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Toronto, April 13, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Dr. Rafi Hofstein, President and CEO of MaRS Innovation (MI) announced today that as part of Toronto Health Innovation Week, MI will lead a special health innovation and investment mission to Seoul, South Korea from May 9 to May 11, 2018. Representatives from 14 Ontario research institutions and innovation companies from life sciences and healthcare sectors will participate in the mission.

Exporting Ontario’s world-class innovations, technologies and expertise to new, fast-growing markets around the world is a key part of Ontario’s plan to increase jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for the Province. The delegation’s visit to South Korea builds on previous missions by Premier Wynne and Minister Moridi in 2016 and 2017 where MI launched a global partnership with the Korean Government to build bilateral innovation and economic partnerships, and commercial opportunities in life sciences.

South Korea is one of the fastest-growing economic regions in the world and is ranked as the most innovative country according to the Bloomberg Innovation Index 2015.  In 2016, Canada and South Korea signed the Canada – Korea Science, Technology and Innovation Agreement which will boost cooperative activities in innovation, start-ups and commercialization.

The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science, congratulated the delegation and wished them well in their endeavours: “I am delighted to support this innovation and investment mission focused on growth opportunities in South Korea’s life science and healthcare markets”.

“We look forward to working with mission participants and our South Korean partners, who have the technologies and expertise that can help both jurisdictions advance their global innovations while fostering prosperity, job creation and good health” added Dr. Hofstein.

“Like Ontario, South Korea’s prosperity was built on innovation and we support these kinds of missions to develop long term partnerships to foster world class excellence in both countries in areas such as stem cells, regenerative medicine, drug development, artificial intelligence, and digital health”, said Korean Consul General Tae-In Chung.

The Ontario researchers and companies excel in stem cells, regenerative medicine, drug development, artificial intelligence, and digital health — areas that are in high demand in South Korea.

“We wouldn’t have had the resources to explore the South Korean market if it were not for this mission. This program provides exactly what we need to get started – an understanding of the South Korean market as well as one-on-one introductions to potential Korean partners in the industry” says Dr. Andras Nagy, President & CSO, panCELLa Inc., who will be participating in the mission.

Ontario has a long history of collaboration with South Korea, starting with the work of noted scholar and philanthropist Dr. Oliver Avison, a University of Toronto medical school graduate. He was the physician to King Gojong and who founded the Yonsei University Severance Hospital in Seoul, the first medical school and modern hospital in Korean history.  This mission will help build on that tradition of engagement and help translate today’s discoveries into tomorrow’s economic and health outcomes for Ontario and Korea, and indeed for people everywhere.

About MaRS Innovation
MaRS Innovation is a leading provider of commercialization services, early-stage funding, and deal-brokering with industry and private investors. As a member-based organization made up of 15 Member institutions, MaRS Innovation’s mandate is to drive the commercialization of their most promising research breakthroughs. MaRS Innovation’s portfolio consists of early-stage assets and companies, and we leverage our deep expertise and experience to mature this portfolio via important global and strategic partnerships. With an active portfolio of more than 40 companies which have raised in excess of $250M from global investors, and with the creation of more than 400 direct jobs, MaRS Innovation is truly a leader in the commercialization field. For more information please visit and follow us on Twitter @marsinnovation.

Susanne Staer
MaRS Innovation
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