UHN execs at KITE launch
On hand at TRI Research Day to introduce the change to staff and guests were: (L to R): Dr. Mark Bayley, Physiatrist in Chief & Medical Program Director, Toronto Rehab, Dr. Milos Popovic, Research Director, Toronto Rehab, Gillian Howard, VP, Public Affairs and Communications, UHN, Dr. Kevin Smith, President & CEO, UHN, Dr. Brad Wouters, EVP, Science and Research, UHN, and Dr. Geoff Fernie, former TRI Research Director. (Photo: UHN)

UHN is unveiling a new research institute designed to take the science of rehabilitation to new heights.   

Based at Toronto Rehab, the new institute, which will be known as KITE at UHN and replaces the current TRI Research Institute, will synchronize the organization's academic direction, strategic priorities, research programs and commercialization efforts in the field of complex rehabilitation science.  

KITE, an acronym that stands for Knowledge, Innovation, Talent, Everywhere, formally brings together the scientists, students and staff at the Research Institute under a new banner that focusses on finding solutions for people living with the effects of disability, illness and aging. 

"This rebranding effort signals that we are heading in a new direction," says Institute Director Dr. Milos Popovic, who introduced the change yesterday to staff and guests in attendance at TRI Research Day.  

"We are no longer focusing exclusively on rehabilitation. We are embarking on a commercial sustainability program that capitalizes on our remarkable scientific and research capabilities." 

The goal of Toronto Rehab Research Institute’s journey of renewal, which is called Project KITE and was unveiled yesterday, is to set strategic priorities and devise a roadmap for the future. (Video: UHN)


The research arm at Toronto Rehab, a world leader in rehabilitation science, is one of the principal research enterprises at UHN, Canada's top research hospital with more than $350-million in total annual research expenditures. 

"The UHN Research community is committed to improving the lives of people living with the effects of disability, aging and illness through research, discovery and innovation," says Dr. Brad Wouters, UHN's Executive Vice-President, Science and Research. 

"The launch of KITE at Toronto Rehab signals that our scientists are ready to take rehabilitation science to new heights." 

Dr. Popovic says the rebranded research institute will help the leadership team align and deploy resources and set the vision and direction of KITE for years to come. 

"This new visual identity acknowledges the accomplishments of the past, cements the Institute's place as the top rehabilitation science research facility in the world and helps chart a new path into the future," he says.

KITE is home to 118 total researchers, including 23 senior scientists, and more than 200 trainees and support staff based at Toronto Rehab's University Centre, Lyndhurst, Rumsey and Bickle sites.

KITE researchers are actively engaged in developing new solutions, treatments, devices and products as well as gathering evidence that guides changes to policy and public opinion. 

The new visual identity, which includes a stylized bird in flight, is meant to symbolize the Institute's ability to nurture and launch new ideas. 

"The name KITE strongly reflects the new direction we are charting," says Dr. Popovic. "Knowledge, Innovation, Talent and Everywhere are four key elements that support the new Institute. 

"Knowledge is the foundation that our research is built upon. Innovation drives us to new solutions. The Talent we develop allows us to invent and bring new products and solutions to market. And we believed that through this work we can improve health Everywhere." ​

Facts about KITE at UHN

  • KITE = Knowledge, Innovation, Talent, Everywhere
  • No. 1 ranked Rehab Research Facility in the World, KITE is part of the University Health Network, Canada's leading research hospital
  • 118 researchers including 23 Seniors Scientists
  • 102 trainees and 104 research support staff
  • 508 total peer-reviewed publications (2017)
  • 11 major research teams
  • 55,965 square feet of dedicated research space
  • $16,402,393 in external research funding​
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