Archived — Harper Government Announces Job Creating Investment in State-of-the-Art Medical Technology

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Minister Goodyear looks at the new KidsArm with a patient at SickKids Hospital

The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), celebrates the launch of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Clinical Trial Network on March 8, 2010 at the University of Waterloo with local Members of Parliament, representatives from the JDRF and the University of Waterloo, as well as families affected by juvenile diabetes. Source: FedDev Ontario

Canada's Economic Action Plan invests in the jobs of the future in southern Ontario

For immediate release
March 1, 2010

TORONTO, ON – Southern Ontario will strengthen its position as a leading centre for medical research and see new jobs created with the development of the KidsArm robotic surgical system, the first paediatric technology of its kind in the world.  The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced a $10 million investment from Canada's Economic Action Plan at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto.

"Our government supports scientific research because it creates jobs, strengthens the economy and improves Canadians' quality of life," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will reinforce southern Ontario's place as a world leader in medical research and innovation, and provide opportunities to export made-in-Canada technology to hospitals worldwide."

"Through Canada's Economic Action Plan, our investment will help create more than 80 highly-skilled jobs, which will inject millions of stimulus dollars into the southern Ontario economy," said Peter Kent, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) and Member of Parliament for Thornhill.

The Centre for Image-Guided Innovation & Therapeutic Intervention (CIGITI), SickKids' cutting-edge medical, engineering and research centre, will develop KidsArm in partnership with MDA, Philips and other companies. KidsArm is an image-guided medical robot designed for paediatric patients, which enables surgeons to safely and efficiently perform less invasive surgical procedures and cut down the average time of procedures by up to 90 per cent.

"At SickKids we encourage innovations that translate knowledge from the lab into clinical practice," said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO of SickKids. "This project is a prime example of how research and technology can be transformed into clinical applications, which lead to improved health outcomes for our children."

"The mission of our Centre is to imagine, innovate and provide health care differently from today," said Dr. Peter C. W. Kim, Director of CIGITI, Paediatric General Surgeon and Senior Associate Scientist in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology at SickKids, and Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto. "With this critical and timely investment from the federal government, we plan to develop the next generation of surgical robots, medical imaging and simulation technologies for the care of children and babies. This investment will help transform health-care and education through innovative technology development while building intellectual capability and economic capacity in Ontario and in Canada."

Funding for this project will come from the Southern Ontario Development Program and will go towards purchasing the core foundation equipment that will be adapted for KidsArm. This project is expected to create more than 80 research, engineering and manufacturing jobs at the Centre and partnering companies who will provide the imaging, robotic and simulation equipment. Once complete, SickKids will commercialize the technology to generate revenues that will be re-invested to further research at the Hospital, helping to sustain innovation over the long term.

The project is also funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI) and SickKids Foundation. For more details on KidsArm, please refer to the project backgrounder. For additional information on CIGITI, visit

For additional details on the Southern Ontario Development Program, please refer to the program backgrounder, visit the FedDev Ontario web site at, or call 1-866-593-5505. For additional information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

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For media enquiries, contact:

Gary Toft, Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, 613-943-7599

Media Relations, FedDev Ontario, 613-954-5543  

Matet Nebres, Manager, Media Relations, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), 416-813-6380,

Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP)

Announced in Canada's Economic Action Plan, FedDev Ontario was established to deliver federal economic development programs to support the priorities of workers, businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Budget 2009 allocated $1 billion over five years for the new Agency.

The Southern Ontario Development Program was established as a core program of FedDev Ontario. It will build upon the assets and strengths of communities to create an environment where businesses can thrive and maximize southern Ontario's potential to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.

Funding under this program will go towards projects that can stimulate local economies and enhance the growth and competitiveness of local businesses and communities. Approximately $100 million has been allocated to the Southern Ontario Development Program in 2009–10, including the following:

  • Nearly $63 million through a general intake process;
  • Up to $20 million through an intake for the food and beverage processing sector;
  • $15.75 million for the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters' SMART Program to fund an estimated 300 projects that will help small- and medium-sized manufacturers increase their productivity and competitiveness in the global economy; and
  • $1.6 million for the Ontario Chamber of Commerce's Export Market Access Program to help southern Ontario businesses that would like to increase their sales internationally.

For more information, please visit the FedDev Ontario website at or call 1-866-593-5505.

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