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Innovation & Job News

$17.2 million investment brings GE's global digital pathology R&D centre to Toronto

The provincial government's Health Technology Exchange -- known as HTX, it was created to fund and encourage healthcare technology innovation in Ontario -- announced last week that it had helped secure Toronto as the location of the first global GE Pathology Imaging Centre of Excellence.

The facility run by GE Healthcare will conduct research and promote best practices. As GE Healthcare VP Peter Robinson says, pathology is largely an area that has "escaped the impact of technology," and the new imaging centre will change that. Robinson expects the centre to fundamentally transform global medical practice. "We have the potential to drive much higher levels of quality ... and really change the way cancer is diagnosed and treated."

Robinson says the project wound up settling in Toronto due to a number of factors, from "a pressing need on the public policy front, a willing partner in the provincial government, especially the Ministry of Reasearch and Innovation, a depth of clinical expertise," that he notes is among top 10 in the world in the field, combined with, "a research community that extends across the entire region that is rich with capacity ... with tremendous imaging expertise. So a number of things came together to convince [GE's startup digital pathology venture] Omnyx that this was the right environment.

The announcement was officially welcomed by representatives of the provincial government, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the University Health Network, whose members will participate in and benefit from the centre's research. According to Robinson, the centre will employ 15 engineers directly.

HTX provided a $2.25 million grant to the project, which will join a $7.75 million investment from GE Healthcare. According to HTX, an additional $7.2 million in investment has been promised by R&D partners in the project.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Peter Robinson, VP and General Manager, GE Healthcare Canada
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