The network relationship between CCRM Canada and CCRM Australia was very much on public show during the week of the 25th – 29th September when the first CCRM Australia delegation, representing eight organisations, arrived in Canada for the official opening of the new CCRM facility.
The world-renowned MaRS Discovery District in the health precinct associated with the University of Toronto is the worlds largest urban innovation hub boasting tenants such as Facebook, JLABS, Autodesk and a host of biotech and medtech startups.
The CCRM Australia delegation was warmly recognised and welcomed in official speeches at the opening and invited to connect with parliamentarians, major partners and neighbours of CCRM including GE Healthcare, JLABS Toronto, the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and MaRS.
‘It was enormously valuable to see the total CCRM opportunity directly,’ said Dr Rebecca Lim, Deputy Centre Head of The Ritchie Centre and leader of the Regenerative Medicine and Cellular Therapies Theme at the Hudson Institute. “I can see facilities and expertise that will add significant value to our research, that is very complimentary to what I have available to me in Australia. I’m looking forward to exploring the CCRM relationship more extensively over the coming months.”
The seminal work of Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch – the “fathers” of stem cell science more than 50 years ago with the discovery of blood stem cells in Toronto, was commemorated with the unveiling of an inspirational bronze statue at MaRS, sculpted by artist Ruth Abernethy. The empty lab stools invite visitors to spend a little time with Drs Till and McCulloch, snap a selfie and appreciate the significant field of research their discovery unlocked.
“As an innovation hub the MaRS district is nothing short of astounding’, said Michelle Gallaher, Managing Director of The Social Science and a Partner in CCRM Australia. ‘Visiting locations such as MaRS really changes your perspective on incubators. The scale and impact is truly remarkable. It’s an obvious and competitive advantage for CCRM Canada and also for CCRM Australia to have such a direct connection to this extraordinary accelerator.”