To coincide with our presence at the 2016 BIO International Convention (BIO) from June 6-9, 2016, MaRS Innovation launched a video explaining our role in Canada's innovation ecosystem: backing big…
Partners for JLABS @ Toronto include Janssen Inc., MaRS Innovation and seven of MI’s 15 member institutions
TORONTO, Sept. 8, 2015 — The Ontario Government, University of Toronto, and MaRS Discovery District (MaRS) today announced a collaboration with Janssen Inc. to launch the successful Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS incubator model in Toronto.
This announcement has been covered in the Toronto Star, Metro News Canada, Sing Tao Daily, OurWindsor.ca, FierceBiotech, BioCentury, MedCity News, BioSpace, Biotechnology Focus, Lab Product News, ChinaNews.com, Pan European Networks, Economic Development Blog, BetaKit, Torontoist, and TechVibes.
The new facility, called JLABS @ Toronto, will open in spring of 2016 at MaRS Discovery District and will support start-ups with lab space, programs, and potential investment partners as they work to build important, successful early-stage companies.
“The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS model to MaRS’ West Tower reinforces Ontario’s position as one of the world’s leading life sciences clusters,” said Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. “JLABS @ Toronto will support researchers and entrepreneurs across the province and accelerate the development of Ontario companies while connecting Toronto to potential Johnson & Johnson collaborators and investors.”
“Research and innovation are fundamental to the mission of the University of Toronto,” said Dr. Meric S. Gertler, President, University of Toronto. “We host a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem featuring nine campus-led accelerators under the umbrella of our Banting & Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The addition of JLABS to this ecosystem will further propel the creation of new companies and new jobs, and ultimately new healthcare solutions that will benefit individuals and our society for years to come.”
“Toronto is home to a vibrant and prolific healthcare and life sciences community led by academic hospitals, world-class research institutions, top scientists, and a strong start-up ecosystem. For these reasons, Toronto is a natural choice for our first international expansion of JLABS,” said Melinda Richter, Head of JLABS. “The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies has long been active within the Toronto Ontario community, forming many important collaborations. Today we are pleased to begin an even deeper relationship with this important community. Our new location, within a University of Toronto site, close to our hospital collaborators, and neighbouring the financial centre of Canada, will deliver great opportunities and impact for emerging biomedical technology entrepreneurs.”
Baycrest Heath Sciences’ “My Virtual Dream,” an innovative and interactive live performance experience at the intersection of science, art and music, is currently touring the installation with appearances in Amsterdam in May and more scheduled for Irvine, CA in October.
MaRS Innovation is working with the Baycrest team to commercialize the technology behind the demonstration, known as the virtual brain.
“The Virtual Dream tour is a ‘living lab’ that engages the public, fuels science, creates art and educates while it entertains,” says Richard Tavener, executive producer of the Virtual Dream tour.
The exhibition and research project was originally mounted in partnership with the University of Toronto, Nuit Blanche 2013, and InteraXon and also made a January 2015 appearance at the Ontario Science Centre.
Participants wear the Muse, a brain-computer interface headset provided by InteraXon, and use focus and mental relaxation states to complete a science game and create a stunning array of visuals and music.
The brain data collected at Nuit Blanche has yielded insights about how the brain learns and a science paper about this massive, one-night neuroscience experiment. The paper, which appeared in the July issue of PLOS One, found that:
MaRS Innovation’s (MI) Lyssa Neel, co-director of the UTEST program and project manager, has been selected to represent MI’s ICT start-up companies at the TechWomen Canada program in San Francisco, which runs May 13 to 16, 2013.
The announcement was covered in TechVibes:
TechWomen Canada is run by the Canadian Consulate and is focused on providing Canadian women leaders in the ICT sector an opportunity to expand both professional and business networks in Silicon Valley.
Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation, was interviewed by Huffington Post Canada business reporter Rachel Mendleson for an article about Canada’s innovation gap and the shortage of Canadian venture capital:
One of the best ways to [raise venture capital], said Raphael Hofstein, President and CEO of Toronto-based MaRS Innovation, is to increase government investment, a lesson he learned while helping to create a life sciences early-stage fund in Israel several years ago.
“Everybody told us — institutions, industry — that they will not participate unless government has a piece of the pie. So governments have to participate, certainly in the early stage,” he said.