Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation awards $1.4 million in funding to health care innovators to support early-stage innovations for individuals with dementia

TORONTO, ON--(Marketwired - February 03, 2017) - The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI), in collaboration with Baycrest Health Sciences, announced today the thirty-one grant recipients of a total of $1.4 million in funding through its Spark Program. This funding will support the development of early-stage innovations in the field of aging and brain health through ideas generated from point-of-care workers.

The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health for the Government of Canada, made the official announcement at an event held at Baycrest Health Sciences. She was joined by the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation & Science for the Government of Ontario.

Point-of-care innovators from the healthcare system, spanning nurses, physicians and clinicians submitted proposals for projects to improve support for individuals worldwide who are affected by dementia and other cognitive issues. Those selected will now be awarded up to $50,000 each in funding, to scale up their ideas into proof-of-concept or prototypes.

Examples of Innovations that will be funded by the Spark Program include:

  • The use of virtual reality to calm persons with dementia
  • Mindfulness interventions for caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease
  • Enhancement of an app that helps caregivers track and manage challenging behaviours associated with dementia
  • Development of a lighting system designed to reduce falls in long-term care settings

Overall, the projects will lend themselves to addressing cognitive decline in older adults, with a focus on keeping older adults at home, reducing emergency department visits, reducing falls, and improving cognitive fitness.

"Our Government is pleased to support innovation and advancements in the field of aging and brain health. The work by funding recipients of the Spark program through the Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation will have real impacts, helping to improve the quality of life of Canadians affected by dementia", said the Honourable Jane Philpott, Canada's Minister of Health.

"Our government is committed to finding new ways to improve the quality of life for seniors here in Ontario. Supporting the leading-edge work of health care innovators through the Spark program is an important investment in the development of the field of aging and brain health," said the Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science.

"The Canadian Centre for Aging & Brain Health Innovation, spearheaded by Baycrest, is funding innovative solutions by point-of-care workers who are directly involved in providing care to the aging population. We look forward to seeing the impact these funding recipients will make with their innovative ideas," said Dr. William E. Reichman, President & CEO of Baycrest Health Sciences.

CC-ABHI acknowledges the generous funding provided by the Government of Canada through the Public Health Agency of Canada; the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science; and the Baycrest Foundation.

Additional Information


The Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation (CC-ABHI) is a solution accelerator for the aging and brain health sector, providing funding and support to innovators for the development, testing, and dissemination of new ideas and technologies that address unmet brain health and seniors' care needs. Established in 2015, it is the result of the largest investment in brain health and aging in Canadian history. 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, allowing older adults to age safely in the setting of their choice while maintaining their cognitive, emotional, and physical well-being. For more information on CC-ABHI, please visit:

Baycrest Health Sciences
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. Fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest provides excellent care for older adults combined with an extensive clinical training program for the next generation of healthcare professionals and one of the world's top research institutes in cognitive neuroscience, the Rotman Research Institute. Baycrest is home to the federally and provincially-funded Canadian Centre for Aging and Brain Health Innovation, a solution accelerator focused on driving innovation in the aging and brain health sector, and is the developer of Cogniciti - a free online memory assessment for Canadians 40+ who are concerned about their memory. Through its dedicated centres, the organization offers unmatched global knowledge exchange and commercialization capacity. 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 please visit:

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Media Contact:

Arielle Zomer
Senior Communications Specialist
416-785-2500 ext. 6086

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