Reimagining the future of health care

Research and innovation
Advanced Medical Research Centre
Ottawa Health Innovation Hub

By Sylvain Charbonneau

Vice-President, Research and Innovation, University of Ottawa

Sylvain Charbonneau
Render exterior of the Advanced Medical Research Centre
The word “Ottawa” comes from the Algonquin term adawe, “to trade.” True to its name, Ottawa today is a place to create and trade ideas: ideas that can shape public policy, build forward-thinking communities, and help innovations become exciting business opportunities. All this to build a healthier and stronger community.

As the largest French-English bilingual university in the world, and with the highest student population in the region, the University of Ottawa plays an important role in this trade of ideas, especially when it comes to health care and health research and innovation.

In 2022, Maclean’s magazine ranked uOttawa among Canada’s leading medical doctoral universities and one of the top recipients of science research grants. We train and develop health researchers and practitioners from Canada and around the globe, and we are well-positioned to make significant new contributions to the health sciences to better serve the community.

Having quality health care in the future will depend on how we invest in research today, and as COVID-19 has shown us, to address major health threats we will need quick access to vaccines and therapeutics.

We must be ahead of the game and not behind it.

To meet the demand for the very real health care solutions that Canadians need, we must act now to train more health care professionals and scientists. This includes creating additional opportunities to interconnect different disciplines and work with the private sector to speed up health research, drive individual patient solutions, and accelerate the commercialization of discoveries.

To achieve these goals, the University of Ottawa has a plan.

Render of the atrium in the Advanced Research Medical Centre

In the coming months, uOttawa will launch a campaign to build the Advanced Medical Research Centre (AMRC), a new 350,000 square-foot facility close to uOttawa’s current laboratories and our Faculty of Medicine, the general campus of The Ottawa Hospital, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

The uOttawa AMRC will house the Ottawa Health Innovation Hub, a new strategic initiative created by the region’s health research community to connect academia, industry, regulators, and the region’s hospitals and affiliated research institutes.

Imagine the potential. A new state-of-the-art, bilingual facility to accommodate 1,000 students, researchers, and clinicians under one roof, placing them alongside as many as 50 start-up businesses. A seamless sharing of knowledge between hospitals, research groups, and biomanufacturing companies. Faster discovery and commercialization of new technologies and treatments.

The AMRC will be a game changer for the future of health care and for Ottawa. It will attract cutting-edge talent from around the globe tocomplement our local expertise, creating an unparalleled centre of excellence.

Locating such a centre in Ottawa will play to the region’s strengths. A G-7 capital, the home base of Canada’s health policy makers, the site of many health-related institutes and associations, and the epicentre of a thriving tech and biomedical sector.

The impact of this investment – the largest in the University of Ottawa’s history – promises to position the University, the city, the province, and the country, as world leaders in health research.

In short, our goal for the AMRC is simple: to create a centre where science, government, and business can work side by side, where every dollar invested generates both research and business opportunities, and where we can both improve patient care and fuel innovation.

The University of Ottawa invites public and private investors and entrepreneurs to partner with us in reimagining the future of health care by making this transformative project an exceptional economic and social strength for Canada and beyond.

(Learn more about the advanced medical research centre – Video transcript).

By Sylvain Charbonneau, Vice-President, Research and Innovation (OVPRI) at the University of Ottawa. The OVPRI sets the strategic direction and oversees the administration of the University of Ottawa’s research enterprise, including funding, equipment and facilities, international collaborations, partnerships and business development.
Twitter: @uOttawaResearch