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Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life - AGE-WELL

$36.6 million for 2014-19
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Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life

Number of partners

Partner contributions

Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario

Co-Scientific Director
Alex Mihailidis Alex Mihailidis

Co-Scientific Director
Andrew Sixsmith Andrew Sixsmith

Board chair
Mike Harcourt Mike Harcourt,
former Premier of British Columbia

Growing older with dignity and grace with some high-tech help

The opportunity

Aging populations globally are stimulating rapid advances in artificial intelligence, mobile technologies, e-health and other technologies. These simultaneous developments create an ideal opportunity for Canada to emerge as a global leader in designing technology that optimizes the well-being of older adults. Much of this expertise is located at the iDAPT (Intelligent Design for Adaptation, Participation and Technology) centre, part of the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute – University Health Network. This $36 million Canada Foundation for Innovation-funded facility represents one of the most advanced rehabilitation research centres in the world. Another centre of research excellence is Simon Fraser University’s Gerontology Research Centre. Experts at both centres are now working with other researchers across Canada, as well as industry partners, service providers, older Canadians and their caregivers to develop practical, cost-effective solutions that meet real-world needs.

How AGE-WELL is seizing the opportunity

Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement and Long Life brings together 26 universities and more than 75 industry and not-for-profit organizations in a national platform of multi-disciplinary expertise focused on research, knowledge translation and technology commercialization. The network program is driven by three key questions:

  1. What do older adults and caregivers need and how can technology meet those needs?  
  2. What technology-based systems and services should be used to enhance the health and well-being of older adults and support independent living? 
  3. How can innovation be fostered in the short-and long-term to benefit older adults, health care providers and Canadian industry?

In addition to studying the ethical, policy and regulatory issues associated with new technologies, AGE-WELL will also tackle early stage funding, entrepreneurship training and other commercialization challenges.

Among the expected results

  • Anticipated effects of the AGE-WELL investment include improved health outcomes, and increased independence and quality of life for older Canadians; reduced caregiver burden; as well as economic growth and job creation in the technology and aging sector.
  • Longer-term benefits will include the integration of these technologies into supportive housing environments; more affordable technologies as products are better able to meet consumers’ needs and become commonplace; and changes to health care funding policies to support their use.
  • At least 12 different technology-based products will be ready for transfer to market by Canadian companies within the five-year funding time frame. These will include devices such as social and mobile robotic systems to increase social connectedness, and sensor-based systems installed in homes that promote independence.
  • A partnership with Mitacs will provide internships to students and post-doctoral fellows with job-ready scientific and business skills.

Connect with AGE-WELL


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