Province announces funding for innovative life sciences companies, including Hamilton’s Fero International

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Fero converts shipping containers into pressurized mobile units that can be used as mobile ICUs, mobile surgical units, triage centres, and even labs. On-hand in Hamilton last Thursday for the announcement were Minister Vic Fedeli (centre) and local MPP Neil Lumsden (left), pictured alongside Fero CEO Sabrina Fiorellino. Photo credit: Twitter/Vic Fedeli


Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade Vic Fedeli was in Hamilton this past Thursday to announce $3 million in funding to help six life sciences companies develop and expand their medical innovations.

The funding is from the province’s new Life Sciences Innovation Fund (LSIF), which the government says is an “early-stage fund that helps companies advance made-in-Ontario solutions and increase Ontario’s competitiveness.” 

Fedeli was joined by Hamilton East-Stoney Creek MPP Neil Lumsden.

The money will significantly accelerate each company’s ability to market its innovations in Ontario and even internationally. 

The province says that this $3 million investment will also be matched by over $12 million in private sector co-investments.

Fedeli said, “Through our Life Sciences Innovation Fund, our government is strengthening Ontario’s growing life sciences sector and ensuring our innovators have the resources they need to develop cutting-edge solutions.” 

“The first group of LSIF recipients will bring our life sciences sector to new heights, ensuring Ontario remains a global leader in the sector,” he continued.

One of the companies receiving funds is Hamilton-based Fero International Inc. 

Founded in 2020, Fero International converts shipping containers to create pressurized mobile units that can be used as mobile ICUs, mobile surgical units, triage centres, and even labs.

The mobile units can be attached to existing structures, connected to each other, or can stand alone.

The structures are particularly useful to increase emergency healthcare capacity, provide services to remote communities, or assist with disaster relief. Internationally, the structures could also be useful in war zones.

Fero’s technology is also rapidly deployable and cost-effective, with the structures able to be transported via truck, ship, or train virtually anywhere in the world.

The patented units are temperature controlled with HEPA air filtration, medical-grade finishes, and the ability to maintain positive, neutral, or negative room pressure. They each contain oxygen, suction, medical gas lines, and wireless communications and are fully winterized.

Fero’s CEO Sabrina Fiorellino says that she is “thrilled” to have received financial support from the government.

“This investment will assist with accelerating our ambitious growth strategy in the healthcare sector. The world needs innovative, cost-effective, practical solutions to quickly address major infrastructure challenges and constraints in health-care, Indigenous and remote communities and areas hit hard by natural disasters, wars and other major crises. Having these resources will allow Fero to lead the way.”

Lumsden also commented, noting that the life sciences sector is a very important part of Hamilton’s economy.

“Our world-class talent is developing innovative solutions to complex medical challenges. This investment will enable six life science startups to bring their innovations to market more quickly, reinforcing Ontario’s reputation as a global manufacturing and life sciences hub, and positioning Hamilton to continue to be a leader within this sector,” said the MPP.

Each of the six companies will receive $500,000. The other five companies receiving funds are:

  • KEEP Labs Inc (Kitchener) – Created a device to help patients monitor medication doses.
  • InventoRR MD (Toronto) – Developing products for trauma and general surgery.
  • Juniper Genomics (Toronto) – Developed an approach to improve the chances that embryo transfers for IVF will succeed.
  • MIMOSA Diagnostics Inc (Toronto) – Developed a medical device that looks below the surface of the skin to detect skin injuries.
  • Gotcare (Toronto) – Developed technology to connect clients to home care workers.

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