Ontario's medtech industry is already producing innovative technologies that range from creating advanced devices that give sight to the blind to intricate computer systems that track dangerous pathogens like Ebola. We have generous R&D tax credits, a deep pool of highly educated talent, and an innovation ecosystem comprised of world-leading research facilities, academic institutions, private enterprise and government. If you have life-changing ideas in medical technology, Ontario is your destination for innovation.

Medical technology: Big Business in Ontario

Ontario's medical technology industry is vibrant, diverse and expanding – with start-ups, multinationals, research institutes and clinics all backed by a supportive government.

The medtech sector in Ontario boasts an impressive and steadily growing diversity of companies in terms of size, focus, product, and maturity level with all of them benefitting from the open collaboration that happens here within technology clusters.

There are already 24,000 people working in this sector at some 1,300 companies that collectively earn $12.2 billion in revenues annually, with exports totalling $1.7 billion.

What's in it for investors?

Medtech firms of all sizes have already discovered what Ontario has to offer their businesses: skilled talent, competitive incentives, a solid economy, a collaborative and innovative environment, dynamic industry clusters, and access to the $20-trillion NAFTA market. We make it easy for you to come and plug into our innovation ecosystem – just like these leading companies have done:

Xagenic, an Ontario start-up success story, is an example of how Ontario's environment of innovation has taken research outcomes from bench to bedside, enabling the company to access a potential market of more than $2.5 billion.

Teledyne DALSA is an international leader in digital imaging and semiconductors, with about 1,000 employees worldwide. Based in Waterloo, they develop, manufacture and market digital imaging products, technologies and sensors with core competencies in specialized integrated circuit and electronics technology, software, and highly engineered semiconductor wafer processing.

Medtronic, with headquarters in Brampton, Ontario, was ranked one of Canada's Top 100 Employers as well as one of Canada's Best Large Workplaces in 2014. This firm is a global leader in medical technology, focusing on advanced solutions to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life in the areas of cardiovascular medicine, diabetes, spinal and neurosurgery, and ear, nose and throat surgery.

Toshiba and UHN Unveil Twin CT Scanners in World's First Wide Volume Research-to-Clinical Platform at Toronto General Hospital

In October 2014, just over a year after relocating their head office to Markham, Ontario, Toshiba of Canada Ltd. developed and launched an impressive new Medical Systems Training Center furnished with advanced educational tools and equipment. Toshiba Medical Systems Corp. is a leading worldwide provider of medical diagnostic imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, including CT, X-Ray, Ultrasound and MRI systems. The new training centre includes a demonstration area that uses Toshiba's Infinix-i cardiovascular imaging technology to facilitate presentations, demonstrations, clinical and technical support, and learning opportunities for clinicians, biomedical engineers and technologists.

Toshiba has developed strategic global partnerships with world-renowned research institutes here in Ontario. Most recently, they announced a ground-breaking imaging platform with the University Health Network's Joint Department of Medical Imaging and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, Canada's premier cardiac centre.

Ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil the world's first research-to-clinical CT suite at Toronto General Hospital.
Toshiba, UHN's Joint Department of Medical Imaging and the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre unveil a ground-breaking imaging platform at Toronto General Hospital: the world's first research-to-clinical CT suite. Image courtesy of Toshiba.

Featuring twin, state-of-the-art Toshiba CT scanners in an integrated layout, this novel platform enables viewing of highly detailed images of the heart and all other body areas to help medical professionals detect disease faster and pinpoint more precise treatment plans. Unveiled at the Toronto General Hospital, this platform helps clinicians to expedite the transfer of research findings from one CT scanner into clinical use on the other, enabling the earlier identification of heart disease and other serious illnesses. This improves patient care and supports quicker translation into clinical practice. In addition, the advanced imaging and analysis provided through this platform will result in earlier diagnosis and treatment of disease, leading to improved patient care and resource utilization.

Disclaimer: this video links to a third party source. This video is not hosted by the Government of Ontario and there may not be a French version or transcripts available.

Why should Ontario be on your business expansion shortlist?

  • Medical technologies are used widely in our hospitals, clinics and universities. Ontario companies of all sizes successfully sell directly to the $6.8-billion Canadian market, including major OEMs, hospitals, teaching hospitals and academic institutes.
  • Global MNEs, like Siemens, Hitachi, Toshiba and GE Healthcare, all have a presence in Ontario, capitalizing on our ready access to NAFTA’s $20-trillion market and accounting for $1.7 billion, or 62% of Canada’s medtech exports.
  • You will have access to innovative programs, like MaRS EXCITE (Excellence in Clinical Innovation Technology Evaluation). The first of its kind in the world, EXCITE connects medtech developers with experienced, award-winning researchers to conduct pre-market clinical testing of advanced health technologies. The results? Evidence to support regulatory or licensing approval and reimbursement and purchasing review models, to accelerate adoption and uptake while improving patient outcomes.
Infographic depicting the key economic indicators of the MedTech sector in Ontario.

The future looks bright

Experts believe Ontario will continue to host the largest concentration of medical device and biotechnology firms in Canada. Most Canadian medtech companies are already here, and the province has a well-earned reputation for supporting international businesses looking to expand or relocate.

Ontario possesses a wealth of capabilities to support the development of a robust medtech sector. The environment of collaboration here is second to none, and has resulted in transformative initiatives like the EXCITE program. Medtech innovators in Ontario not only improve patient outcomes for Canadian and international citizens, they're highly trained, have access to world-class R&D resources, and are equipped to tap into the medtech markets in Canada and worldwide.

- Brian Lewis, President and CEO, MEDEC

 

Trendsetters in medical technology

Ontario medical technology firms are conceiving, successfully commercializing and selling their technologies domestically and globally, transforming health care at both the patient and systemic level.

Not just game-changing. Life-changing.

Here are a few examples of what progress in medical technology looks like in Ontario:

  • In medical imaging, numerous software and hardware firms sell to, integrate or work with major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like Siemens, Hitachi, Toshiba, Philips and GE. The Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) partners with the University of Toronto's Imaging Centre and imaging OEMs, and includes no fewer than five teaching hospitals – one of which, the University Health Network (UHN), has 500 medical imaging staff, a multi-million dollar fleet of equipment, and the largest radiology training program in the world.
  • In wireless and mobile health, Ontario businesses like Abbott Point of Care (APOC) are earning accolades for ground-breaking technologies that are in demand worldwide for their ability to reduce costs, improve patient flow and provide speedier diagnoses. APOC develops, manufactures and markets the i-STAT, a handheld device that can perform a wide range of commonly ordered blood tests within minutes, using just two or three drops of blood at a patient's bedside.
  • In the wearables and medical devices subsector, Ontario's own eSight has developed revolutionary digital eyewear that helps visually impaired people to see. The eyewear was recently licensed by both Health Canada and the U.S. FDA.

Are you a life-changing organization?

There is incredible potential to expand your business in Ontario. Other promising sub-sectors include telemedicine, electronic health records (EHR), integrated health solutions, and data analytics. If growth and innovation are in your long-term business plans, you need to be here.

Siemens Canada opens first National Centre of Excellence for magnetic resonance imaging at the University of Toronto Advanced Imaging and Education Centre

In November 2014, Siemens announced it had established its first Canadian training centre for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in partnership with the Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) at the University of Toronto. Located in the Medical Imaging Department at Toronto General Hospital, the centre offers its Canadian customers the opportunity to benefit from MRI training locally and more frequently. With the largest installed base in Canada – approximately 170 MRI scanners across the country – and five dedicated MRI application specialists in Canada, Siemens was well-positioned to open a centre of this kind.

 

Tap into our world-class talent pool

Ontario boasts an ample supply of exceptionally qualified workers to meet the medtech sector’s growing demand. Thanks to its long-range focus on education and research, Ontario has one of the most highly educated populations in the world.

Business leaders in other parts of the world lament the shortage of workers trained in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, but not in Ontario.

Our 44 universities and colleges produce more than 40,000 skilled STEM graduates every year.

More fuel for medtech growth in Ontario:

  • Six of Ontario's universities have medical schools
  • Four of the top 10 Canadian research universities are located in Ontario, including the University of Toronto, McMaster University, University of Ottawa, and Western University
  • Ontario has 51% of Canada's research personnel
  • Ontario accounts for 51% of Canada's expenditure on research and development
  • Ontario's medical technology sector accounts for 52% of all medical devices employment in Canada
  • Ontario's overall IT sector has a workforce of 260,000 people and approximately 19,000 firms

 

Keeping business costs competitive

Our business costs are low. In Ontario, competitive tax rates and generous R&D credits promote innovation and keep medical technology industry clusters dynamic.

Ontario medtech companies benefit from the lowest medical devices manufacturing and biomedical R&D costs among the G7 countries – lower than in the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, or Japan, according to KPMG's Competitive Alternatives 2016.

In fact, according to KPMG, our overall business costs are the lowest in the G7.

Expanding on that, Ontario offers:

  • Competitive corporate tax rates. A total combined provincial and federal (15%) corporate income tax (CIT) rate of 26.5% means Ontario's tax rate is lower than the G20 average and the U.S. federal-state average. Ontario's marginal effective tax rate on new business investment was just 16.6% for 2014.
  • Generous R&D credits. Ontario's R&D tax credits are the most generous of the G7 countries. Combined with federal R&D programs, Ontario's R&D Tax Program can reduce your after-tax cost of every $100 in R&D spending to between $61 and $37.

Companies in Ontario can also benefit from competitive tax credits and funding programs, such as:

Find out more about incentive programs and services offered in Ontario.

Know your credits

See a comprehensive list of Ontario incentive programs and services.

Ontario's R&D tax credit program

Select the best description of your operation to see possible after-tax savings you could achieve in on your R&D expenditures in Ontario.

Public, private or foreign-owned

  R&D expenditures R&D expenditures at eligible institutitions1
Gross expenditure $100.00 $100.00
Ontario – 20% OBRI2 Tax Credit   -$20.00
Ontario – 4.5% ORDTC3 -$4.50 -$3.60
Federal investment tax credit – 20% -$14.33 -$11.46
Tax deduction4:
(Combined federal of 15% and
provincial of 10% = 25%)
-$20.29 -$16.24
After-tax cost of $100 expenditure $60.88 $48.71

NOTES:
  1. Eligible Ontario research institutes include universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, research hospitals and other entities in Ontario.
  2. The 20% refundable Ontario Business-Research Institute Tax Credit.
  3. The 4.5% Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit.
  4. Tax rates for large manufacturers: Federal 15.0% plus Ontario 10.0% = 25.0%

Public, private or foreign-owned

  R&D expenditures R&D expenditures at eligible institutions2
Gross expenditure $100.00 $100.00
Ontario – 20% OBRI3 Tax Credit   -$20.00
Ontario – 10% OITC4 -$10.00 -$10.00
Ontario – 4.5% ORDTC5 -$4.05 -$3.15
Federal investment tax credit – 15% -$12.89 -$10.03
Tax deduction6:
(Combined federal of 15% and
provincial of 10% = 25%)
-$18.26 -$14.21
After-tax cost of $100 expenditure $54.79 $42.62

NOTES:
  1. Medium-sized companies have taxable income of less than $500,000 and taxable capital of less than $50 million.
  2. Eligible Ontario research institutes include universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, research hospitals and other entities in Ontario.
  3. The 20% refundable Ontario Business-Research Institute Tax Credit.
  4. The 10% refundable Ontario Innovation Tax Credit.
  5. The 4.5% Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit.
  6. Tax rates for manufacturers: Federal 15.0% plus Ontario 10.0% = 25.0%

Public, private or foreign-owned

  R&D expenditures R&D expenditures at eligible institutions1
Gross expenditure $100.00 $100.00
Ontario – 20% OBRI2 Tax Credit   -$20.00
Ontario – 4.5% ORDTC3 -$4.50 -$3.60
Federal investment tax credit – 15% -$14.33 -$11.46
Tax deduction4:
(Combined federal of 15% and
provincial of 11.5% = 26.5%)
-$21.51 -$17.21
After-tax cost of $100 expenditure $59.66 $47.73

NOTES:
  1. Eligible Ontario research institutes include universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, research hospitals and other entities in Ontario.
  2. The 20% refundable Ontario Business-Research Institute Tax Credit.
  3. The 4.5% Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit
  4. Tax rates for large non-manufacturers: Federal 15.0% plus Ontario 11.5% = Total 26.5%

Public, private or foreign-owned

  R&D expenditures R&D expenditures at eligible institutions2
Gross expenditure $100.00 $100.00
Ontario – 20% OBRI3 Tax Credit   -$20.00
Ontario – 10% OITC4 -$10.00 -$10.00
Ontario – 4.5% ORDTC5 -$4.05 -$3.15
Federal investment tax credit – 15% -$12.89 -$10.03
Tax deduction6:
(Combined federal of 15% and
provincial of 11.5% = 26.5%)
-$19.36 -$15.06
After-tax cost of $100 expenditure $53.70 $41.76

NOTES:
  1. Medium-sized companies have taxable income of less than $500,000 and taxable capital of less than $50 million.
  2. Eligible Ontario research institutes include universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, research hospitals and other entities in Ontario.
  3. The 20% refundable Ontario Business-Research Institute Tax Credit.
  4. The 10% refundable Ontario Innovation Tax Credit.
  5. The 4.5% Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit.
  6. Tax rates for non-manufacturers: Federal 15.0% plus Ontario 11.5% = Total 26.5%
  R&D expenditures R&D expenditures at eligible institutions2
Gross expenditure $100.00 $100.00
Ontario – 20% OBRI3 Tax Credit   -$10.00
Ontario – 10% OITC4 -$10.00 -$10.00
Ontario – 4.5% ORDTC5 -$4.05 -$3.15
Federal investment tax credit – 35% -$30.08 -$23.40
Tax deduction6:
(Combined federal of 11% and
provincial of 4.5% = 15.5%)
-$8.06 -$6.73
After-tax cost of $100 expenditure $47.21 $36.72

NOTES:
  1. Small CCPCs have taxable income of less than $500,000 and taxable capital of less than $15 million.
  2. Eligible Ontario research institutes include universities, colleges of applied arts and technology, research hospitals and other entities in Ontario.
  3. The 20% refundable Ontario Business-Research Institute Tax Credit.
  4. The 10% refundable Ontario Innovation Tax Credit.
  5. The 4.5% Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit.
  6. Tax rates for small CCPCs on the first $500,000 of taxable income: Federal 11% plus Ontario 4.5% = 15.5%

Table Data Source: Ontario Ministry of Finance, January 2014

* The information provided here presents a potential after-tax cost based on assumptions regarding R&D expenditures, tax incentives and tax rates that may not apply to your business. This information does not constitute tax advice. Please consult your tax advisor to determine the after-tax cost of R&D expenditures for your business.


Open, collaborative and diverse ecosystem

Brilliant researchers can conceive life-changing innovations – but these may never reach consumers if they aren't successfully commercialized. Ontario tackles this challenge head-on by ensuring its academic community works closely with industry to help commercialize research and grow successful businesses.

The open environment supporting collaboration between business and research in Ontario has spawned successful, marketable biotechnology initiatives in a range of sectors. More than a dozen research partnership programs and grants are available here, including the National Research Council of Canada's Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada's Idea-to-Innovation Grant, and the Ontario Centres of Excellence industry-academic collaboration and commercialization programs.

From bench to bedside

Sunnybrook Research Institute works closely with the University of Toronto to commercialize research, licensing technologies from both major multinationals and start-ups. Research at Sunnybrook has resulted in the creation of more than a dozen imaging companies as well as two acquisitions.

  • VisualSonics Inc. was conceived when a Sunnybrook researcher created the first ultrasound tool incorporating high-frequency transducers that made microscopic physiological details visible. Demand grew swiftly, and VisualSonics soon found itself manufacturing micro-imaging scanners for Harvard and Stanford universities, the National Institutes of Health, and major drug companies. In 2010, VisualSonics was acquired by SonoSite Inc. for $67.9 million.
  • Innovere Medical has developed a technology that enables clinicians to communicate wirelessly within an MRI suite during an intervention.
  • Designed by pathologists for pathologists, Pathcore is leveraging the power of digital computing and algorithm-based image analysis to create digital pathology products and services that help accelerate cancer research and translate it into applied solutions.
  • A variety of other companies, such as Colibri and Harmonic Medical, are also under development, working independently alongside major MNEs at Sunnybrook Hospital.

Other prominent examples of collaboration

Ontario's environment of collaboration benefits investors by making it easier for them to find and harness the resources they need to move their research through all stages of development to commercialization and growth.

  • At McMaster University, the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization (CPDC) is helping researchers move their discoveries from concept to application. CPDC is the world's first centre focused on the development of powerful molecular imaging probes and associated technologies, which can accelerate and support drug discovery and new therapy development.
  • Ryerson's Digital Media Zone hosts entrepreneurs who are developing solutions in all sectors including health and wellness. For example, in 2014, it organized an event known as Hackathought, challenging students from across Ontario to build mobile-centric technologies that consider the post-secondary student experience with mental health while providing better access to resources.
  • The Connected Health and Wellness Project has 19 organizations, including universities, health care providers and private companies, working together to solve urgent health care issues.
  • The Joint Department of Medical Imaging (JDMI) brings five major teaching hospitals in Toronto together in partnership with the University of Toronto's Imaging Centre and the major imaging OEMs.

In data analytics for medical and climate research, IBM has partnered with seven Canadian universities. Just a few examples:

  • IBM has partnered with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children on the use of IBM InfoSphere® Streams to predict when a hospitalized baby is at risk of life-threatening infection. IBM InfoSphere® Streams is an advanced analytic platform that allows user-developed applications to quickly ingest, analyze and correlate information as it arrives from thousands of real-time sources. It can handle throughput rates of millions of events or messages per second.
  • IBM and Western University are using health informatics to try to improve diagnostic tests for Alzheimer's disease, autism and schizophrenia.
  • The IBM Life Sciences Discovery Centre, located at the Ontario Cancer Institute and Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, is working on knowledge discovery and data mining, developing algorithms and tools in cancer informatics.

What's good for multinationals…

….is good for the firms that supply them.

Major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with a presence in Ontario, like Siemens, Toshiba, Hitachi, Philips and GE Healthcare, provide an established and expanding market for the province's abundance of smaller and midsize software and hardware suppliers, and are a key part of the medtech ecosystem here.

Ontario firms are at the heart of all things medtech in Canada. Nearly half of Canadian medtech companies are based in Ontario, and they produce an extraordinary variety of products designed to meet an array of health care needs, from medical imaging to diagnostics, surgery and other procedures spanning the full spectrum of medical specialties. Many of these hundreds of firms, specializing in an endless variety of products, have found markets among the industry giants – and you can, too!

Influence the future of medtech

Ontario is keenly interested in the growth and prosperity of medtech firms in the province – so it has been proactive about initiating and cultivating programs designed to benefit firms of all sizes and maturity levels in this sector.

In addition to companies and research institutes, our diverse medtech ecosystem includes start-up incubators, university industry research centres, commercialization networks, investors and new media services, all available to help take your company to the next level.

Firms that set up in Ontario can join major medtech influencers. For example:

  • MEDEC advances health outcomes for Canadians by accelerating access to medical technologies. Its members are key influencers advocating for a safe, responsive, sustainable health care system enabled by the use of medical technologies.
  • The Ontario Health Innovation Council (OHIC) links experts from the health care, community, home care, medical device, non-profit, mental health, research, academic and business sectors to spur innovation and improve patient outcomes. OHIC exists because Ontario understands the catalyzing role that government can play in supporting and advancing medtech. In 2015, OHIC made six recommendations to support made-in-Ontario health technologies, and the Ontario government responded by investing $20 million in health innovation and adopting all six of them—beginning with the creation of a Chief Health Innovation Strategist office to champion Ontario as a centre for health technology innovation.

 

Feedback: Was this page useful?

Back to top