TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - September 07, 2016) - The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) announced today the launch of its Spark Program, an initiative designed to provide point-of-care workers in the healthcare delivery or service industry in North America with as much as $50,000 each in funding to further develop their grassroots ideas into real-world applications. CC-ABHI will select up to 10 projects to receive funding. In total, up to $500,000 in funding will be available through the Spark Program to fund innovations in the field of aging and brain health.

This year, the Spark Program is accepting applications aimed at addressing one of four funding priorities -- ranging from solutions that reduce unnecessary emergency department visits, prevent falls or provide better management of complex conditions for older adults with dementia, to solutions that improve brain health or cognitive fitness. Successful applicants will participate in the development of innovative solutions to improve brain health and quality of life for older adults.

"Ontario is proud to support grassroots innovations through the Spark Program," said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. "Finding new and innovative ways to improve quality of life and brain health in older adults brings hope to patients and their families."

"As a leader in brain health and aging, Baycrest Health Sciences has spearheaded the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation and leads this new Canadian venture, aimed at optimizing the cognitive, emotional and physical well-being of older adults-across the country and around the globe," said William Reichman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Baycrest Health Sciences. "The Spark Program is a great initiative that funds the ideas of point-of-care workers and service staff to enhance healthcare and services for older adults."

"We are proud to launch this initiative to help strengthen the landscape of healthcare solutions available to the world's aging population," said Ron Riesenbach, Managing Director of CC-ABHI and Vice-President, Innovation & Chief Technology Officer at Baycrest Health Sciences. "What makes this program so exciting is that we're looking to point-of-care workers to bring these ideas forward, because we believe that many of the best ideas that can improve brain health and quality of life for older adults will come from the workers within the healthcare sector."

In 2017, CC-ABHI will select up to ten projects for funding through the Spark Program that meet the eligibility requirements and selection criteria, for one-year, one-time non-renewable grants. Examples of projects that can qualify for funding range from an early stage technology (e.g. a 'paper-based' solution to a software tool), an early prototype of a solution, (e.g. an assistive device or wire frame of a software solution), trial data to demonstrate that a solution meets the needs of the users and solves a problem or trial data to demonstrate effectiveness of a clinical process.

Eligible applicants are invited to submit an expression of interest by 5 p.m. on October 3, 2016, followed by completing and submitting a full application form by 5 p.m. on October 28, 2016, on the CC-ABHI website.

Funding for this program is provided by the Government of Ontario, through the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, as well as, the Government of Canada, through the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the Baycrest Foundation.

The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) is a solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector -- we work with innovators to provide funding and support to develop, test, and disseminate new ideas and technologies that address unmet brain health and seniors' care needs. Operating through a combination of government investment and charitable contributions, CC-ABHI is a unique collaboration of health care, science, industry, not-for-profit and government partners whose aim is to help improve quality of life for the world's aging population. For more information on CC-ABHI, please visit:

Baycrest Health Sciences is a global leader in geriatric residential living, healthcare, research, innovation and education, with a special focus on brain health and aging. As an academic health sciences centre fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides an exemplary care experience for aging clients combined with an extensive clinical training program for students and one of the world's top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience. Through its commercial and consulting arms, Baycrest is marketing its sought-after expertise and innovation to other healthcare organizations and long-term care homes, both in Canada and internationally. Founded in 1918 as the Jewish Home for Aged, Baycrest continues to embrace the long-standing tradition of all great Jewish healthcare institutions to improve the well-being of people in their local communities and around the globe. For more information on Baycrest Health Sciences, please visit:

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Jonathan MacIndoe
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Baycrest Health Sciences
416-785-2500, ext. 6579