Federal budget commitment to technology and innovation welcome

 AGE-WELL welcomes the federal government’s budget commitments to innovation and training. The growth of smart homes, assistive and digital technologies is all around us and this budget recognizes the need to invest in the future of Canadian innovation.

Budget 2017 includes:

  • $125-million to launch a Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy
  • $22.3-million over five years to establish an Accessible Technology Development program
  • $950-million over five years for innovation networks and “superclusters”

As Canada’s technology and aging network, AGE-WELL is contributing to these areas by supporting cutting-edge research in the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics, training graduate students to become future innovators, and ensuring older adults and caregivers are involved every step of the way.

“Technologies like wearable devices, smart homes and mobile robots are entering the marketplace and the community. AGE-WELL is here to ensure Canada is at the forefront of commercializing innovative technologies and assistive devices that can help Canadians live well and independently as they age,” says AGE-WELL Scientific Co-Director Alex Mihailidis.

Dr. Mihailidis recently spoke at the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology’s study on the role of robotics, 3D printing and artificial intelligence in the healthcare system. AGE-WELL is a leader in artificial intelligence and looks forward to working with the government and other key stakeholders in creating Canada’s Artificial Intelligence Strategy.

AGE-WELL applauds the government’s emphasis on lifelong learning in this budget. It aligns with our EPIC program, which trains undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, clinicians, and research staff or Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) to be industry, academic, and community leaders in the development and introduction of technology to the health system and marketplace.

This is an exciting time for AGE-WELL as the network gets ready to launch three national innovation hubs in the months ahead with a focus on technology and aging. “AGE-WELL Innovation Hubs will be spaces for user-centred innovation in which industry partners, community, and research teams can interact and develop innovative solutions to improve the quality of life of older adults and caregivers,” says AGE-WELL Scientific Co-Director Andrew Sixsmith.

AGE-WELL commends the government for investing in innovation networks and clusters to drive Canada’s economic growth.

AGE-WELL was launched in 2015 through the federally funded Networks of Centres of Excellence program.