Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation launches 2017 Spark Program to fund grassroots ideas from point-of-care workers

Toronto, ON – September 14, 2017 – The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) is pleased to launch its second Spark funding program to support point-of-care workers in developing their grassroots ideas into real-world applications in the field of aging and brain health.

The Spark program provides up to $50,000 (CAD) per project to selected applicants to support the development of early-stage innovative solutions. CABHI invites staff working at Canadian not-for-profit healthcare organizations and members of the Seniors’ Quality Leap Initiative (SQLI) to apply for funding. In total, up to $1.25 million (CAD) is available to support up to 25 projects.

“Point-of-care workers and service staff are often engaged directly with clients and see first-hand the challenges they face.” says Ron Riesenbach, vice-president, innovation & chief technology officer at CABHI and Baycrest Health Sciences. “Many of these workers have innovative ideas on how to address these challenges and this program provides the funding to turn those ideas into real-world solutions.”

This year, the Spark Program is accepting applications aimed at addressing one of four funding priorities:

• Aging in place: solutions that enable older adults with dementia to maximize their choice, independence and quality of life to support aging in the most appropriate setting
• Caregiver support: solutions that support caregivers (formal and informal) in providing care to older adults with dementia
• Care coordination and navigation: solutions that help older adults, caregivers and healthcare providers coordinate care and transitions for older adults with dementia
• Cognitive health: solutions focused on health promotion, prevention, early diagnostics, and slow progression of cognitive impairment for aging adults

The Spark Program will be funding selected projects that are scheduled to run for 6 to 12 months and providing one-year, one-time and non-renewable grants.

“With CABHI’s help, we’ve taken what was just once an idea and created a prototype that can be tested and validated in the real world,” says Dr. Keri-Leigh Cassidy, FRCPC, Founder, Fountain of Health Initiative of Optimal Aging and 2016-17 Spark award recipient. Dr. Cassidy received Spark Program funding to further develop the Fountain of Health Initiative for Optimal Aging, one of the first educational initiatives of its kind in the world, used to translate the current science on healthy aging, well-being, and resilience, into practical tools for use by clinicians and the public to improve health outcomes.

Eligible applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest by 5 p.m. on October 11, 2017. More information is available on the CABHI website.
Funding for this program is provided by the Government of Canada through the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation, and the Baycrest Foundation.

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The Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI) is a solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, providing 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. For more information on CABHI, please visit: www.cabhi.com.

Baycrest Health Sciences is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world’s top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti — a free, online brain health assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Through its dedicated centres, Baycrest Health Sciences offers unmatched global knowledge exchange and commercialization capacity. Founded in 1918 as the Jewish Home for Aged, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information please visit: www.baycrest.org.

Media Contact:

Arielle Zomer, Senior Communications Specialist, 416-785-2500 ext. 6086, azomer@baycrest.org
Jonathan MacIndoe, Senior Communications Specialist, 416-785-2500 ext. 6579, jmacindoe@baycrest.org