August 2, 2018, SAINT JOHN (GNB) – New Brunswick has been identified by Surrey BC’s Health and Technology District as the location for the first phase of its Atlantic Canadian division. With this initiative, Saint John is poised to become the hub for digital health in Atlantic Canada.
The district is a consortium of health and technology organizations complemented by various support groups. The aim of the district is to bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, clinicians and other health-care providers to create a hub of innovation.
“Growing the province’s economy in a way that works for all New Brunswickers is key to the success of your government’s multi-year economic growth plan,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “The digital health market is growing at a significant rate globally, therefore, it is great news to have Health and Technology District establish a digital health hub in Saint John.”
Digital health refers to the umbrella of technological advances for health and healthy living. Advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, telemedicine, wearables, and 3D printing are all part of digital health and are transforming health care worldwide.
“Surrey had a very unique environment that led to the success of the Health and Technology District,” said Rowena Rizzotti, vice president of healthcare and innovation. “Opportunities NB helped to identify many of those same strengths here in New Brunswick. In many ways, New Brunswick has an even better starting point and we are excited to contribute to similar success here in Atlantic Canada.”
Opportunities New Brunswick, a Crown corporation which works to attract and support opportunities to grow the economy and create jobs, has been working with the Health and Technology District.
Saint John has been identified as the first location due to many factors, including the availability of land located near both the hospital and university campus. The district will be working closely with local stakeholders as they start their due diligence process.
“This partnership creates an unprecedented opportunity for New Brunswick, and more specifically Saint John, to take a lead role in digital health,” said Eddy Campbell, president and vice-chancellor of University of New Brunswick. “As the province’s innovation powerhouse, we are pleased to see the province move toward harnessing the potential of technology and research to transform the health and well-being of our region.”
Opportunities New Brunswick and Health and Technology District have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore health and technology related opportunities. Construction of Health and Technology District Atlantic is expected to begin with the next year.
“Digital health has great potential in the province and Opportunities NB is working diligently to make it a reality,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Being Atlantic Canada’s digital health innovation hub will bring opportunities for highly skilled jobs in the province and health care benefits that will directly impact New Brunswickers.”