. Building innovation translation, validation, and adoption capabilities among researchers, technology leaders, healthcare practitioners, and
  2. industry leaders, and Disseminating culturally safe, customized aging and brain health information, resources, and solutions at the local community level.
  • Our new Discover and Adopt (D+A) Program aims to provide long term care homes, retirement homes, and hospitals with opportunities to receive funding, training, and coaching support as they assess, select, implement, test, and procure innovative aging and brain health solutions that best meet their needs. CABHI is launching the pilot D+A program in mid-2022 with six Ontario-based organizations, engaging them to issue innovation calls and providing each with up to $150,000 towards achieving innovation implementation milestones and to prepare for procurement.
  • CABHI’s essential acceleration services will continue building innovator capacity and ensure innovators have opportunities to validate and implement their solutions in real-world settings:
    • In May 2022, CABHI fully launched Leap, the revolutionary virtual platform that connects ethnoculturally and geographically diverse communities of older adults, caregivers, and innovators. CABHI leaders and the CABHI Seniors Advisory Panel co-designed the Leap community engagement roadmap, a model for actively recruiting, onboarding, and sustaining diverse communities on the platform. Next year, CABHI will continue to expand Leap, welcoming new members from communities across Canada, North America, and globally.
    • We will recruit new organizations to join our Innovation Network, through which innovators directly engage with leaders and staff from select care delivery organizations; and we are actively soliciting feedback from innovators and coaches from our Coaches Community to continually enhance their collaboration experiences.
  • CABHI supports the Wilfred and Joyce Posluns Chair in Women’s Brain Health and Aging, recognizing that understanding sex and gender differences in brain health and aging can improve outcomes for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, which affect women more than men, and the need for more innovations targeted to women. The initiative supports a leading researcher at an Ontario institution to develop and implement a research program focused on sex and gender differences in brain health. CABHI, the Posluns Family Foundation, the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Women’s Brain Health Initiative, and the Ontario Brain Institute co-fund this initiative. CABHI’s support provides the Chair with broad knowledge mobilization and essential connections with leading innovators.
  • We will continue recruiting new members to the Scientific Officers Program, matching researchers from research institutions with CABHI innovators and companies. Researchers provide scientific advice and expertise to innovators, helping them refine their value proposition and strengthen the design of validation trials. Additionally, innovators provide researchers with innovation experience and opportunities to translate their lab findings into real-world solutions.
  • CABHI will continue to collaborate with the Rotman Research Institute’s Kunin-Lunenfeld Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation (KL-CARE). Support from KL-CARE helps innovators use rigorous applied and translational research methods for implementing and evaluating their solutions, from study design and ethics approval to data collection, analysis, and reporting.

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.

Learn more

In 2022–2023, we will strengthen our engagement with current health ecosystem partners, including:

  • The Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging (CCNA), to support eligible CCNA projects moving to commercialization and engaging Scientific Officers to join the CABHI Coaches Community
  • Ontario Brain Institute, to collaborate across CABHI’s brain health research and innovation pipeline 
  • Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA), to leverage their network to disseminate CABHI solutions in order to boost adoption in more care settings
  • AGE-WELL, to accelerate the development of agetech and healthtech solutions from discovery and research to testing, scaling, and commercialization
  • Mitacs, to coordinate training and job opportunities focused on aging and brain health
  • Healthcare Excellence Canada, to help identify, promote, and support the adoption of solutions that improve the quality of care and life in long term care settings, and support dementia care in community settings
  • Seniors Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI), to help members build capacity for innovation adoption 
  • CIHR Institute of Aging (CIHR-IA), to identify and support aligned objectives, such as knowledge mobilization and end-user engagement   

We will also identify and build new strategic partnerships and look for opportunities to amplify joint funding programs, events, and initiatives. 

CABHI remains dedicated to empowering aging through innovation by bringing together all stakeholders—older adults, people living with dementia, caregivers, innovators, investors, frontline care workers, clinicians, researchers, and students—to accelerate the development of innovative solutions that best meet older adults’ needs and preferences for living longer—and better—lives.

Governance

Financial Report

Please click on the Financial Report to view.

If you have any questions or would like more information about CABHI or our annual report, please contact info@cabhi.com.