OTTAWA, April 6, 2022 – Canada’s Stem Cell Network (SCN) announced today the launch of IGNITE 2022-2025, its three-year strategic plan funded by the Government of Canada through a $45 million Budget 2021 commitment, starting April 1st, 2022. Additionally, SCN is releasing a refreshed brand identity and updated vision to guide its work for the coming years.
Stem cells have traditionally fuelled the field of regenerative medicine (RM) which is focused on regrowing, repairing or replacing damaged or diseased cells, organs and tissues. As the science rapidly advances so too are the techniques, approaches and tools that can be used to drive RM forward. Guided by IGNITE and increased federal funding, SCN is now well positioned to support an expanded array of regenerative medicine research from bench to bedside.
There is much to be done to realize the potential of the field and IGNITE provides the road map for Canadian research success. It articulates a diverse set of funding programs that cross the research pipeline and provides support for early career investigators, launching clinical trials and enabling the success of emerging Canadian biotech companies. Additionally, the comprehensive training and knowledge mobilization plans described within the plan will lead to the development of a talented labour force with an innovative mindset able to deliver novel therapies and technologies to the clinic and for the marketplace.
To complement SCN’s expanded direction, a refreshed logo and brand has been released and is revealed in a new corporate video, on SCN’s website, and across all social media channels. The refreshed logo is a colourful abstract maple leaf, created using various shaded triangles to convey the expertise and diversity of people who comprise the Network – researchers, trainees, partners, and patients. The maple leaf also draws from SCN’s roots as a national organization and serves as a reminder that stem cell research and regenerative medicine truly is Canada’s science.
“Over the past 20 years SCN’s national ranks have filled with talented biologists, bioengineers, clinicians, ethicists, chemists and many others who have pioneered and continue to innovate stem cell and regenerative medicine-based therapies and technologies for the treatment of disease and illness. IGNITE represents an important next step forward and helps to ensure regenerative medicine is a cornerstone of Canada’s health and economic recovery.” – Dr. Michael Rudnicki, O.C., Ph.D., FRS, FRSC, Scientific Director, Stem Cell Network
“We’re very excited to start this next chapter and introduce a refreshed brand, tagline and vision that speaks to the core of what we do: powering regenerative medicine for the benefit of all. Over the coming decade SCN will continue to champion research and clinical trials, as well as provide impactful training needed to keep Canada at the leading edge of regenerative medicine. I am confident that IGNITE establishes the strategic direction and programs needed to realize the potential of stem cell research.” – Cate Murray, President & CEO, Stem Cell Network
Regenerative medicine represents an important economic opportunity for Canada as our nation takes steps to recover from the health and economic burdens created by COVID-19. According to a 2021 report published by the Institute of Health Economics (IHE), Canada is well-positioned to realize — or even surpass — a target of $5 billion in RM-generated economic growth and create 6,000 highly skilled jobs. As Canada rebuilds an innovative, inclusive economy, it is time to realize the significant potential offered by the field, a field pioneered and driven forward by Canadians.
SCN is a national not-for-profit that supports three main objectives: stem cell and regenerative medicine research; training the next generation of highly qualified personnel; and supporting the knowledge mobilization of research outputs.
SCN’s VISION: To power life-saving therapies and technologies through regenerative medicine for the benefit of all.
By the end of fiscal year 2023, SCN will have provided over $160 million for innovative research and training, with network investigators leveraging an additional partner contribution at approximately a 1:1 rate. This support will have enabled 270 projects and 231 world-class research teams and more than 5,000 trainees across Canada. SCN will also have catalyzed over 30 clinical trials and catalyzed or enhanced 29 start-up companies.
Samantha Rae Ayoub
Vice-President, Communications & Knowledge Mobilization
Stem Cell Network