2015 Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program competition
The Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program bridges the gap between research and commercialization. The program matches clusters of research expertise with the business community to share the knowledge and resources that bring innovative products and processes to market faster. Centres advance research and facilitate commercialization within priority areas for the Government of Canada.
Centres adopt different models to best serve the commercialization needs of their sector, including acting as investors, incubators or service providers. With revenue sources that range from fee-for service and membership fees to product sales, royalties and equity in start-up companies, each CECR has a mandate to become self-sustaining while maximizing economic impact for its partners.
The 2015 CECR competition resulted in five applicants being awarded funding totaling $68.1 million over five years (2014-2019)*:
- Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator – Accel-Rx ($14.5 million)
Headquarters: Vancouver, BC
Accel-Rx will create and support companies whose products and services result from Canada’s extensive capacity in health sciences research. Building on the strengths of existing health-focused commercialization centres to validate and incubate innovative technologies, Accel-Rx will support the next steps in commercialization by matching the most promising of these technologies with the most appropriate entrepreneurs drawn from a national network; and by providing seed capital, specialized business planning support, start-up services and mentorship, as well as access to strategic partners, scientific infrastructure, and follow-on investors. Its goal is to increase international recognition of Canada as a place to invest in health technologies, and provide start-up companies and SMEs with the needed resources to stay and grow in Canada.
- Centre for the Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics – CCAB ($15 million)
Headquarters: Toronto, ON
Antibodies and other medical products from biological sources play an expanding, revolutionary role as alternatives to chemically synthesized drugs by treating disease in a more targeted way and reducing side effects. Antibodies are the fastest growing area of therapeutics and have been used in cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmune diseases. CCAB will solidify Canada’s foothold in a $50 billion worldwide industry by validating antibody candidates, testing research tools, and maintaining antibody libraries accessible to industry. Drawing on research conducted at the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre, CCAB will also address issues related to manufacturing products at the quality and scale needed for commercial success. Expected results include advancing promising antibodies to clinical trials, increasing the number of licensed therapeutics originating in Canada and supporting startup companies.
- Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks – CENGN ($11.7 million)
Headquarters: Ottawa, ON
CENGN will ensure Canadian firms take a leading role in responding to the rapid and fundamental changes in information and communications technologies (ICT), including the growing demand for content on multiple platforms, the use of cloud-based applications and the emergence of the “Internet of Things”, with its vast number of connected devices. The centre will bring together partners that represent every link in the innovation supply chain, removing barriers to commercialization by providing access to a world class facility for validating advanced products, applications and services. To accelerate product development and enhance Canada's reputation as an R&D destination, the centre will provide firms with market advantages that include accelerated product research and introduction, and reduced product development times and costs. CENGN will also promote the development of cloud-based services in strategic areas such as healthcare, energy, education, financial services and the environment.
- Medical Devices Commercialization Centre – MDCC ($14.9 million)
Headquarters: Ottawa, ON
MDCC will advance the development and commercialization of medical devices - the countless tools, equipment and instruments used in health care delivery and patient care - by connecting a national network of universities, hospitals, industry and investors. Drawing on innovative product ideas generated across the country, the centre will assess clinical need and market demand for the most promising new technologies, provide business development services, technical assistance and investment, test in real-world settings, and bring new products to market that are safe, reliable and effective. By building on Canada's strengths in information technologies, microelectronics and engineering to address various healthcare challenges, MDCC will improve health care and Canadians' access to the latest technology, and help boost this country's performance in a fast-growing, multi-billion dollar global market.
- NEOMED ($12 million)
Headquarters: Montréal, QC
*(Note: this centre will receive its funding over a period of four years.)
NEOMED will help commercialize discoveries made in Canada’s world-class life sciences sector. The centre’s model is designed to respond to the dramatic evolution of the global pharmaceutical industry, by drawing on research done by universities and companies, and offering support and financing for the most promising early-stage discoveries. In partnership with major pharmaceutical companies, NEOMED’s efforts will help advance new drug projects for unmet medical needs, up to the stage of human proof-of-concept. It is hosted by the NEOMED Institute, a state-of-the-art open access drug development hub that facilitates flexible interaction between academia, biotech companies and the pharmaceutical industry. Expected results include supporting the growth of the Canadian life-sciences sector by generating new licenses, starting companies, creating highly qualified jobs and attracting investment.