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20 April 2017

Mars Innovation meets KHIDI

Scientists from Mars Innovation’s partner institutions have met their South Korean counterparts in Seoul to hold initial discussions on scientific collaborations.

Author: Chris Winters, reporter

Canada-based commercialisation firm Mars Innovation (MI) and its South Korea-based counterpart Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) on Tuesday furthered their five-year partnership agreement inked in December 2016.

Rafi Hofstein, chief executive of Mars Innovation, joined a delegation to Seoul that was also made up of Ontario’s premier Kathleen Wynne, minister of research, innovation and science Reza Moridi and five researchers from MI’s member institutions to conduct initial discussions.

The discussed collaborations include research into stem cells therapies for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and spinal cord injuries, and the development of ultrasound technologies for cancer detection, therapies and monitoring.

The partnership agreement aims to support commercialisation and spinout generation based on the collaborations.

Founded in 2008, MI is a non-profit organisation that acts on behalf of its 15 members, including Toronto University and Sunnybrook Research Institute. The organisation represents over C$1.47bn ($1.1bn) of R&D funding annually across a portfolio of 60 companies.

GUV previously interviewed Rafi Hofstein in 2015 to offer an insight into the organisation’s unique model for tech transfer.

KHDI is a South Korean government-backed institute to administrate the country’s national health industry, including undertaking vital support programs. The institute plans to expand its role by providing a Korean-based commercialisation model based on that of Mars Innovation.

Rafi Hofstein said: “Mars Innovation is thrilled to be the lead partner with KHIDI of this new bi-national program.

“The exchange of exciting and ground-breaking research, which has started now with the current Ontario delegation, will certainly contribute significantly to healthcare everywhere and to the economies of Ontario and the Republic of Korea.”

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