SOPHIE is brought to you by Innovation Factory

Southern Ontario Pharmaceutical and Health Innovation Ecosystem

A program designed to accelerate your innovation to market

Through the SOPHIE program, you can leverage up to $100,000 in matching funds to work directly with an academic or hospital partner in the Hamilton, Ontario ecosystem. Your business will also receive advisory services and testing capabilities from experts in the healthcare field to acquire clinical and research expertise, evidence, or data to develop and commercialize your life science products and solutions.

The SOPHIE program was established as a partnership between the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Innovation Factory and the Synapse Life Science Consortium.

Who is eligible to apply to SOPHIE?

To be eligible to access funding, life science firms must:

  1. Be a Canadian incorporated company, with operations primarily based in Ontario
  2. Be developing an innovative technology at theTRL-6 level or above
  3. Provide a 1.25x match as cash and in-kind contributions
  4. Identify a principal investigator / clinical champion at the academic or clinical partner institution where the proposed project will take place

How does the application process work?

  1. Complete the SOPHIE application form.  There is no cost to apply to participate in the SOPHIE program.
  2. A member of the SOPHIE program team from Innovation Factory will review your application within 1-2 weeks before scheduling an introduction meeting to explore project suitability, alignment with SOPHIE program goals, and steps required to identify a suitable principal investigator / clinical champion.
  3. Work with the interested principal investigator / clinical champion, and their institution, to define the desired scope of Commercialization Project activities.
  4. Sign the SOPHIE Commercialization Project contract with Innovation Factory and the institutional partner.  The contract will outline the project scope, budget, critical activities, project milestones, and the expected business impact of the Commercialization Project.
  5. Start the Commercialization Project.
  6. Funding will be released in tranches on a reimbursement basis

If you have any questions during your application process, please feel free to reach out to the SOPHIE program team by emailing

What funding is available? Firms can access up to a maximum of $100,000 in non-dilutive FedDev Ontario funding across all SOPHIE program activities. Firms must provide a 1.25x match, which together with the FedDev Ontario amount will be used to complete Commercialization Project activities. By leveraging the maximum matched contribution of $100,000 from FedDev Ontario, an applying life science firm could have $260,000 available to spend on Commercialization Project activities.
What are the selection factors for the SOPHIE Program? Project will be successful if they deliver on the following SOPHIE program outcomes:
    1. Demonstrate high potential for commercialization and generation of new intellectual property
    2. Define how the success of the project will lead to job creation and maintenance
    3. Articulate a strong product value proposition that will attract new or add-on investment and generate revenue and/or global exports
What does a successful application look like?
  1. Articulate a strong value proposition centered around the innovative technology
  2. Clearly state what problem within the life science sector you hope to solve and demonstrate how you plan to solve the problem (e.g., how your approach is unique, innovative, and commercially viable, how it compares to competitors in the life science landscape, etc)
  3. Present the magnitude of the target market for the technology being developed
  4. Explain how the proposed project team will be successful based on their professional experience and educational background
  5. Demonstrate how the proposed project is instrumental to catalyzing the company’s growth
  6. Outline the feasibility of the project outcomes
What does the program timeline look like? Funding for the SOPHIE program is available from April 2021 – March 2024. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Apply Now

We encourage you to verify your eligibility and start your application journey. We welcome submissions continuously, as applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Please note that the review process for project grants may take longer than usual.

Resources & FAQ

Want more information about SOPHIE? We answered some of your most common questions. If you have a question that has not been addressed, please send it to us through the Contact form or get in touch with our team.

Our Partners

The SOPHIE Program is an unparalleled collaboration between multiple public and private partners in Ontario, possessing the combined experience and expertise to ensure effective and seamless program delivery.

McMaster University
Hamilton Health Sciences
The Research Institute of St. Joe’s Hamilton
Mohawk College
Innovation Factory
Synapse Consortium

Stats & Figures

SOPHIE by the numbers

Commercialization projects launched
Project investments in commercialization
$ 1 M
Jobs created & supported
Funds raised by companies
+$ 1 M

SOPHIE Portfolio

SOPHIE grant recipients are developing a wide range of innovations within the life sciences sector. Learn more about the companies and technologies being supported by the SOPHIE Program.

Are you ready?

Apply Now

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?

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding SOPHIE, please get in touch with us through our Contact form.