Vee Tech and Sona to collaborate with Canada’s University Health Network


Bengaluru : Technology services firm Vee Technologies and Sona Group of educational institutions have forged an agreement with Toronto-based University Health Network, Canada to collaborate on a multi-institution research and commercialisation effort to develop smart fabric-based wearables. The objective is to improve the lives of people living with health-related challenges.


The collaboration agreement seeks to contribute to FIBRE, a research initiative that will be fuelled by the UHN hospital network, which includes Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, and The Michener Institute of Education. In addition, three universities, four colleges and a number of industry partners are actively working on FIBRE’s goal.


The University Health Network (UHN) is a public research and teaching hospital fully affiliated with the University of Toronto. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care.


As part of this agreement Bengaluru and New York co-headquartered Vee Technologies will make significant cash contributions to the current and future research projects to be undertaken by the collaborating institutions, universities and hospitals in Canada. Vee Technologies and Sona group of institutions will be the only partners outside North America.


The Salem-based Sona Group of education institutions – NIRF ranked Sona College of Technology, 63-year-old Thiagarajar Polytechnic College and Sona College of Arts and Science – will contribute to the FIBRE project through their faculty, laboratories and facilities.


An agreement to this effect was signed by Dr. Bradly G. Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research, University Health Network and Dr. Milos R. Popovic, Director, The KITE Research Institute and Sona College of Technology Chairman Mr. C. Valliappa and Vee Technologies CEO Mr. Chocko Valliappa in the presence of Counsel General of India at Toronto Ms. Apoorva Srivastava.


Speaking at the agreement inking ceremony Mr. C. Valliappa, Chairman, Sona Group of Education Institutions said, “We at the Sona group of institutions proudly commit the best scientific brains to the FIBRE project and hope that the application of this long-term research will bring much needed relief to millions facing health challenges. When some of these products get to the market, those of us in India will be the big beneficiaries.”


Dr. Bradly G. Wouters, Executive Vice President, Science and Research, University Health Network said UHN was excited about this new partnership as it will help the hospital network move closer to achieving its vision of creating A Healthier World:


“This initiative will help bring together multidisciplinary expertise in order to develop textiles and garments that can support the growing needs of the healthcare sector for people in Canada, India and beyond — a team science approach to solving today’s greatest health issues and a key element of UHN’s research strategy. The health benefits are far-reaching and will serve to help individuals experiencing chronic illness, aging as well as those living with disabilities.”


Counsel General of India Ms. Apoorva Srivastava hoped that the coming together of the best scientific minds from India and Canada would lead to new breakthroughs to meet the healthcare needs of people in India, Canada and across the world. She added that the arrival of ‘Made in India’ Covid vaccines in Canada earlier this week marked a new milestone in healthcare partnership between the two countries.


Dr. Popovic who leads the FIBRE research team at The KITE Research Institute said today’s announcement represents a major milestone:


“FIBRE will help us create an altogether new medical-science ecosystem that is completely interconnected, allowing clinicians to monitor patient health remotely and deliver the best quality care immediately to anyone – almost anywhere in the world.”


“Looking at the path-breaking research to be carried out by FIBRE network that ranges from nano-technology embedded fibre and fabric to smart wearables that will help healthcare professionals to deliver a better life for patients and elderly, Vee Technologies and Sona group of institutions is committing multi-million-dollar investment and the best brains to the initiative,” says Mr. Chocko Valliappa, CEO, Vee Technologies.


This investment will be used to fund several Research & Development projects in the wearable technology space. The goal is to create products that will find commercial application.


UHN’s collaborative research initiative partners include Centennial College, George Brown College, Humber College, OCAD University, Ryerson University, Sheridan College and the University of Toronto.


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