Earlier this year GE Healthcare established its first global Pathology Imaging Centre of Excellence (PICE) in Toronto, Ontario.
GE and its digital pathology joint venture, Omnyx, will invest $7.75 million along with a $2.25 million grant from the Health Technology Commercialization Program created by Ontario’s Health Technology Exchange and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. Planned collaborative R&D partnerships are expected to bring an additional $7.2 million, for a total investment of $17.2 million over the next three years.
Considering GE is a massive global corporation with locations all over the world and its JV Omnyx is based in Pittsburgh, it’s only natural to ask: Why Canada?
“Why Canada? It’s GE – we could have put it on the moon if we tried,” Luigi Gentile, executive director of GE’s PICE told Medical Device Daily and about 14 other journalists participating in Ontario’s advanced medical devices media tour. Gentile listed several factors that supported the company’s choice to make Toronto the home for its new pathology center. Some of those factors include: the high quality of pathology that happens in Canada; the experience and early adoption that the country has had in digital pathology; great pool of experts in both molecular and digital anatomical pathology; and the fact that the large geographic area of Canada creates an opportunity to develop a model in Canada that is very exportable to countries like Brazil, Russia, India, and China that are all facing the same challenges.
And of course the money that the Canadian and Ontario governments kicked in for the center may have influenced the decision a bit too. More than just providing funding, the government has brought together all the partners of industry, government, and clinicians to one central location in Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District.