Provincial grant supports $123.5 million brain health and aging innovation centre at Baycrest Health Sciences

Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation renews commitment to Baycrest in provincial budget

TORONTO–Baycrest Health Sciences has received a $23.5 million grant from the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation in today’s provincial budget, renewing Ontario’s steadfast commitment to tackling the cognitive, emotional and physical health challenges facing older adults.

The grant builds upon the announcement earlier this week of the creation of the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI), to be led by Baycrest. Combined with additional commitments from the Government of Canada, the Baycrest Foundation and 40 leading industry, academic, public sector and not-for-profit sector partners, today’s provincial grant provides momentum for the $123.5 million national hub and network dedicated to the development, validation, commercialization, dissemination and adoption of brain health and seniors care products and services.

In addition to Ontario’s contribution of $23.5 million, CC-ABHI is funded through a $42 million grant announced in Tuesday’s federal budget, a $25 million commitment from the Baycrest Foundation, and $33 million from the partner organizations.

Ontario legislature_webThe province’s renewed investment in Baycrest and the new CC-ABHI venture helps lay the foundation for further innovations that will improve quality of life for older adults and address the health and economic challenges of an aging population—here in Ontario, across the country and around the globe. 

Nationally, the demographic evidence supporting the need for innovations in aging and brain health are clear:

  • The number of seniors in Canada is expected to double to more than 10 million in the next two decades
  • Dementia is the leading cause of disability among Canadian seniors
  • Dementia costs the national economy $33 billion per year
  • The number of people living with dementia in Canada will grow to 1.4 million by 2031

Worldwide, there are clear opportunities and demand for products and services related to aging and brain health:

  • The global market for brain health applications, software and biometrics will grow from $1 billion to $10 billion by 2020
  • 75% of healthcare consumers are comfortable communicating with their doctor virtually
  • The annual market for remote/mobile monitoring devices in the United States is up to $43 billion
  • 92% of ‘worried well’ consumers over 50 rated ‘staying mentally sharp’ as their top interest

“The Government of Ontario has recognized the value of investing in solutions that can meet the growing demand for new senior’s care technologies and practices,” says Dr. William Reichman, president and CEO of Baycrest. “Our population is aging rapidly, and with that comes increased incidences of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. Along with our partners, we can now leverage expertise and resources that will bring clinically-validated, innovative products and services to market faster.”

The main focus of CC-ABHI will be to catalyze and accelerate the innovation cycle from concept through bench testing, bedside evaluation and broad market penetration.

“Today’s $23.5 million commitment will support research, production and the commercialization of made-in-Ontario solutions that will help address one of the greatest challenges we will face in the coming years – our aging population,” says MPP Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “The CC-ABHI will bring together Ontario’s impressive health innovation expertise to find new ways to improve the quality of life for our seniors. It has the potential to save millions in healthcare costs while helping Ontario take advantage of a significant global economic opportunity.”

“Dementia is the leading cause of disability among Canadian seniors and today, our government made clear their commitment to addressing this very serious issue,” says Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle. “This investment is great news for Baycrest and I look forward to seeing the new CC-ABHI move forward with their plan to innovate and commercialize healthcare solutions that will improve quality of life for Ontarians while offering high potential for economic growth.”

Work is now underway to launch CC-ABHI in the Fall of 2015.


“By partnering with the CC-ABHI, the Alzheimer Society of Canada is seeking to leverage the centre’s expertise and resources in aging and brain health to develop and evaluate new tools and solutions. In particular, ASC is excited to work with the world-class researchers at the Rotman Research Institute to bring cutting-edge research findings into the development process.”
Mimi Lowi-Young, CEO, Alzheimer Society of Canada

“The CC-ABHI will offer expertise, test-bed capacity and market channels to deploy our digital platform for population health management in clinical, residential, and community care environments. This will help NexJ Health to market and disseminate our platform on an international scale for use with the aging and brain health market.”
William M. Tatham, CEO, NexJ Systems Inc.

“With a rapidly aging population and the increasing desire of individuals to age in place, we feel that a deep relationship between the CC-ABHI and Saint Elizabeth Health Care will have significant impact to address the growing needs of this population.”
Shirlee Sharkey, President and CEO, Saint Elizabeth Health Care

About Baycrest Health Sciences
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. As an academic health sciences centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides an exemplary care experience for aging clients combined with an extensive clinical training program for students and the Rotman Research Institute, one of the world’s leaders in cognitive neuroscience. Through its commercial and consulting arms, Baycrest is marketing its sought-after expertise and innovation to other healthcare organizations and long-term care homes, both in Canada and internationally.

About CC-ABHI Partners
The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation founding partners include leading industry (12), academic (6), public-sector (20), and not-for-profit partner (2) organizations. Partners have committed key infrastructural resources to create a platform of expert services, supports, and distribution channels accessible to CC-ABHI as part of the Centre’s activities. Collectively these partners will contribute a total of $33M that will be utilized to invent, test, demonstrate, disseminate, adopt, and catalyze innovation.

For more information on this media release, please contact:
Kelly Connelly
Senior Media Officer Baycrest Health Sciences