Toronto, ON – April 22, 2021 – The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI), powered by Baycrest, and the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence have formally inked and expanded their partnership to enhance Canada’s capacity to provide older adults a greater range of options to age safely in the setting of their choice, while maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being.
With this partnership in place, CABHI and AGE-WELL will accelerate the development of agetech and healthtech solutions from discovery to research, and from testing to scaling and commercializing. CABHI and AGE-WELL will benefit from a robust innovation pipeline and portfolios of companies with strong research and development foundations, proofs of concept, and validated solutions.
“Our country urgently needs more opportunities for Canadian startups in the aging and longevity sector to support our economic recovery, and older adults – one of the most vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19 – need innovations to support their health and well-being,” stated Dr. Allison Sekuler, Managing Director, CABHI, Sandra A. Rotman Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Vice-President of Research, Baycrest. “CABHI and AGE-WELL have a rich history of collaborating, and this partnership formalizes a longstanding engagement between our organizations, which are both dedicated to advancing innovative solutions for older adults’ aging and brain health, at different stages.”
“AGE-WELL and CABHI each have developed effective, but distinct, approaches towards a common goal: to improve quality of life for older adults and their caregivers through innovation. Individually and collectively, our two organizations amplify a stronger culture of innovation in aging and brain health,” said Dr. Alex Mihailidis, Scientific Director and CEO, AGE-WELL. “This partnership will advance the delivery of much-needed technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers, and it will support the growth of Canada’s agetech sector.”
CABHI and AGE-WELL’s work together strengthens an innovation pipeline that runs from research, through real-world validation, to investments that scale up commercial outcomes. AGE-WELL’s translational research and promotion of entrepreneurship leads to projects and ventures that CABHI helps scale and grow through its suite of acceleration services.
In formalizing their collaboration, CABHI and AGE-WELL will work more closely to better promote the evaluation and implementation of their respective research and development initiatives and outputs, and their shared expertise will enhance validation testing, growth, and commercialization of innovations in the whole longevity sector. Together, they will help deliver robust solutions to older adults and caregivers who need them the most, now and in the near future. On the immediate horizon, CABHI is contributing to the upcoming AGE-WELL Emerging Entrepreneur Award, which supports innovative agetech startups with potential social and economic impact in Canada.
One powerful success story that has emerged from CABHI and AGE-WELL’s recent collaborative engagement is Braze Mobility. Braze initially received research funding and support from AGE-WELL, which enabled Braze to create the first blind spot sensor system that turns any wheelchair into a smart wheelchair, automatically detecting obstacles and providing multi-modal alerts to users.
Then, last fall, CABHI selected Braze as one of its six companies to fund through the Mentorship, Capital and Continuation (MC2) Market Readiness, program, presented by CABHI in partnership with National Bank. The program helps Canadian early-stage companies like Braze commercialize, scale, and grow. It also provides access to the critical Silicon Valley ecosystem, while keeping companies rooted in Canada.
“Braze has benefited significantly from the support and professional networks of this dream team, AGE-WELL and CABHI, across multiple stages of our company’s development,” shared Pooja Viswanathan, CEO, Co-founder and Director, Braze. “First, AGE-WELL fostered our early-stage research and product development. Now, through CABHI, we are gaining access to key networks and funding, both here at home and internationally. That’s enabling us to scale and acquire funding, procurement, and adoption opportunities for the future.”
As Braze’s growth indicates, CABHI and AGE-WELL complement each other’s global networks well to support a Canadian innovation pipeline. The partnership will help accelerate Canadian innovation, from startups just beginning to develop and research their solutions, to others, like Braze, ready to scale, grow, and access capital.
CABHI gratefully acknowledges the support of its funders, the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the Government of Canada through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Baycrest Foundation, and donors such as National Bank.
AGE-WELL’s work is made possible through the support of the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program.
About CABHI (The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation)
A solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, CABHI provides funding and support to innovators for the development, testing, and dissemination of new ideas and technologies that address unmet brain health and seniors’ care needs. Established in 2015, it is the result of the largest investment in brain health and aging in Canadian history. CABHI is a unique collaboration of health care, science, industry, not-for-profit and government partners whose aim is to help improve quality of life for the world’s aging population, allowing older adults to age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being.
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About AGE-WELL NCE
AGE-WELL NCE Inc. is Canada’s Technology and Aging Network. The pan-Canadian network brings together researchers, older adults, caregivers, partner organizations and future leaders to accelerate the delivery of technology-based solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians. AGE-WELL researchers are producing technologies, services, policies and practices that improve quality of life for older adults and caregivers, and generate social and economic benefits for Canada. AGE-WELL is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program.
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For all media inquiries, contact:
Senior Communications Specialist, CABHI
Phone: 1 (647) 208-4095
Senior Communications Manager, AGE-WELL
Phone: 1 (416) 597-3422, ext. 7710
Michelle Petch Gotuzzo
Manager, Media & Digital, Baycrest
Phone: 1 (416) 785-2500, ext. 6932