The Innovation Core

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

CHEO has expanded their service offerings with the inception of the Innovation Core, whose purpose is to is create a rich support ecosystem designed for healthcare innovators who aim to improve the lives of children and youth.

The Innovation Core collaborates with promising and innovative start-up companies that align with CHEO’s mission.

Learn about some of the innovative projects here.

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.  

Our objective

Working in close partnership with CHEO’s Research Institute, CHEO, and the CHEO Foundation, the Innovation Core’s main objective is advancing healthcare innovation by partnering with innovators at CHEO as well as health technology start-ups that have the potential to transform and elevate the healthcare industry.  

As we partner with promising technologies that align with CHEO’s mission, we aim to help them validate their developments, facilitate the production and implementation of their products into clinical practice at CHEO, and more broadly across the pediatric network in Canada – and beyond. 

For a better understanding of the need for innovation programs like the Innovation Core, read the following op-ed by Dr. Jason Berman, CEO and Scientific Director at the CHEO Research Institute and Vice-President of Research at CHEO, published in the Ottawa Business Journal “With healthcare in crisis, let’s have the audacity to innovate a better way forward.”

Our program

Canadian innovation in the health tech sector is accelerating, however, pediatric solutions are not being developed at the same rate. This is intensified by the large disconnect between clinicians, researchers and companies as each has their own field of expertise.

We help advance companies through the innovation pathway by bridging industries and ensure that valuable research transforms into tangible solutions for our Canadian hospitals.

We envision the innovation pathway as an innovation cycle with services offered at every stage.

A graphic representing the mission of the CHEO Research Institute Innovation Core. Three separate circles represent the Research, Business and Healthcare sectors. These three circles overlap to form the innovation pathway (implementation, incubation and commercialization), with services offered at each intersection to bridge the three industries.

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

Incubation and Codevelopment

Transforms a solution into a feasible technology.
We support research validation, prototyping, and iterative testing.


Turns technology into a marketable product.
We aid with business model development, acquiring funding, market research, manufacturing, regulatory and sales planning.


Allows the product to integrate into the hospital setting.
We offer change management, user training and process adaptation-related services.

Support may also include grants, access to funding, mentorship with experts and access to the CHEO network.

Get Involved
For early-stage start-ups and internal innovators

If you are an innovator or early-stage start up, bring your product and innovative ideas to us. Learn 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

What can you expect when collaborating with us: 

  • 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 Innovation Core partners  
  • Opportunities to test products and use cases 
  • Funding opportunities and pitch training
  • Access to innovation events 
  • Product management tools and resources 

If your company, or product, qualifies for the program and could benefit from any of the services offered, we encourage you to connect with us through [email protected] and fill out our innovator intake form.

For innovation enthusiasts

Are you an innovation enthusiast? Sign up here to receive invitations to events we organize and occasional updates about our program!

To support our program

Do you or your organization possess specific equipment, skills or expertise that could be useful to us? Are you interested in supporting our program? Please fill out the Innovation Core Resources form here.

Innovation in action: collaborations

The Innovation Core 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 program continues to bring on early-stage start ups and innovators in order to help translate new technologies into pediatric care solutions. 

The 8-80 Collaborative:
Most recently the 8-80 Collaborative was launched between Bruyère and CHEO, the aim of the initiative is to connect early-stage innovation emerging from Eastern Ontario’s health professionals with companies delivering health solutions for individuals from 8 seconds to more than 80 years old.

Learn about some of the collaborations and projects we have supported, or are currently, supporting.  

Meet our CHEO innovators

The innovation core extends across the CHEO hospital, research institute and foundation.  Members of the Innovation Task Force include:

Innovation Core Team

  • Matthew Bromwich, ENT & Director
  • Jim Bottomley, Innovation Manager
  • Sarah Cairns, Product Manager
  • Andrea Pepe, Research Coordinator

Innovators and leaders in pediatric health care

Contact us

If you have an innovative idea or question about our program please contact us. We’re always looking to learn about and collaborate on new ideas to drive forward health care innovation. 

Reach out to us at [email protected].