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Digital Supercluster launches first cohort of projects worth $40 million

Careteam's Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network project is one of seven projects approved

VANCOUVER - Digital Technology Supercluster has announced its first cohort of projects. The projects have raised $40 million of investment over three years – $15 million from the Supercluster and a co-investment of over $25 million from industry, research and academic partners. 

The first cohort is focused on advancing Canada’s development and application of digital technologies to solve some of the most pressing challenges in the natural resources, healthcare, and industrial sectors. These projects can strengthen the early detection and treatment of skin cancers, improve the prediction of manufacturing failures and analyze the economic and environmental impacts of resource projects. Each of the project teams bring together a broad consortium of partners that includes industry adopters, technology leaders, start-ups, small and mid-sized businesses, digital innovators and research organizations.

Every project is industry-led, with each project team including five to nine partners collaborating to tackle ambitious technology development challenges that require their collective expertise to solve. The partners leverage British Columbia’s and Canada’s powers in data analytics, genomics, quantum computing, and virtual, mixed and augmented reality. The seven projects approved under the Technology Leadership Programs are:

● Learning Factory Digital Twin

● Predictive Analytics for Manufacturing Processes

● Forest Machinery Connectivity

● Earth Data Store

● Tailored Health – Pharmacogenetics

● Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Network

● Secure Health & Genomics Data Platform

“We are thrilled to celebrate the launch of our first cohort of seven technology leadership projects,” says Sue Paish (pictured), CEO of the Digital Technology Supercluster. “We are proud to be delivering on the promise of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative so early in our mandate. The investments between the Supercluster and our project partners will propel Canada forward as a digital innovation leader, drive increased economic growth, and create jobs across the province and country.” 

An innovator called MetaOptima, along with Telus, Change Healthcare, Careteam and the University of Victoria, are the companies and institutions chosen to collaborate on the Dermatology Point-of-Care Intelligent Imaging Network project. An integral component to the continued development of these local technologies, this patient-centric approach is set to modernize dermatology-related consultations and alleviate the current dermatologist shortage both in BC and across the country. 

MetaOptima’s proprietary software, DermEngine, is an intelligent dermatology software system equipped with the latest AI tools for clinical decision support.

Features such as Visual Search and Smart Snap are contributing to the vision of bringing powerful technologies to everyday workflows in and out of the consultation room. The patient-centric nature of the cohort project puts the cloud-based nature of DermEngine in the spotlight, as this technology can help reach underserved populations who may be at higher risk of a variety of skin conditions, including cancer.

“Receiving a test result can be life-changing for some Canadians,” said Ohad Arazi, chief strategy officer, TELUS Health. “This revolutionary new Pharmacogenetics Supercluster project will enable advanced digital technology to seamlessly integrate testing into the primary care EMR and pharmacy ecosystems improving the flow of information from doctor to patient for better health outcomes.”

Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster is an industry-led innovation consortium centered in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Supercluster aims to position Canada as a global leader in digital technologies by bringing together small, medium-sized and large companies, post-secondary institutions, research organizations and not-for-profits. 

The Supercluster co-invests in ambitious technology development projects and new solutions to improve the sustainability and competitiveness of natural resources, healthcare and industrial sectors and energize the economy. Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster manages the investments provided by the Government of Canada and the public and private organizations which constitute its membership.

For more information, please visit www.digitalsupercluster.ca.

About Technology Leadership Programs

The Supercluster delivers three Technology Leadership Programs to enable wide-scale adoption of digital transformation platforms in key industrial segments and develop and commercialize new products, services and platforms. The suite of Technology Leadership Programs includes: Precision Health Program, Data Commons Program and Digital Twins Program. These programs are core to the Supercluster securing Canada’s global leadership in digital innovation and securing the social and economic benefits for Canadians.