TECHi (Technology Enabling Child Health Innovations)

CHEO is investing in innovation:
Supporting innovators moving products from ideation to commercialization

CHEO has expanded their service offerings with the inception of an innovations team, TECHi (Technology Enabling Child Health Innovations), whose purpose is to is create a rich support ecosystem designed for healthcare innovators who aim to improve the lives of children and youth.

Our objective

Working in close partnership with CHEO’s Research Institute, CHEO, and the CHEO Foundation, TECHi’s main objective is advancing healthcare innovation by partnering with early stage companies and technologies that have the potential to transform and elevate the healthcare industry.  

CHEO is a global leader in pediatric health care and research. We are a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, standardized and coordinated approach to pediatric health care in Ontario that is centered around children, youth and their families.  

As we partner with promising and innovative start-up companies that align with our mission, we will help them to validate their technology, facilitate the production and implementation of their products into clinical practice at CHEO, and more broadly across the pediatric network in Canada and beyond. 

Our program

Our team can support innovators and start-ups in the following ways:

Navigation

Provide peer-to-peer support through the complex pathways of health innovation, initiated both within CHEO and externally. Advocacy and navigation to ensure that new innovations can be easily adopted upon product readiness and that innovative external partners can quickly and successfully navigate these institutions.

Mentorship

Link innovators with business mentors to guide them through the innovation journey and prepare them for future commercial opportunities, including business planning, product development, distribution channels, and if appropriate to help bring the innovator to seed funding stage.

Incubator services

Provide expertise from trusted partner organizations and business mentors to review and vet innovations and collaborations. The most promising innovations or co-developed solutions will be supported towards implementation and scale.

Partnership at the level of clinical care

Families, clinicians, technology partners and skilled hospital-based testing teams within the clinical setting will be enabled to put cutting-edge technology into the hands of individuals who can benefit while continuing the acceleration process.

Meet our CHEO innovators

Why partner with us?

What can you expect when partnering with CHEO’s Research Institute:

  • Collaboration with industry leaders and clinical champions within CHEO
  • Expert navigation through the healthcare innovation pathway
  • Consultation and guidance from experienced, successful start-ups
  • Liberty to connect with our network of TECHi partners
  • Opportunities to test products and use cases
  • Funding opportunities and pitch training
  • Access to product management templates and tools

How to qualify for the program. You must:

  • Have an innovation/health-tech product offering at TRL 4 or above
  • Be ready to engage in trials and/or regulatory applications
  • Have some form of funding to support your work and clinical activities
  • Have a clear business strategy and target market

If your company, or product, qualifies for the program and could benefit from any of the services offered, we encourage you to complete this short questionnaire indicating your interest. A member of our TECHi team will respond to you within 1-2 business days.

Innovation requires funding

The CHEO Research Institute and Bruyère Research Institute have come together to design a program that will help streamline health innovations that will improve the lives of Canadians of any age. The 8-80 Innovation program is a joint endeavor between the CHEO Research Institute and Bruyère Research Institute whose goal is to partner businesses with researchers and create a rich ecosystem for early-stage innovation emerging from Eastern Ontario’s health professionals.
The 8-80 Incubator Program aims to capture the passion and creativity within the CHEO Research Institute and Bruyère Research Institute to and foster an environment designed for and by health-care professionals. We will support technology validation, provide business coaches, research mentors and system navigators to help transform inspiration into high-impact products and services for our patients and families.

The CHEO Research Institute and Bruyère Research Institute are working to submit a joint proposal to FedDev for a five years funding envelope to support the activities described here. While we wait to secure funding, the CHEO Research Institute and Bruyère Research Institute will continue to work towards the development of a stable innovation program and will actively support the health innovation community partnerships both locally and nationally.

If you have interest in funding innovation at the CHEO Research Institute, contact us at [email protected].

TECHi partnerships and collaborations

TECHi has had some wonderful opportunities over the last year to work with, and support, innovators who’s passion and focus is to support children and youth rehabilitation through the means of technological innovations.

The following are a few of the projects the TECHi team has supported:

Reusable masks – “The Ottawa Mask”

The CHEO Research Institute co-designed a reusable mask and sought to scale this product to be available for the Ottawa community. The general public in Ottawa had to choose between single-use, not environmentally friendly hospital grade surgical masks or re-usable, cloth masks which often had poor filtration efficiency (averaging 30%).

A key step was connecting with EcoEquitable, an Ottawa-based not-for-profit that provides women with sewing job/employment opportunities with a focus on recycling and sustainability, and Dessius, a textile consultancy in Calgary. to develop a solution. The mask has completed filtration and resistance testing (National Research Council), fit testing and a satisfaction survey at CHEO. Available data* indicates that the mask does not just meet, but exceeds the standards set by American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Importantly, the mask is safe to reuse making it environmentally friendly (filter demonstrated very high efficiency when new (88%), with minimal loss following repeated washing (>70%). Another important aspect of this project is the development and rollout of masks suitable for children and youth.

3D printing

CHEO has been working with a 3D printing company- PolyUnity- since 2021, to expand CHEO’s capacity to maintain and repair its equipment, as well as design new parts to optimize workflows. The CHEO RI is working with PolyUnity to test, validate and expand their technology offerings throughout the organization. At present, CHEO has collaborated with PolyUnity to build replacement parts for healthcare equipment within the hospital.

3D printing reduces the cost and complexity of traditional healthcare procurement. Their technology is helping to build supply chain resiliency and reduce supply chain carbon footprint. It enables healthcare providers and their networks to design, access and produce what they need on-demand.

CHEO Bears Den – Innovation Pitch Event

TECHi is hosting an innovation pitch event called the CHEO Bears Den in November 2022 that offers researchers, innovators and start-ups the opportunity to pitch their product ideas and innovations, which aim to support and improve children’s health care.

For more information visit CHEO Bears Den event webpage.

Contact us

If you have an innovative idea, question, or interest in funding innovation at the CHEO Research Institute please contact us. We’re always looking to learn about and collaborate on new ideas to drive forward health care innovation.

We can be reached at [email protected] and will respond to your message within 1-2 business days.