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The Kite Research Institute is calling on all UHN innovators and entrepreneurs to help shape the future of healthcare by submitting ideas for a one-of-a-kind pitch competition with more than $100,000 in prizes.
The Kite PowerPlay Pitch Competition is the signature event planned for this year's International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation (ICAIR), which is scheduled to take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on Monday, May 25.
"The purpose of this pitch event is to help accelerate innovation and the commercial success of potential products and services for the healthcare sector," says Dr. Milos R. Popovic, Director of Kite and chair of the ICAIR organizing committee.
"This competition is open to innovators at all stages of product and technology development, from concepts and prototypes to finished products and services and start-up companies."
Entrepreneurs and fledgling starts-ups will be hard pressed to find a more engaged group of health thinkers than those expected to be in attendance at this year's ICAIR event – which is being co-organized by Kite and the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto.
"We are anticipating that ICAIR will attract the world's leading researchers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators working to improve the lives of people living with the effects of aging, disability and illness," says Dr. Popovic, who notes all of the prize money is being provided by generous donors.
According to figures compiled by Statistics Canada, one in five Canadians live with a disability and the population is aging rapidly – in fact, senior citizens are expected to make up a full 25 per cent of the population by the end of this decade.
"It's essential that we devise solutions and strategies now that will help us prepare for the future," says Dr. Popovic. "That's why we're inviting the entire UHN community to attend ICAIR and encouraging those with out-of-the-box solutions to present them at the Kite PowerPlay Pitch Competition."