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Government of Canada invests in five new commercialization centres

From left to right: Max Fehlmann, Alain Beaudet, Nina Grewal, Karimah Es Sabar, Arvind Gupta, Ed Holder, Sachdev Sidhu, Natalie Dakers

Investments will bring health and communications technologies to market faster, create jobs and growth

August 25, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia — Networks of Centres of Excellence

Five new commercialization centres will receive significant support from the Government of Canada to help bring health and communications products and technologies to market faster.

The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) made the announcement at the Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator, which will receive $14.5 million over five years to support new companies whose products result from Canadian health sciences research. Accel-Rx will help these businesses grow by providing access to investment capital, potential partners and business services.    

This investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research (CECR) program. CECRs match clusters of research expertise with the business community, facilitating the development of products and technologies at a stage in the commercialization process where it is difficult to attract private-sector investments.

Quick facts

  • Federal investments totalling $68.1 million over five years have been awarded to the following centres across Canada:
    • Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator (Vancouver, British Columbia)
    • Centre for Commercialization of Antibodies and Biologics (Toronto, Ontario)
    • Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (Ottawa, Ontario)
    • Medical Devices Commercialization Centre (Ottawa, Ontario)
    • NEOMED (Montréal, Quebec)
  • With these new grants, the CECR program currently funds 22 centres, working in areas that include information and communications technologies, health, natural resources and energy.
  • Created in 2007, the CECR program invests $30 million per year in Canadian innovation.


Our Government is investing in the research-business partnerships that move ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace.  As a new CECR, Accel-Rx will support and match Canadian entrepreneurs with new, promising, globally competitive medical technologies that will create high-quality jobs and economic growth in Vancouver and Canada.

Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology

Discoveries are critical to innovation, but successful innovation also demands focused efforts to rigorously test the fitness of ideas. The CECR program is pivotal in responding to this demand by providing the expertise and resources to successfully translate Canadian discoveries into innovative products and technologies and to generate economic benefits for Canada. These new centres are a valuable addition to the CECR portfolio.
– Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and Acting Chair, Networks of Centres of Excellence Steering Committee

We greatly appreciate the support the federal government continues to show Canada’s research and innovation sector, and the strategic investments it has made in both basic research and commercialization. The aim of   Accel-Rx is to maximize the benefits of this public investment in R&D, and foster new growth for Canada’s health sciences industry. It will achieve this by building on and leveraging the established strengths of its network of partner CECRs across the country, and then providing the critically-needed remaining capacity and resources to specifically focus on and support new company creation. In doing so, Accel-Rx will realize the vision it shares with the federal government for the Canadian health sciences sector evolving into a fully-optimized generator of economic prosperity for Canada.

– Natalie Dakers, Centre Director, Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator

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Scott French
Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada

Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

The Networks of Centres of Excellence, which manages the CECR program, operates a suite of national funding programs on behalf of the three federal granting agencies—the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)—in partnership with Industry Canada and Health Canada. NCE programs support large scale, multi-disciplinary collaborations between universities, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations, which focus Canada’s research capacity on economic and social challenges, help commercialize and apply research breakthroughs, increase private-sector R&D, and train highly qualified people.