Seniors and caregivers to benefit from Mitacs and AGE-WELL funding for new technology during COVID-19

Funding helps Canadian small businesses provide solutions for this population

Toronto, ON — AGE-WELL and Mitacs are pleased to announce the recipients of their COVID-19 co-funded awards. The partnership supports technology-based approaches that mitigate challenges faced by older adults and/or their caregivers in the context of COVID-19.

The funding will help Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations, and their post-secondary partners, to provide innovation-based solutions for this population.

Recipients of the Mitacs–AGE-WELL awards are:

  • Clinisys EMR, University of Waterloo, and University of Alberta
  • Java Group Programs, Ryerson University, and George Brown College
  • JDQ Systems/DDA and Ontario Tech University
  • HIROC and University of Toronto
  • Quantum Robotic Systems, University of Guelph, and George Brown College
  • VitalTracer and University of Ottawa

Projects funded range from tools that predict the risk of seniors with dementia going missing to those fostering social engagement online. Innovations include service robots, a hand-foot peddler exercise device, and a smart watch to monitor vital signs.

Through this Mitacs–AGE-WELL collaboration, businesses and not-for-profit organizations that invest $3,750 receive up to $20,000 to support a four-month research intern. In addition to the standard Mitacs award, AGE-WELL is providing funding to support research and development connected to the internship and to benefit older adults and their caregivers.

Projects that received funding emphasize technology-based approaches to support healthy aging across one or more of AGE-WELL’s eight Challenge Areas:

  • Supportive Homes and Communities
  • Health Care and Health Service Delivery
  • Autonomy and Independence
  • Cognitive Health and Dementia
  • Mobility and Transportation
  • Healthy Lifestyles and Wellness
  • Staying Connected
  • Financial Wellness and Employment


Alex Mihailidis, Scientific Director and CEO, AGE-WELL

“COVID-19 has underlined the need for technology-based solutions to help older adults and their caregivers. AGE-WELL is pleased to collaborate with Mitacs to support industry-academic partnered R&D that will deliver needed technologies and services, and advance Canada’s AgeTech sector.”

John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is proud to partner with AGE-WELL and support small businesses in developing solutions for seniors and their caregivers. By mobilizing university and college researchers, we unlock innovations to support one of our most vulnerable populations.”

Azadeh Dastmalchi, CEO and co-founder, VitalTracer

“Older adults have an increased risk for severe health complications from COVID-19 and it’s important that people be alert for symptoms. This Mitacs-AGE-WELL funding will allow us to perform clinical trials to validate our real-time smartwatch for FDA and Health Canada certification so that seniors can monitor and share their vital signs with their doctor or caregiver, as needed.”


  • AGE-WELL is Canada’s Technology and Aging Network. The pan-Canadian network brings together researchers, older adults, caregivers, partner organizations and future leaders to accelerate the delivery of technology-based solutions that make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.
  • AGE-WELL is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program.

About Mitacs:

  • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions.
  • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada along with the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.