Alberta government and 3M Canada partner to improve patient outcomes

Partnership for developing and testing medical technologies in Alberta announces its first project at W21C

Minister of Innovation and Advanced Education Lori Sigurdson speaks Wednesday after announcing a partnership to support research at the Ward of the 21st Century at the University of Calgary. Photo by Riley Brandt, University of Calgary

October 22, 2015
Published in UToday

The Honourable Lori Sigurdson, minister of Innovation and Advanced Education and minister of Jobs Skills, Training and Labour, made a partnership announcement at the Cumming School of Medicine on Wednesday.

A collaborative partnership, funded with $500,000 each from the Government of Alberta, through Alberta Innovates – Health Solutions (AIHS) and 3M Canada, will support research at the Ward of the 21st Century (W21C) at the University of Calgary, leading to innovations improving the health and wellness of Albertans. This collaboration will help establish Alberta as a centre for medical product testing.

“Alberta is a valued partner for innovative companies like 3M to develop products. Along with health, this program opens the door to 3M expertise in areas like energy and the environment where we can create solutions that diversify our economy and create jobs,” says Sigurdson.

Pressure bandage for orthopedic surgery is first project awarded funding 

The first project awarded funding is the use of a pressure bandage for the care of patients undergoing orthopedic surgeries, such as on the knee joint. In partnership with the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute, W21C will test and validate the use of the bandage to potentially reduce swelling, and to improve pain management and early function.

“As a science-based company, 3M produces thousands of innovative products and is a leader in scores of markets including health care, and energy, and employee safety. We are proud to partner with the Government of Alberta, W21C, and AIHS on a valuable initiative such as this which stresses the importance of innovation,” says Paul Madden, president and general manager, 3M Canada.

Health systems research focuses on improving patient safety and care

Based in the O’Brien Institute for Public Health, and the Calgary Zone of Alberta Health Services, W21C conducts health systems research focusing on improving patient safety and quality of care. W21C will be providing project management for the Alberta – 3M collaboration. It will also play a critical role connecting companies, local and international like 3M, to the health care system through its extensive network of researchers and clinicians.

“Calgary has some of the best stroke outcomes in Canada. This is because of technology created in a University of Calgary partnership. We will be applying our research acumen towards developing medical technology and improving patient outcomes in Alberta. The University of Calgary is fully engaged within our community and we welcome the support of our province and of 3M,” says Elizabeth Cannon, president of the University of Calgary.

Partnership creates ways to improve health and well-being through innovations

“AIHS is proud to participate in this unique partnership. Partnerships such as this one with 3M create important opportunities to improve the health and well-being of Albertans through technological and therapeutic innovations that can be used in care,” says Pamela Valentine, PhD, interim chief executive officer, AIHS.

3M has a strong presence in Alberta’s economy and a formal relationship with the province that includes a 2008 collboration to develop liners prolonging pipeline life for the oil and gas sector. The company also has a laboratory facility in Calgary conducting research and testing for pipeline products. 3M recently opened a new customer technical centre in Calgary, enabling customers in a wide range of sectors to interact with 3M products, technologies, and expertise, and technical experts to find solutions to real, current problems.