“This visit has already strengthened our collaboration efforts and opened several new opportunities for Queen’s to work with researchers and resources south of the border,” says Michael Wells, Partnership Development Office with Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation (QPI).

Members of the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway meet for discussions in the Human Mobility Research Lab boardroom
Members of the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway meet for discussions in the Human Mobility Research Lab boardroom.

Earlier this month, Queen’s University had the opportunity to host the State University of New York (SUNY) for a tour of key medical facilities that could foster important cross-border projects. QPI’s team works to build strategic partnerships that help elevate Queen’s research and innovation pursuits in a number of strategic areas. One such initiative is the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway (KSP), in partnership with Kingston Economic Development and the City of Kingston, north of the border.

The tour is the latest in the KSP relationship. Established in 2018, the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway is a formal initiative for fostering collaboration between governments, businesses, and academic institutions.

Kicking off with a networking dinner the night before, the main tour took place on the Queen’s and Kingston Health Sciences campuses on September 19, 2023. Visitors had the opportunity to tour and/or hear presentations from the Queen’s CardioPulmonary Unit, the Queen’s Cancer Research Institute (QCRI), the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (CCTG), the Gastrointestinal Diseases Research Unit (GIDRU), Queen’s Centre for Advanced Computing, Queen’s Centre for Neuroscience Studies (CNS), Queen's Laboratory for Molecular Pathology, the Kingston Health Sciences Centre’s WJ Henderson Centre for Patient-Oriented Research, and the Queen’s Centre for Health Innovation.

“We were thrilled to have the opportunity to spend a day in Kingston with our colleagues from Queen’s, KHSC, and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation,” says Chris Neville, Director of Industry Research and Professor at Upstate Medical University, a representative for the Upstate Medical University scientific and medical community. “We have a rich set of resources between our institutions that when leveraged together can meet the mission of advancing science and healthcare. We look forward to continuing to work together for our communities that are separated by just a few short hours.” 

Last year Kingston Economic Development, Queen’s University, Kingston Health Sciences Centre, Center State Corporation for Economic Opportunity, State University of New York Upstate Medical University and Upstate Medical University’s Central New York Biotech Accelerator (CNYBAC) announced the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding to further the partnership and collaboration opportunities.

“We already had some great introductions from previous meetings with our American partners. We’ve been able to create some soft landings by connecting Canadian companies with American researchers through this collaboration,” says Ben McIlquham, Investment Manager Health Innovation with Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “And we are hoping that we can provide the same for American companies or researchers to make connections up here as well.” Since establishing the KSP, introductions and connections have been made in pathology research, cancer research, the Lyme Disease space and in drone innovation.

Members of the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway on a tour through the Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Members of the Kingston-Syracuse Pathway on a tour through the Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

Next month, the KSP collaboration efforts will see the first (legal) drone border crossing. The drone will launch from Riverview Hospital, a sister hospital of Center State, and land on the Kingston Health Sciences helipad. This could lead to future developments like improved medical supply deliveries.

“As a result of the visit of SUNY and CNYBAC coming to Queen’s, we are hoping to make further headway between the QCRI, CCTG and the SUNY Cancer Trials group,” says Michael Wells. “ We have also already had introductions between SUNY researchers and CNS and GIDRU.”

“Providing these face-to-face interactions and showcasing the capabilities of Queen’s research and our hospitals’ resources helps all of the parties see the importance of these partnerships,” says McIlquham. In fact, the current tour has opened the door to the next KSP Conference theme focusing on cancer research.

“We look forward to helping to facilitate furthering research in Kingston and New York. It’s a benefit to all the parties.”