skip to Main Content

TORONTO, ON–(Marketwired – April 18, 2017) – MaRS Innovation (MI) and its South Korean partner, Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), continue to build on the five-year global partnership agreement signed in December 2016 during Premier Wynne’s mission to the Republic of Korea.

Together with Minister Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, Rafi Hofstein, CEO of MI, is in Seoul to further the joint research initiatives first envisaged last year. Five outstanding Ontario scientists from some of MI’s Member institutions are accompanying MI and have held initial discussions with their Korean counterparts in the following fields:

  • Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, of Sunnybrook Research Institute (represented by Dr. Seung Hee Han University Health Network); and Dr. Yoon Ha of Severance Hospital: development of new therapies for use of stem cells and ultrasound for neurological and cancer surgery.
  • Dr. Vanessa Mendes, University of Toronto, and Dr. Hae-Ryong Song of Guro Hospital: development of novel therapies for tissue regeneration and joint repair
  • Dr. Hoon-Ki Sung of The Hospital for Sick Children, and Dr. Hyn Goo Woo of Ajou University Medical Center: therapeutic stem cell therapies for cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Dr. Molly Shoichet (represented by Dr. Michael Cooke, University of Toronto); and Dr. Inbo Han, Cha University: development of injectable biomaterials to improve stem cell transplantation for spinal cord injury and degenerative spinal diseases
  • Dr. William Tan, Sunnybrook Research Institute and founding scientist of Wavecheck, and Dr. Kyong Hwa Park of Korea University College of Medicine: ultrasound imaging for cancer therapy and monitoring chemotherapy response in breast cancer

These scientific collaborations aim to commercialize their joint research findings, building on the five-year global partnership agreement signed by MI and KHIDI in late 2016. Under the bilateral agreement, KHIDI and MI aim to commercialize the latest advances in biomedical and healthcare innovations and generate new startups, promoting the co-development and commercialization of medical technologies and therapeutics between Ontario and South Korea in concert with industry and government.

“KHIDI is pleased to announce the first collaborations between its member researchers and their Canadian partners. A tremendous amount of progress has been made between KHIDI and MI since we established the relationship less than a year ago, and we look forward to further collaboration with MI and their outstanding scientific member institutions. I am confident that, through the partnership with MI, we will bring the most promising research to the marketplace, with benefit to both countries as well as to the health of the world’s population,” says Dr. Eom Boyong, Executive Director of KHIDI.

“I am thrilled my colleagues from MaRS Innovation are able to join me on this important mission to the Republic of Korea. I am confident the partnership agreements announced between MaRS Innovation and KHIDI ‎will bring breakthrough research and collaboration efforts to both of our jurisdictions. I would like to congratulate both organizations on this important milestone,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.

“KHIDI’s initiative to establish a new Seoul-based commercialization structure modelled on MaRS innovation is yet another strong indication that the commercialization model developed in Ontario through Federal and Provincial funding, and with a strong base of stellar Member institutions, is now an internationally recognized transformational approach. MaRS Innovation is thrilled to be the lead partner with KHIDI of this new bi-national program. The exchange of exciting and ground-breaking research, which has started now with the current Ontario delegation, will certainly contribute significantly to healthcare everywhere and to the economies of Ontario and The Republic of Korea,” says Dr. Rafi Hofstein, President and CEO of MaRS Innovation.

About MaRS Innovation

MaRS Innovation is the commercialization agent for 15 of Ontario’s leading academic institutions including the University of Toronto and its affiliated research hospitals, York University, and Ryerson University. Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence, by the Government of Ontario through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, and by its members, MaRS Innovation is a transformational partnership that turns research strengths into commercial opportunities through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. MaRS Innovation represents over $1.47 billion of R&D funding annually, a portfolio of 60 companies, $160M in outside risk capital, and is credited with creating over 400 jobs.


The Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) is Korea’s only public organization set up in 1999 with sights on promoting and developing the health industry in South Korea, while promoting national healthcare services. Since its establishment, KHIDI has played a major role in the development of the nation’s health industry. Apart from its primary function in Health Technology R&D, KHIDI has also taken the initiative in increasing competitiveness in different areas of the health industry, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beauty & cosmetics.

  • For media queries and clarifications, please contact:
    Susanne Staer
    Manager, Corporate Affairs
    MaRS Innovation
    Telephone: 1 647 260 7869

Back To Top