Hamilton Digital Media Interactive Success

Did you miss last night’s Hamilton Digital Media Interactive? Check out the event from the eyes of twitter! We hope everyone enjoyed the event, enjoyed good food, good company, and left feeling inspired.

 It’s almost #HDMI time! The 360-camera is getting set up @MIP_Hamilton pic.twitter.com/eSkr2elfQX

— CoBALT Connects (@CoBALTCONNECTS) February 27, 2014



City asked for $4 million toward bio-centre for joint Mac-German partnership

McMaster University is asking the city to put $4 million in tax payer cash into a 50,000 square-foot international bio engineering facility in Hamilton.

A letter to the city from Mo Elbestawi, mcMaster’s vice-president of research said a German research institute wants to partner with the university on a centre at McMaster Innovation Park that would employ up to 100 scientists and industry researchers.

..’”This would be the ultimate liftoff for our life sciences cluster,” he said, referring to a recent report from the chamber of commerce touting the importance of life science to the city’s future economic growth. -Ward Councillor Brian McHattie

Read the full story at The Spec

Emerging Stronger 2014: Hamilton leading the way

Hamilton, ON, FEB 11th 2014: The Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula region leads the province in business confidence, according to a new survey from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Leger Marketing. The annual Ontario Business Confidence Index shows that 59 percent of surveyed businesses are confident in Ontario’s economy–up a significant 15 percentage points from last year.

The index also shows that 82 percent of businesses in the region are confident in their own organization’s outlook, a 12 percentage point increase over the previous year. Over 71 percent of businesses in the region plan to expand within the next five years.

“The results of the index reaffirm the incredible momentum and energy in the Hamilton community over the last few years”, says Keanin Loomis, CEO Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “We hope to continue working with all levels of government over the next year to ensure we utilize effective policy and legislative tools necessary for the business community to realize their goals”.

“The Hamilton-Niagara region is home to some of Ontario’s most forward-thinking and able businesses,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “It only makes sense that they would lead Ontario in confidence.”

The survey of businesses is featured in Emerging Stronger 2014, a business-driven economic agenda released by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and authored by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, the Mowat Centre and Leger Marketing. The report identifies the immediate steps that government and the private sector must take to enhance Ontario’s economic competitiveness and spur job creation in the province.

“There are actions that government and business can do to boost our economy and business confidence,” adds O’Dette. “While confidence is up big time in the Hamilton-Niagara region, we’re still concerned about uncertainty in the overall business climate, including pending changes to the pension environment and energy costs.”

“There are a number of recommendations within the Emerging Stronger report that stuck out to me as incredibly relevant for the Hamilton regional economy” says Keanin Loomis, CEO Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “Through a series of improvements to the regulatory environment, talent development and developing strategic cluster strategies as highlighted in report, the Ontario government can play a significant role in the future of Hamilton”.

Among the survey’s findings are:

●    The Hamilton-Niagara Peninsula region is the most confident region in the province.
●    81 percent of businesses are confident in their own economic outlook, 7 percentage points above the provincial average.
●    72 percent of businesses in the region plan to expand in the next five years, a significant increase of 13 percentage points compared to the previous year.
●    47 percent of businesses in the region believe that Ontario’s economy is headed in the right direction, a slight drop from the previous year.
●    59 percent of the region’s businesses are confident in Ontario’s economy, 11 percentage points above the provincial average.

Read Emerging Stronger 2014:https://www.dropbox.com/s/ko8w93f5ba2r1z6/Emergingstronger14_Hamilton.pdf.

For more information:
Huzaifa Saeed
Policy & Research Analyst

Government of Canada funds research at McMaster University to strengthen healthcare

February 19, 2014 

 Parliamentary Secretary Eve Adams on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, announced $6.5 million in funding to McMaster University for a project to study the use of team-based care as a way to achieve better health outcomes for patients and make the system more cost effective.

The project: “Teams Advancing Patient Experience: Strengthening Quality,” (TAPESTRY), will examine how changing the way a primary healthcare team operates and interacts with its patients can improve the quality and efficiency of primary healthcare services.  By integrating resources such as community volunteers, eHealth technologies and system navigation, the project will support patient-centred care and stronger connections to community services.

The TAPESTRY project is expected to provide valuable information regarding ways to increase access to primary healthcare services.  The initiative aims to generate evidence and develop tools to assist provincial and territorial governments in addressing ongoing primary healthcare challenges.

Quick Facts

  • The Government of Canada is one of the largest investors in healthcare research with more than $1 billion invested annually.
  • The Government of Canada has increased health transfers to the provinces and territories to unprecedented levels. This funding will continue to grow, reaching $40 billion by the end of the decade.
  • The need for innovation, both in terms of medical technologies and healthcare delivery systems, is a significant public policy challenge that the Government of Canada is committed to addressing.


“Innovation is critical to improving the efficiency of the healthcare system but also to helping Canadians maintain good health. This project is looking at innovative ways that health professionals can work together to provide care to Canadians.”
Eve Adams 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health

“We’re finding ways to combine the personal touch of community volunteerism and the latest technologies to improve primary health care. The TAPESTRY project will connect citizens with their health care team to encourage early identification of potential health problems. This is important for Canadians and for the efficiency of our health care system.”
Dr. David Price
Professor and Chair, Department of Family Medicine, McMaster University

“The TAPESTRY project promises us great insight on new and effective ways to provide proactive health care for Canadians in their own homes. This is an important advance towards improving health, starting with older adults.”
John Kelton
Dean and Vice President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

“The TAPESTRY project is an ideal platform for advancing patient health through collaboration.  Combined with access to evidence-based information, such as through the McMaster Optimal Aging Portal, Canadian citizens, clinicians, public health professionals and policymakers will be able to make informed decisions and support older adults to remain healthy and engaged as long as possible.”
Dr. Susan Denburg
Director of the Labarge Optimal Aging Initiative and Associate Vice-President, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University

“As a community volunteer for TAPESTRY, I enjoy making connections with older adults in our community that enable them to become more engaged in their own health and encourage discussion with their health care team about services they may require from the community.  I think the inclusion of university students in the volunteer program is a very positive and enjoyable experience for the older adults.”
Linda Gill
Community volunteer for the TAPESTRY project.

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Susan Emigh
McMaster University Faculty of Health Sciences,
Public Relations
905-525-9140 ext. 22555

Health Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

Public Inquiries:
(613) 957-2991
1-866 225-0709

Life Science Cluster is a chance of a lifetime for Hamilton

From the Hamilton Spectator 

Hamilton has everything it needs to be a Canadian life sciences leader, except leadership.

A new study by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce seeks to plug that gap by forming a new group to ignite development in the sector. The full report can be found by following the link here.

The study shows the city once known for steel and heavy manufacturing now is vying for the title of Canada’s health care capital.

To get that title, the study calls for a new leader to focus on the sector. Entitled Building a Life Science Cluster, the report says Hamilton has a “once-in-a-generation” chance to develop a new source of economic and social wealth if it can get all the players already in that field working together.

Chamber president Keanin Loomis said developing such a cluster has been talked about for years in Hamilton, but now there’s a clear road map to get there.

“This report isn’t just fluff, platitudes and generalities,” he said. “It’s the culmination of almost three years of work. It took a long time but it was done right.”

Loomis added the mere fact of doing the study helped focus the attention of players on the need to work together, and that should pay dividends in the future.

The chamber report said Hamilton already has the tools needed to build that cluster — what it needs is a catalyst to get all the other elements working together.

“Hamilton needs to increase the amount of dedicated infrastructure designed to nurture the formation of this industry cluster, such as life sciences incubation space. We have insufficient venture capital flowing to the region, and there are too few programs working to promote and exploit Hamilton’s life sciences assets, or to create a culture of commercialization within the life sciences sector itself,” the report notes. “Arguably, we also lack significant business expertise required to commercialize and support business ventures. Most importantly, there is no driving force or chief advocate leading the charge for the establishment of a life sciences industry cluster in Hamilton.”

To overcome that lack the chamber calls for the formation of a cluster working group consisting of leaders from the public and private sectors to ignite the next phase of development.

The report grew out of recommendations from the 2012 Hamilton Economic Summit. It notes there are 300 Hamilton companies involved in some type of life sciences work supporting 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. Players include firms such as Titan Medical Inc. which has a research facility in Ancaster working on new robotic surgical technology; Face the World Cosmetics, specializing in camouflage therapy for people with severe skin conditions and Hamilton Medical Research Group which works on developing new drugs and getting them to market.

The latest Labour Force Survey numbers from Statistics Canada show 53,300 people employed in manufacturing in December, up 9.8 per cent from the previous January. The professional/scientific and health service categories provided 81,500 jobs, up 10.4 per cent from January 2013.

The chamber report concludes building a successful life sciences cluster requires five elements: a critical mass of knowledge and talent; an industrial base; infrastructure and funding; the support of players in the sector; and a driving force.

Hamilton is ranked excellent or good on the knowledge and support of players scales, fair on the state of its life sciences industrial base and fair-to-poor on infrastructure and the lack of a driving force for development.

Developing a life sciences cluster has been part of Hamilton’s economic development strategy since 2010. Norm Schleehahn, the department business development manager, said in an email exchange Hamilton’s base of knowledge and institutions make the goal an achievable one for the city.

“We have a strong knowledge infrastructure with internationally ranked life science research institutions … and significant investments in developing technologists to address the service side of health care delivery,” he wrote.

Mayor Bob Bratina called the report “a good overview” of an important issue for the city and said he hopes to be able to bring a recommendation to council soon to “address some of the issues in the report.”

Key players in such a cluster will be institutions such as Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS), McMaster University and the McMaster Innovation Park (MIP).

Rob MacIsaac, new chief executive of HHS, praised the chamber for showing leadership on the issue and said the hospital network “will be at the table” when the strategy is set.

“I think it’s a no-brainer to anyone in Hamilton that we can achieve more by working together than we can alone,” he said. “This is a good first step in what we have to do.”

Zach Douglas, president of MIP, said his institution is already involved in the effort by creating a large incubator space. What’s more exciting, he added, is the sense all the players in the cluster accept the idea they have to work together.

“There’s clear evidence that some things are happening around here but more of it can be done,” he said. “Now we have to get everyone together to digest this report and see if there’s a way to move forward.”

Private Sector’s Role in Water Issues Within Developing Countries – UNU INWEH

The global water sector is worth almost $500 billion per year, growing at a rate of 5-10 % annually. Of the many issues INWEH deals with, Agriculture is a large area where the private sector can play a huge role in mitigating the global water crisis.

Excerpt: The poor are mainly rural, where agriculture is the mainstay of their livelihoods. Over 2 billion live in drylands where by definition water is scarce. Small holder farmers number between 400-500 million versus 5 million large scale farmers. 80% of all food is produced by small holder farmers and their production needs to double by 2050 if we are to feed the world…As water scarcity increases water for agriculture must be used more efficiently and the private sector can supply appropriate technologies such as irrigation, water storage.

Check out the full video here

Read more on the UNU website on the safe and productive use of Waste Water in Agriculture 

A Partnership for Survival with Hamilton EcDev

The Hamilton Spectator 

It continues to surprise me how many people, after reading my monthly article, come up to me and say “I never knew Economic Development did that.” Well here’s another “below the radar” function of the city’s Economic Development division.

For the past five years, the division has had a full-time senior staff member dedicated to working with our partners in the education sector, namely McMaster University, McMaster Innovation Park, Mohawk College and Redeemer College University.

Carolynn Reid from our division is the city’s “conduit” with these institutions and has done an absolutely remarkable job.

So good, in fact, that in the second week of January, I was invited to a meeting at McMaster with Dr. Mo Elbestawi and his team who were hosting a delegation from a large Ontario university along with its city’s chief administrative officer.

This group came to Hamilton for one reason, that being because they had heard of the outstanding working relationship between Hamilton’s education sector and the city’s Economic Development Division — and they wanted to learn more.

I can tell you that the delegation was particularly impressed with the range of activities that our organizations partnered on, such as: joint exhibits at international biotechnology and automotive parts trade shows; the development of life sciences and advance manufacturing profiles; joint hosting of incoming trade missions; business attraction and retention efforts focused on high-tech companies; and identifying local opportunities for applied research.

One of our biggest wins involved the efforts of all the partners in the relocation of CANMET laboratories from Ottawa to its new, state-of-the-art, platinum LEEDs facility in the McMaster Innovation Park.

Education, research and economic development really is a logical partnership. Today, industry is no longer labour intensive — it is technology driven. As a result, a skilled workforce has now replaced locational factors like cheap electric power as the major decision factor on whether a company will invest in your city or expand its existing operations. Consequently, if a municipality is going to compete internationally, having a strong partnership with education is much more than a strategic alliance — it’s a matter of survival.