Ryerson, St. Mike’s come together to create new health technologies

Ryerson University joined a 20-year partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital to research and develop health-care solutions seeking to enhance patients’ quality of life on Jan. 26, 2016  in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital.

Ryerson engineering and science faculties will work with St. Michael’s research and clinical expertise in the new 22,000-square-foot laboratory, known as iBEST (Biomedical Zone within the Institute for Biomedical Engineering, Science and Technology). The laboratory is located at 209 Victoria St., which is part of St. Michael’s Hospital.

The goal of the partnership is to remove barriers that entrepreneurs face when trying to attract health care professionals to their product. The space also allows entrepreneurs to develop their technologies in a clinical environment and fast-track the arrival of technologies to the end user.

Following the zone learning model used widely at Ryerson, companies will have the opportunity to apply for residency – a term typically between four and 12 months.

“It’s about finding solutions, enabling social change and generating long-term economic growth,” said Ryerson interim president Mohamed Lachemi.

Lachemi, whose background is in engineering, and Ori Rotstein, co-director of iBEST, were behind this collaboration. The two say they had seen a unique opportunity to bring Ryerson and St. Michael’s together.

Linda Maxwell, director of iBEST said: “Our approach to innovation is both pragmatic and personalized. We work very hard to provide clinical and business development support that’s tailored to the needs of each one of our companies.”

Maxwell, along with Rotstein, Lachemi, Robert Howard, president and CEO of St. Michael’s Hospital, and Reza Moridi, the Ontario minister of research and innovation and training, colleges and universities, took a tour of the facilities following the announcement. It allowed them the opportunity to see the work that is being done in the zone and the people behind the projects being carried out.

During the tour of the zone, Moridi, was able to visit Clean Slate, a company currently in residence at the zone.

Clean Slate’s product is a portable electronic sanitizer which uses ultraviolet light to sanitize various hospital devices in 30 seconds. It is also able to log its work into the hospital’s database.

Since its inception in mid-2015, many companies in iBEST have secured seed funding, closed commercial contracts and some are even in talks to bring their technology into St. Michael’s and at other hospitals, Maxwell said.

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Mohamed Lachemi at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Jan.26, 2016. Photo by Kalem Mc Sween
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