Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem
Access funding and partners to scale your business
With the SOPHIE program, you receive funding and access to Hamilton’s unique life science capabilities and research expertise to bring your innovation to market and scale your business. We’ve done the heavy lifting and built a coalition of partners so you can leverage Hamilton’s leading-edge clinical and research infrastructure – supporting you at a critical phase of your commercialization journey.
What is SOPHIE?
SOPHIE is a program funded through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), in partnership with Innovation Factory and the Synapse Consortium. Ontario-based life science innovators launch collaborative projects while leveraging the facilities, expertise and infrastructure of world-class academic and clinical institutions in Hamilton, including McMaster University, Mohawk College, Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. Successful applicants can access up to $100,000 in non-dilutive grant funding to support their commercialization project with an academic or clinical partner.
Stats & Figures
SOPHIE by the numbers
SOPHIE Success Stories
Discover how these life science innovators successfully leveraged the SOPHIE program to bring their ideas to commercial reality through this unique funding and collaboration opportunity.
Are you ready?
Confirm that you meet all eligibility requirements, then begin the application process. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Project grants for the SOPHIE program will continue to be accepted until the fall of 2023.
Need more information?
If you have any questions regarding SOPHIE, please get in touch with us through our Contact form.
One of only four Canadian Universities consistently ranked in the world’s top 100, McMaster has a proud tradition of academic and research excellence. McMaster University collaborates across disciplines to solve some of the world’s toughest challenges, working together to improve people’s lives and contributing to their global knowledge base.
- Named Canada’s most research-intensive university for fourth straight year in 2020
- Ranked in the world’s top 70 by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2021
- Home to over 70 research centres and institutes
- Named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s top employers for five consecutive years
Hamilton Health Sciences
Hamilton Health Sciences a community of 15,000 staff, physicians, researchers, and volunteers that proudly serves southwestern Ontario. It is the most comprehensive hospital network in Ontario, and the only hospital in the province that cares for all ages, from pre-birth to end-of-life. As the largest employer in Hamilton, Hamilton Health Sciences plays a vital role in training the next generation of health professionals.
- Ranked as the number four research hospital in Canada in 2020
- Largest employer in the city of Hamilton
- $5.7 million Canadian Institute of Health Research Grant awarded for
- Sepsis research
- Named to Forbes Canada’s best employers 2021
CREATE (CentRE for dAta science and digiTal hEalth) was founded to support research and innovation at Hamilton Health Sciences. The multidisciplinary team is made up of specialists in health systems, data engineering, data science, software engineering and interoperability. CREATE’s mission is to partner with scientists and innovators to invent the future of health care.
The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton
St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton is committed to making a difference in people’s lives and creating a lasting future for the community through integrated health services and internationally recognized programs. Their threefold mission is to provide dynamic research, revolutionary methods in health sciences education, and the highest standard of clinical care in a spirit of compassion, innovation, and commitment.
- Named one of the Hamilton-Niagara’s top employers
- 99% of patients would recommend to family and friends
Mohawk College ranks among the top 20 colleges in Canada for applied research, with a focus on electronic and mobile health solutions, additive manufacturing, and energy distribution. Recognized as a leader in health and technology education, Mohawk College is also one of the largest trainers of apprentices in Ontario.
- Named one of Canada’s greenest employers for eight consecutive years
- Named one of Hamilton-Niagara’s top employers for eight consecutive years 86% of graduates are working within six months of graduating
- Ranked as the number four research college in Canada in 2020
Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit business accelerator, serving as the catalyst for technology innovation in the greater Hamilton area since 2011. From ideation to commercialization and scale-up; Innovation Factory provides business services, training, mentorship, and strategic connections to drive market adoption, leverage intellectual property, and increase revenues, investment, and jobs. Innovators can also access sector-specific resources including exclusive smart transportation test environments and data; and a formal life science and health innovation ecosystem.
- Met with over 2,200 unique companies and clients since inception
- Ventures have received $425+ million in funding across all industrial sectors
Synapse is the formal regional cluster organization for the life sciences ecosystem in the greater Hamilton region. An initiative of Innovation Factory and its community partners, Synapse supports efforts and projects that magnify the impact of collective action across the cluster ecosystem and accelerate the commercialization of life science innovation. Synapse strives to support all organizations that make up the Hamilton life science cluster, celebrating the strengths and successes of industry leaders and new start-ups, as well as promoting the region as an attractive place to live, work and invest.
Founded in 2016, the Consortium brings together leaders from across the region, including private- and public-sector organizations who saw opportunity for greater collaboration and coordination across the cluster. Synapse Consortium partners represent the bulk of life science research and economic activity in Hamilton.