Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne kicked off her week-long trade mission to Israel by signing18 agreements and partnerships valued at $87 million. Wynne’s delegation includes government officials as well as approximately 130 business, academic and research representatives.

The trade visit’s focus is on the life sciences and research sectors.

“I am pleased that so many Israeli and Ontario companies have created partnerships to develop innovative solutions to real-world scientific and technological challenges,” said Premier Wynne. “Ontario is the ideal location to take innovative ideas from concept to marketplace — we have a competitive corporate tax rate, a strong financial sector and a talented workforce.”

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Photo courtesy
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. Photo courtesy

The Ontario business leaders are seeking Israeli innovation ideas and offering tax breaks in return. Canada offers the lowest biotechnology research and development costs in the G7 — and Ontario’s corporate income tax rate is lower than the average of other G8 and G20 countries. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Taro Pharmaceuticals are two Israeli companies with operations in Ontario.

Two-way trade between Ontario and Israel last year was valued at more than $900 million, according to the CBC. The province of Ontario already has a memorandum of understanding on research with Israel, and according to a CBC report, it has helped pull in more than $16 million in outside funding.

Canada is a wonderful option for any Israeli company interested in establishing its presence in North America. The Canadians see Israel as a significant hub of innovation and they are here to forge new collaborative relationships in several technological fields, including cleantech, biotech, med-tech and medical devices, IT, cyber-security, energy and e-Health, projects that can benefit both sides,” said Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority Avi Hasson.

The 18 deals include: AdOM signed an MOU with Ontario-based Inflamax Research to expand and continue their existing work. New clinical research will use AdOM’s tear film imaging device, which assesses the tear film coating the cornea, to advance research for patients with dry eye syndrome.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Larisplast signed an MOU with Ontario-based Zenyatta Ventures to develop an enhanced form of concrete that will last longer than traditional concrete and better withstand large forces including earthquakes.

BioLineRx and MaRS Innovation, an Ontario-based incubator and accelerator, will identify co-development projects to develop and advance technologies derived from Ontario academic institutions into clinical development.

Ben Gurion University, Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Medicine, Technion and several Israeli hospitals and research institutions signed a five-year agreement valued at $50 million with the Ontario-based Center for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine to create a Center for Regenerative Medicine in Israel. The center will help bring new high-tech regenerative products to market and position Israel and Ontario as leaders in the global commercialization of regenerative medicine.

The Davidson Institute of Science Education at the Weizmann Institute signed an agreement with the Ontario Science Center to enhance the research, development and commercialization of new exhibits. The two institutions will also explore innovation programs and exhibits that have a special focus on girls and women in science and engineering.

Israel-based Digiflex will work together with Ontario-based Eurocontrol and its Israeli subsidiary, Xenemetrix, to make security improvements in the authentication of chemicals and elements markers, which will help curb the illicit trade of these goods globally. 

Inex/Zamir is partnering with Ontario-based Strategic Mapping Inc. to collaborate on technology that will help each jurisdiction implement better toll systems for roads and highways.

Insightec, Israel’s world leader in ultrasound technology, has developed a procedure to remove brain tissue without surgery on patients with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. Insightec will provide technology to Ontario-based University Health Network for clinical research and development in Ontario. This agreement is valued at $3 million.

The Jerusalem College of Technology and the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health agreed to create broader and richer opportunities for their students and faculty, including the development of graduate-level courses in health informatics. 

Kahr Medical, a biotechnology company based in Jerusalem, signed an agreement with Ontario-based Therapure Biopharma to produce a recombinant fusion protein that has shown significant promise as a treatment for lymphatic cancer.

Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist and the Canadian Center for Aging and Brain Health Innovation at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto will collaborate on innovations and bring new programs in aging and brain health solutions for seniors.

Kazi Investment Group will sign a joint agreement with Inkas Ontario and its Israeli-based subsidiary, Mayotex-Philcar, to build special-purpose vehicles for the US Department of State. The agreement is valued at $25 million.

MedAngels signed an MOU with Ontario-based Ehave and Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to advance the clinical applications of digital health technologies that have been specifically targeted to benefit young mental health patients globally.

Microtech Medical Technologies signed a five-year agreement valued at $5 million with True Phantom Solutions to develop the first ever thoracic phantom, which will create realistic mechanical representations of the rib cage, heart, lungs and spine. The device will enable better medical training and research.

Paskal Group and Ontario-based Competitive Green Technologies are working together on the development of a compostable resin that is a green alternative to plastic products, which can be used in the greenhouse and horticulture markets.

Philips Healthcare will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lakehead University in Ontario. The two institutions will create an internship program for Lakehead’s graduate students in the Medical Imaging Detector Technologies program to complete industrial internships at Philips Healthcare in Haifa.

Tel Aviv University and the University of Toronto signed an agreement to host a 2017 conference on big data and health in Tel Aviv. Today’s agreement builds on a research agreement that was signed in 2015.

The Canada-Israel Innovation Initiative for Student Mobility at the University of Toronto will award 10 scholarships for Israeli undergraduate and graduate students to spend 3–6 months studying at the University of Toronto’s Engineering, Medicine, Business and Global Affairs programs.

Wynne also met with former President Shimon Peres to strengthen ties between Israel and Ontario and find ways to advance common priorities.

The Premier will also speak at a business-to-business session for Ontario delegates and their Israeli counterparts to encourage new partnerships and investments.