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Advancing Canadian Health Care Through Innovation Series Procuring Change: Advancing Canadian Innovation

FebruaryFeb 01 2022 09:00am - 10:00am

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Advancing Canadian Health Care Through Innovation Series Procuring Change: Advancing Canadian Innovation

Since the start of COVID, a group of dedicated Canadian health industry leaders has been advocating for the adoption of mandatory government procurement with set-asides for small businesses, especially those with disadvantaged demographics. This is an established economic driver in the US, UK, EU, Australia, etc. Yet in Canada it is at best an after-thought and sadly focused on impediments rather than opportunities. Its absence exacerbated our critical supply chain issues, delayed vaccinations, and saw funding programs directly benefit foreign LMEs rather than our own SMEs.

To address these shortcomings, ACIP (Advancing Canadian Innovation in Procurement) was established under the auspices of Life Sciences Ontario.

On February 1, 2022, a panel of experts will explain the merits, what currently can be done, and how Canada will benefit from properly applying ACIP.


Dan Wasserman, Founder & CEO, Mammoth Health Innovation

Moderator: Shahira Bhimani, Vice President, Market Access Government Affairs Public Policy, Baxter


  • Madison MacColl, Associate Gowling WLG
  • Wendy Cukier, Founder, Diversity Institute; Academic Director, Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Research Lead, Future Skills Centre
  • Anita Nador, Partner, Gowling WLG
  • Courtney Cole, CEO, ForAHealthyMe
  • Claudia Krywiak, President and CEO, Ontario Centre of Innovation




Dan Wasserman

Dan Wasserman, a serial entrepreneur and commercialization specialist, is the Founder and CEO of Mammoth Health Innovation Inc. Currently, the company is focused on advancing pathogen mitigation innovations.

When he returned from 11-plus years in DC, Dan became an EIR at ventureLAB where he created the Health Ecosphere and also launched the CreateIT Now incubator at Southlake Regional Health Centre. There are nearly 100 Canadian health innovations that have been commercialized as a result of these two initiatives alone.

Corporately he has forged strategic relationships between startups and large multinationals such as Boeing, Raytheon, AT&T, IBM, packaged goods and automotive manufacturers, plus the five major film studios.

Over eight of his years in the US, Dan was involved in procurement at the federal, state and local levels. He also worked with all of the 3-letter agencies and later numerous police forces that were tracking online predators. In 2006 Dan was one of the 3 finalists for the “Innovator of the Year Award” by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Dan is a founding board member of REMAP and the current Vice-Chair. He also sits on two Medtech Canada sub-committees and leads the Advancing Canadian Innovations in Procurement initiative under Life Sciences Ontario (LSO-ACIP).


Shahira Bhimani

Shahira Bhimani is a health innovation executive with a keen focus on driving the adoption of innovative solutions into market. As a seasoned entrepreneur, clinician and enthusiast for health innovation, Shahira brings a unique patient and clinical perspective as well as sound business acumen and thought leadership in health technology commercialization, reimbursement, procurement and adoption as well as an extensive network of local and international partners in these realms. Having worked closely with policy and decision makers as well as health technology start ups both locally and internationally, Shahira is poised to offer a novel lens into strategic market access and collaborative stakeholder partnering.  Shahira holds a B.Sc in Physical Therapy from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters in International Health Technology Assessment and Management from the University of Montreal.


Madision MacColl

Madison MacColl is an associate in the Intellectual Property Group in Gowling WLG’s Toronto Office. Prior to attending Western Law, Madison completed a BSc. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Madison joined the LSO-ACIP group in the fall of 2020 and has assisted the group in compiling key research with respect to Canada’s obligations under our international trade agreements.


Anita Nador

Anita Nador is a partner in the life sciences and intellectual property groups in Gowling WLG’s Toronto Office. Being a patent agent and a lawyer, Anita represents innovative companies and helps them with commercialization strategies: patents, regulatory and transactions. Anita has assisted the LSO group in exploring legal avenues/options to promote procurement of Canadian innovative technologies by public entities.


Wendy Cukier

Dr. Wendy Cukier is the Diversity Institute Founder, Academic Director of the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Research Lead of the Future Skills Centre. She is the co-author of the bestseller, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic Park and former VP of Research and Innovation. The Diversity Institute has 100 research staff, 100 research associates from around the world, 200 industry partners and focuses on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Harnessing the power of innovation, it promotes the advancement of underrepresented groups. The Diversity Institute is also a research lead for the $300 million Future Skills Centre and the $8.6 million Women Entrepreneurship Hub. Wendy has been recognized with the Harry Jerome Diversity Award, the Bob Marley Award, the Canada-Pakistan Business Council’s Female Professional of the Year, the Metropolis Research Award, the CATA Alliance, Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN. She has been named a YWCA Woman of Distinction and one of the International Women’s Forum 2020 Women Who Make a Difference, a Woman of Influence and one of the "100 Alumni who shaped the Century"  by the University of Toronto. Wendy holds a PhD, an MBA, an MA, and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.


Courtney Cole

Courtney is the Founder & CEO at ForaHealthyMe Inc.

The ForaHealthyMe AI Virtual Care Tele-Rehab & Remote Patient Management Solution is an AI platform with all-in-one applications for virtual consultations, remote management, and efficacy in physical rehabilitation support.

The multi-language cloud-based platform delivers all-in-one comprehensive care tools to address the complex needs of patients with Musculoskeletal, Cardiology, Neurological and Cognitive health issues.

Founded in 2012, the company works with partners and customers in the United States, Europe, and Asia to solve complex health challenges like long COVID and related issues.

ForaHealthyMe conducts all R&D in Ontario. The results of research and development projects includes multiple publications in international academic journals, including poster presentations at the Canadian Society for Vascular Surgery Poster Presentation (2015 Conference), The International Society for Posture & Gait World Congress July 2019 and the Journal of Medical Internet Research - Mental Health 2020 & 2021.

Early in his career, Courtney worked for several Fortune 500 companies including Advanced Micro Devices and Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices.


Claudia Krywiak

Claudia Krywiak is President and CEO at Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI), a not-for-profit organization that works with industry, government, and academia to accelerate the commercialization of new technologies. Since joining OCI in 2011, Claudia has championed innovation as a key driver of competitiveness, productivity, and economic growth, advocating for the importance of collaborative R&D between Ontario’s companies and post-secondary institutions, moving leading edge technologies out of the research lab and into the marketplace, and helping start-ups grow and succeed. She led the development and implementation of large-scale strategic initiatives that brought together multiple levels of government, large corporations, academia and SMEs to fuel growth in emerging technology areas, such as advanced computing and artificial intelligence, connected and autonomous vehicles, 5G and next generation networks, cybersecurity, and clean technologies. Prior to joining OCI, Claudia held the position of Vice President, Business Development at Mitacs, a national research organization that funds research and training programs. Claudia started her career at Bruker Corporation, a world-leading manufacturer of cutting-edge scientific instruments for molecular research and industrial analysis, where she enabled scientists to make breakthrough discoveries and develop new applications. Claudia serves on the Boards of Directors for IBI Group and Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre. She received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto

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