McMaster opens doors to $33-million Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) research centre
HAMILTON, Mar. 7, 2018– The new $33-million Fraunhofer-McMaster Project Centre for Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM) has opened its doors, bringing together the expertise of researchers from science, health sciences and engineering.
Located at the McMaster Innovation Park, the 20,000-square-foot facility is the result of a joint partnership with the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI), a world leader in manufacturing cell therapies, based in Leipzig, Germany.
Funded by all three levels of government – the federal government investing nearly $12-million, with the Government of Ontario and the City of Hamilton investing $4-million each, BEAM is also supported by McMaster, Fraunhofer IZI, and several industry partners.
It will be home to a team of researchers, from both McMaster and Fraunhofer, who will work to develop and translate new technologies for cancer treatments; new biomarkers for cancer detection; point-of-care tests for rapid diagnosis of infectious and chronic disease; and new biomaterials to aid in treatment of disease.
With some 35 current and future industry partners, one of the centre’s main tasks is to take existing technologies and prepare them for the marketplace. It will help to commercialize new products, accelerate growth of small businesses and attract new talent to the region.
When fully operational, BEAM is expected to create nearly 75 jobs.
Editors: Below are quotes from all partners, including McMaster University, Fraunhofer IZI and the federal, provincial and municipal governments:
“BEAM will foster a vibrant bioengineering industry in southern Ontario, directly supporting innovation, transforming regional economies, and redefining Canada’s role in advanced manufacturing. The Centre is evidence of what can be accomplished when universities, health-care researchers, the business community and governments collaborate to advance innovative technologies that will support areas such as regenerative medicine, cell therapies, and cancer treatments.”
-The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“McMaster is a worldwide leader in life sciences and bioengineering research and we are grateful for this partnership with Fraunhofer IZI, and all levels of government, which will help accelerate our discoveries into the marketplace, creating many health and economic benefits for future generations.”
-Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor, McMaster University
“I see great potential for both institutions to benefit from their distinct strengths in the development of future-oriented biotechnologies and to generate new scientific value – inside Germany as well as worldwide. Both partners contribute complementary competencies in medicine and engineering to develop the tools and technologies needed by companies around the world. We regard BEAM as a fantastic opportunity to expand our expertise while at the same time finding new solutions to the major life science challenges society faces today.”
-Reimund Nuegebauer, President, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
“With stellar partners like McMaster University and Fraunhofer, our Provincial investment will realize great returns to community health and to the economy. It will help establish Hamilton as a hub for Ontario’s life sciences sector. Today, we gather in anticipation of a future filled with major medical breakthroughs and business opportunities, and all this being realized right here in our Hamilton.”
-Ted McMeekin, Member of Provincial Parliament, Ancaster Dundas Flamborough Westdale
“This investment today marks a critical development in our research and commercialization capacity in Hamilton. Fraunhofer is well-respected in the European Union and the impact it has is on a global level. Its presence in our city now firmly establishes our life sciences sector as a leader not only in Canada, but the world.”
-Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton
“For colleagues of McMaster and Fraunhofer IZI, it is now possible to share their expertise in the development of drugs, cell and gene therapeutics as well as in innovative manufacturing engineering and process automation under one roof. Beside new approaches for therapy, new biomarkers and diagnostic technologies will be developed in the future.”
-Frank Emmrich, Director, Fraunhofer IZI
“Translation of diagnostic tests from the lab to the marketplace is where BEAM comes in. In order to move research forward, it is necessary to cross the ‘valley of death’ to, ultimately, create a clinically validated and easily manufacturable diagnostic test that is simple to use by the customer.”
-John Brennan, Managing Director, BEAM
“Now the joint infrastructure allows an intensification of personnel exchange resulting in a more efficient way to reach BEAM‘s goals. In 2018 already seven German colleagues are to be sent to Hamilton for a long-term research stay. Together with their Canadian partners, they will work on new cancer therapies based on genetic-modified immune cells. Among others, they will also address innovative technologies for the diagnosis of pathogens and the clinical monitoring of blood clotting.”
-Friedemann Horn, Co-director, BEAM (Fraunhofer IZI)
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