Queen’s University researchers have gained recognition for the discoveries they have made in medicine, engineering, and the sciences, and innovations that have improved the lives of people around the world. To make sure that the university and the public continue to benefit from this work, Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI) promotes the discoveries of university researchers who have assigned their intellectual property to Queen’s and whose work is ready for licensing and commercial application. QPI leads the commercialization processes, including the protection of the intellectual property, the creation of strategies to further its development, the search for funders, partners, and licensees, the negotiation of terms, the management of relationships, the collection of licensing and royalty revenues, and their disbursement to inventors.

Dynamiris Inc.™ has created a simple, rapid, and non-invasive diagnostic test for identifying neurodegenerative diseases at the earliest stages. With support from QPI, the company submitted a proposal to INOVAIT and its proposed project was one of 14 to be selected in the third round of INOVAIT’s Pilot Fund call for applications: INOVAIT has approved a contribution up to $115K toward eligible expenditures based on an estimated budget of $346K for the Dynamiris project.

The company, co-founded by Dr. Janis Kan and Dr. Doug Munoz, is commercializing intellectual property created by Munoz and his research team. Munoz is a professor in the department of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences at Queen’s University and is the former Canada Research Chair in Neuroscience. Kan is a post-doctoral fellow supported by a MITACS e-Accelerate grant working on research and commercial development of SimplyView™. Dynamiris’ SimplyView™ technology is composed of eye-tracking technology and analytical software with complex machine learning algorithms. It has the potential to profoundly benefit the treatment of Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases through earlier diagnosis.

Dynamiris will be using the funds from the INOVAIT program to identify user-friendly hardware that can facilitate the collection of the high-quality eye-tracking measures used in their AI disease classifier.

“We envision this system providing an end-to-end product that is easy to administer, even in remote locations where access to neurologists may be limited,” says Kan.

The following text is the official INOVAIT press release.

INOVAIT announces third round of funding for artificial intelligence and image-guided therapy projects.

June 21, 2023 | Toronto, ON – INOVAIT, the pan-Canadian network for image-guided therapy (IGT) hosted by Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) and funded by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, is pleased to announce 14 awarded projects that are part of the third round of its Pilot Fund. The Pilot Fund projects focus on integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) into IGT technologies to tackle various diseases and illnesses, using different imaging modality techniques and therapies. Through these advancements, the network aims to bolster Canada’s medtech sector as a global leader and to improve the health outcomes of Canadians. The awardees of the Pilot Fund are eligible to receive up to $125,000 for their projects.

"We are thrilled to continue growing the most innovative IGT projects in Canada to promote commercial translation of research," says Dr. Kullervo Hynynen, INOVAIT co-executive director and vice president of research and innovation at SRI. "Through this round of INOVAIT Pilot Fund projects, we are allocating over $1.6 million towards these 14 new projects to advance Canada's image-guided therapy sector."

A total of $6.3 million combined investment from public and private sources will support these 14 new projects. To date, INOVAIT has provided funding for 53 projects across the IGT sector in Canada. These projects involve collaborations between small- and medium-sized enterprises, hospital research centres, and academic institutions throughout Canada.

Pilot Fund projects were selected by INOVAIT’s expert review committee based on their scientific merit, potential for commercialization, economic impact, and benefit to healthcare. Awardees included NZ Technologies in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Tenomix in London, Ontario.

  • NZ Technologies, in collaboration with Kinetix Medicine, is working on a project to increase the efficiency and accuracy of ultrasound image-guided interventions by improving interaction with medical equipment and accuracy of needle visualization. They will achieve this by designing a novel display device to implement AI-driven touch-free screen technology and AI and ML algorithms for ultrasound image enhancement and real-time needle tracking.
  • Tenomix, in collaboration with Western University, is building a technology platform using robotics, ultrasound imaging, & AI/ML to automate the manual lymph node search process for surgically removed colon cancer tissues. Their automated device will make searching for lymph nodes less labour intensive, less costly, and more reliable for pathology labs, leading to better informed treatment decisions for cancer patients.

“Our government knows that the advances made possible by AI research will enable innovation in all areas of scientific advancement as well as in all aspects of our daily lives” says the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with INOVAIT to help fund innovative new projects that will apply the power of AI and machine learning to concrete health innovations, improving the efficiency and accuracy of diagnoses and treatments, and leading to better patient outcomes for Canadians. Congratulations to the teams of the 14 Pilot Fund awarded projects!”

In the coming months, INOVAIT will announce a new call for applications for funding. More details about this funding opportunity will be provided. We encourage you to subscribe to the INOVAIT mailing list to be the first to hear about these opportunities. Visit our website to learn more about INOVAIT. For any INOVAIT inquiries, please contact us at inovait@sunnybrook.ca.

Click to view a list of the projects selected for the Pilot Fund.

Established in 2020, INOVAIT invests strategically in collaborative partnerships that build upon Canada’s strength in digital innovation and health science research to create a critical mass of world-leading Image-Guided Therapy (IGT) companies. Led by the Sunnybrook Research Institute and supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, the network brings together small, medium-sized, and large companies, research organizations, post-secondary institutions, and not-for-profit organizations. Its objective is to build a truly integrated IGT ecosystem by fuelling continuous innovation that revolutionizes healthcare globally.

About Sunnybrook Research Institute
Sunnybrook Research Institute (SRI) is the research arm of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, an internationally recognized academic health sciences centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. With well-established programs in basic and applied sciences which span across three scientific platforms and ten clinical programs, SRI is developing innovations in care for the more than 1.3 million patients the hospital cares for annually. Recognized as a Centre of Excellence in focused ultrasound, SRI has one of the most comprehensive and successful focused ultrasound research programs in the world, with technical, scientific, and clinical experts accelerating progress in the field.