Toronto, February 6, 2009 – MaRS Innovation is honoured to announce its permanent Board of Directors, who brings together a remarkable and broad set of experiences and networks to support the development of this dynamic partnership of Toronto research institutions.  Designed to enhance the commercial output of Toronto’s world-leading research cluster, MaRS Innovation is positioned to make a significant contribution to Canada’s innovation economy and the quality of life for Canadians and others around the world.

Supported by the Government of Canada through the Centres of Excellence in Research and Commercialization (CECR) program, and its member institutions, MaRS Innovation is focused on converting important discoveries into a new generation of products, services and high value jobs. The newly appointed Board of Directors, which includes academic and business leaders from across Canada and the United States, has the targeted expertise to guide MaRS Innovation to deliver on this critical mission.

MaRS Innovation represents a unique collaborative model, which aggregates the exceptional discovery pipeline of 14 leading Toronto academic institutions to build a diversified portfolio of assets, and harness the economic and job creation potential of the best opportunities for Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

“MaRS Innovation is privileged to announce a Board of Directors of this caliber and breadth of skill,” said Mary Jo Haddad, Chair of the MaRS Innovation Board and President and CEO of The Hospital for Sick Children. “The collective experience and guidance of these individuals will be critical to developing a collaborative, integrated and agile approach to this transformational organization that will move Canada into its next phase of economic development.”

The newly appointed members are:

  • W. Geoffrey Beattie – Deputy Chairman & President, Woodbridge Company Limited, Thomson Reuters Corporation, Toronto
  • Christopher C. Capelli – Vice President, Technology Based Ventures, Office of Technology Commercialization, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
  • Ron Close – Information technology entrepreneur, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, MaRS, and Executive Entrepreneur-in-Residence, The Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON
  • Nicholas Darby – Formerly Director of Physical Sciences, Corporate Venture Capital, Dow Chemical Company, President, Darby & Associates Consulting LLC, Midland, MI
  • Mary Jo Haddad – President & CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto
  • Jacqueline H.R. Le Saux – Former General Counsel, North America and Corporate Secretary, Patheon, Inc., Toronto
  • David A. Leslie – Chair, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and Former Chairman & CEO, Ernst & Young, Toronto
  • Michael H. May – President & CEO, Rimon Therapeutics, Toronto
  • Chandra J. Panchal – Founder, President & CEO, Axcelon Biopolymers Corp., Dollard-des-Ormeaux, QC
  • Ilse Treurnicht – CEO, MaRS Discovery District, Toronto
  • Donald A. Wright – President & CEO, The Winnington Capital Group Inc., Toronto

“I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the founding board members for their outstanding commitment in creating the integrated commercialization platform – which is MaRS Innovation,” said Founding Chair Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, The Hospital for Sick Children. The other members of the founding Board of Directors were Robert Bell (President and CEO, University Health Network), Tim McTiernan (Assistant Vice President, University of Toronto), Sheldon Levy (President, Ryerson University), David Leslie (Chair, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), John Evans (Chair, MaRS Discovery District) and Ilse Treurnicht (CEO, MaRS).

MaRS Innovation serves as a business accelerator platform with a single point of entry for industry partners and investors.  It will increase the scale, scope and viability of IP offerings, and the quantity and quality of deal flow from partner institutions.  MaRS Innovation will also facilitate strategic research collaborations with industry partners, strengthen the innovation capacity of Canadian industry through adoption of new technologies from its member institutions, and launch a new generation of robust, high-growth Canadian companies that will become global market leaders.   The quality of the combined discovery pipeline will catalyze and attract sources of risk capital for translational research, market validation, company formation and growth.

“MaRS Innovation represents a unique and timely platform to contribute in a meaningful way to Canada’s knowledge economy, leveraging Toronto’s remarkable research excellence.  The vision and serious commitment of its members to work together to transform our commercialization results, and the support of the Federal Government, made this possible.  The announcement of this outstanding group of leaders to the Board of Directors for MaRS Innovation is an exciting step forward,” said Ilse Treurnicht, MaRS CEO and interim Managing Director of MaRS Innovation.
About MaRS Innovation
MaRS Innovation (www.marsinnovation.com) provides an integrated commercialization platform that harnesses the economic potential of the exceptional discovery pipeline of 14 leading Toronto academic institutions. MaRS Innovation is a non-profit organization with an independent industry-led Board of Directors, funded through the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence and contributions of its member institutions.

For more information please contact:

Susan McGovern, Vice President MaRS Innovation
smcgovern@marsinnovation.com
647-260-7878

Backgrounder
Designed to enhance the commercial output of Toronto’s outstanding scientific research cluster, MaRS Innovation will make a significant contribution to Canada’s economic outlook and the quality of life for Canadians and others around the world.

Supported by the Government of Canada through the Networks of Centres of Excellence and its 14 member institutions, MaRS Innovation is a partnership that is truly transformational and will focus on turning research strengths into real economic opportunities. MaRS Innovation, with support from MaRS Discovery District and BioDiscovery Toronto, will advance commercialization through industry partnerships, licensing and company creation. The Board of Directors, which includes academic and business leaders from across Canada and the U.S., has the targeted expertise to direct MaRS Innovation to work together with its members, build a diverse portfolio of assets, and harness the economic and job creation potential of the best opportunities for Toronto, Ontario and Canada.

The MaRS Innovation mission is to put Canada on the global innovation stage, by better connecting research with industry and strengthening Canada’s competitive capacity in knowledge based businesses – in short, to launch a new generation of robust, high-growth Canadian companies that will become global market leaders.

MaRS Innovation member institutions include:

  • Baycrest Geriatric Health Care System
  • BioDiscovery Toronto
  • Bloorview Kids Rehab
  • Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
  • The Hospital for Sick Children
  • MaRS Discovery District
  • Mount Sinai Hospital
  • The
    New Women’s College Hospital
  • Ontario College of Art and Design
  • Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
  • Ryerson University
  • St. Michael’s Hospital
  • Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
  • Toronto Rehabilitation Institute
  • University Health Network
  • University of Toronto

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) is a large scale, mission driven innovation centre located in Toronto and networked across Ontario, focused on building Canada’s next generation of technology companies. MaRS works closely with entrepreneurs to grow and scale their ventures into global market leaders in life sciences and health care, information, communications and digital media technologies, cleantech, advanced materials and engineering, as well as innovative social purpose business.

For more information, contact:
Linda Quattrin
Director Communications
MaRS Discovery District
416.673.8104
lquattrin@marsdd.com