Welcome


Dear friends and colleagues,

On behalf of the organizing committee, it is my sincere pleasure to invite you to attend the International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation.

ICAIR is a one-of-a-kind event that drives cross-collaboration across multiple disciplines thanks to the input and participation of world-leading scientific, health-care, academic, engineering, technology and entrepreneurial experts.

Advances in aging and rehabilitation technologies have the potential to significantly improve the lives of those in our communities who are living with the impacts of disease, disability, injury and aging.

We look forward to welcoming you to the historic Carlu event venue in Toronto at ICAIR 2025. Your attendance will help us accelerate the development of new products, services, treatments and solutions designed to help those who are most in need now, and in the years to come.

Dr. Milos R. Popovic
Chair, ICAIR organizing committee

About


The International Conference on Aging, Innovation & Rehabilitation drives discovery, collaboration and invention in the healthcare, rehabilitation and age-tech sectors.

ICAIR is a unique conference destination designed to help researchers, academics, clinicians, students, entrepreneurs, startup companies, investors and other innovators share research and academic success stories, build and foster relationships across disciplines, and encourage cross-pollination of communication, research and ideas.

The annual conference is hosted by the KITE Research Institute at the University Health Network (UHN) and co-presented by the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto with significant input and participation from clinical, research and academic partners from around the world.

ICAIR Research Spotlight


Each year, the International Conference on Aging, Innovation & Rehabilitation (ICAIR) partners with the journal BioMedical Engineering OnLine to produce a special collection of original research articles from ICAIR.

The special collection features the full-length versions of papers whose author’s abstracts received the highest scores at the previous year’s conference. Here is a selection.

INVESTIGATING NEW BALANCE TRAINING SYSTEM FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY PATIENTS

These findings could lead more people experiencing the benefits of balance therapy.

This study shows the potential of using commercial sensors as a replacement sensor in research rehabilitation systems. - Derrick Lim

More Info

NEW AI DEVELOPED BY KITE RESEARCHERS CAN PERCEIVE REAL WORLD ENVIRONMENTS WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY

This breakthrough could advance the development of next assistive technologies for people living with mobility impairments.

Our highest performing model was able to learn to recognize complex stair environments with over 98.8% accuracy and prediction speeds up to 2.8 ms. - Andrew Garrett Kurbis

More Info

KITE SCIENTISTS USE AI TO DEVELOP AT HOME ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR PARKINSON'S PATIENTS

The results of this paper will ultimately help improve accessibility to care for those living with the effects of disability, injury and aging.

This work has the potential to improve the treatment of individuals with both DIP and PD. - Andrea Sabo

More Info

RESEARCHERS TEACH AI HOW TO DIAGNOSE SEVERITY OF ALS

This breakthrough could lay the foundation for a new method of treating ALS.

By identifying objective measures of speech function, it may be possible to stratify patients for trials of novel therapeutics and track their effects over time. - Dr. Leif Simmatis

More Info

TELEREHABILITATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED AT KITE COULD INCREASE ACCESS TO CARE

This technology has potential to reduce costs to the healthcare system and improve patient outcomes.

This telerehabilitation system ensures accessibility for individuals with mobility limitations or those residing in remote areas. - Ali Barzegar Khanghah

More Info

ADVANCING DIABETIC FOOT ULCER CARE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

This breakthrough could give researchers a better understanding of diabetic foot ulcers and spur the development of new treatments.

These outcomes underscore the significance of the protocol and dataset in advancing DL-based DFU research and development. - Reza Basiri

More Info

INVESTIGATING SAFE EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOLS FOR OLDER ADULTS WITH ASTHMA

Findings from this paper could be used to develop technologies that improve care for older adults with asthma.

In the future, this experimental protocol can be used to develop technologies to assess physiological monitoring. - Shaghayegh Chavoshian

More Info

Venue


Location: The historic Carlu in downtown Toronto

Address: 444 Yonge St. - #7, Toronto, ON, M5B 2H4

Website: https://www.thecarlu.com/

Phone: 416-597-1931

Poster Competition & 3MT


Poster Competition

Here's what to expect when you submit a poster for consideration:

  • Registered trainees, post-docs, scientists, and staff, will have the option of submitting a poster, which will be reviewed by the ICAIR Scientific Advisory Committee. Only one, first authored poster can be submitted per person. Authors of selected posters will receive notification of acceptance.
  • All submissions must use the Poster Template. Your poster will be printed for you and placed in the conference poster room.
  • Trainees (students/post-docs) submitting a poster will also be asked to indicate if they would like to be considered for the opportunity to compete in the Three Minute Talk (3MT) competition on the main stage.
  • The top 14 posters will be considered for publication in a special interdisciplinary issue of the Journal of BioMedical Engineering Online. Your publication will require approval from your academic advisor and will be peer-reviewed by the ICAIR Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • The deadline for submissions is March 8th, 2024 at 23:59.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Please contact kite.icair@uhn.ca if you have any further questions.


3 Minute Talk Competition

Authors of the top 20 posters will be invited to participate in the 3 Minute Talk (3MT) stage competition. Finalists will be notified, and are expected to prepare a one-slide presentation to accompany their talk. (An additional slide for authors and affiliations will be allowed)

Start your registration and submission process here!

ICAIR 2024 Scientific Committee

Milos Popovic, Ph.D., PEng (General Chair).

Angela Colantonio, Ph.D.

Alison Novak, Ph.D.

Jon Sensinger, Ph.D., PEng.

Matija Milosevic, Ph.D.

Ken Yoshida, Ph.D., PEng.

Vladan Koncar, Ph.D.

Thierry Keller, Ph.D.

Susan Marzolini, MSc, Ph.D.

Babak Taati, Ph.D. PEng.

Tracey Colella, RN, ACNP, Ph.D.

Cathy Craven, MD, MSc.

Tilak Dutta, Ph.D.

Sarah Munce, MSc, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bethell, BSc, MSc, Ph.D.

Andrea Furlan, MD, Ph.D.

Nancy Salbach, MSc, Ph.D.

Behrang Keshavarz, Ph.D.

Kristin Musselman, MSc, Ph.D.

ICAIR 2024 Organizing Committee

Milos R. Popovic, Chair

Mary Lam

Sharmini Atputharaj

Lesley Fullerton

Janitha Shanmugarajan

Andrew Turner

Shoshana Teitelman

Anthony Palma

Alison Novak

Jessica Boafo

Peter Athanasopoulos

Jarrett Churchill

Polina Andrievskaia

Michael Grace-Dacosta

Sophia (Yue) Li

Andrew Whitmell

Susan Gorski

Sebastian Gonzalez Pardo

Jose Ongpin

Babak Taati

Tara Lai

Information about 2025 speakers coming soon!

ICAIR 2024 Keynote Speakers


André Picard

Critical Care - What's Happening in Canada's Healthcare System

Bio

André Picard is a health reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail as well as the author of five bestselling books. Picard has been named Canada’s first “Public Health Hero” by the Canadian Public Health Association and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for his dedication to improving healthcare.

Abstract

How strong is our healthcare system? What challenges can it withstand? Are there opportunities for improvement? Award-winning national health writer, André Picard, answers these questions and more as he shares his healthcare vision for the future.


Elise Roy

Different Is the New Normal: How Designing for Difference Helps Everyone Thrive

Bio

Elise Roy is a deaf human centered designer, former lawyer, and motivational speaker who works in the vanguard of the disruptive innovation movement. She is a passionate proponent of the notion that when we design for disability, we often develop solutions that are better than when we design for the norm.

Abstract

As a lawyer, Elise was always advocating for people with disabilities to be treated the same. In her new career, as a design strategist, she says to heck with that. We are different and difference is what makes us valuable.

Companies are discovering that in designing strategies, policies, services or other innovations, looking to average no longer works. Instead, we should be designing for extremes - and people with disabilities are great examples of extreme users. The audio books that you listen to on your commute to work, the keyboard that you type on, emails that you send by the minute, the captions that you view while watching Facebook videos, were all originally designed for disability but are loved by everyone. This is because when we design for disability, we create the superpowers that we all want – to do more, to hear more, to see more, and to go further. We learn how to create ability in the absence of natural, human ability.

In this talk Elise challenges us to shift our thinking about the value of those with differing abilities. This group, which has traditionally been excluded from the innovation realm because society is so used to designing around average, has proven to be one of the most valuable assets to the innovation process. Learn why companies like Microsoft, Marriott, and Tommy Hilfiger are looking to difference to help them stimulate new thinking and develop ground breaking innovations. Difference, whether in ability, cultural background, race, or sexual orientation is what makes us thrive.


Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic

Personalized AI-based neurostimulation for functional and cognitive benefits

Bio

Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic is an assistant professor of neuroengineering in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests focus on the development of innovative devices for treatment of neurologically disabled persons (amputees and diabetics).

Abstract

Advances in peripheral nervous system (PNS) interfacing present a promising venue for rehabilitation of individuals with different neurological disabilities. Subjects with diabetes or lower-limb amputation frequently do not engage fully in everyday activities because they are afraid of falls. They also tend to have reduced mobility, which can induce a sedentary lifestyle that promotes disease development and hinders reinsertion into society, while the neuropathic pain is also common and poorly managed with current medications.

Despite a wide range of possibilities for human-machine interfacing, the nature of the optimal human-machine interaction remains poorly understood. Knowledge gained from in-silico modelling of targeted neural structures can inform an optimized design of such interfacing, therefore we develop the exact models of different nerves, enabling for AI-based personalized treatments.

We have pioneered a human-machine systems that translates prosthetic sensors’ read-outs into “language” understandable by the nervous system. A “sensing leg” for lower-limb amputees, by connecting sensors from the prosthetic knee and under the foot to the residual PNS, transduces the readout of the sensors into stimulation parameters. The “smart orthosis” for diabetics “speaks” to their residual healthy nerves with a similar philosophy. Their effects at the brain level were evaluated, observing important benefits. These studies not only provided clear evidence of the benefit of neuromodulation for neurologically disabled subjects but also provided insights into fundamental mechanisms of supraspinal integration of the restored sensory modalities.

Power Play


KITE Power Play Pitch Competition

If you have an innovative concept or business in the healthcare space, the KITE Power Play Pitch Competition is your gateway to recognition and support.

We are looking for energetic, innovative and passionate healthcare innovators who can address an unmet need in the healthcare industry, through preventative healthcare solutions, treatment and management of disabling injuries and illnesses, restorative assistive devices to help restore function, diagnostic tools, digital health, and others.

We welcome innovators involved in all stages of product and technology development, from concepts and prototypes to finished products and services and start-up companies, and who need capital to help bring their innovations to the next stage.

With $50,000 available in total prizes, the stakes are higher than ever. Don't miss your chance to build the future of healthcare!

The two categories of entries are:

  • The Innovative Concept - This award is open to all new, exciting, creative and innovative early stage change-making ideas that have the potential to make a transformative impact on all levels of the healthcare system. This is the only award for which innovators do not need to be in business; they just need to prove that they have a viable idea that's going to make an impact.
  • The Innovative Start-up - This award is open to all start-up companies who ever have a proven concept with a novel service offering or technology or product for sale or license, or a new product or service currently under development. The technology can be drawn from any field in the healthcare industry as long as the company is actively aiming to solve a gap in the healthcare market.

For example, we will accept the following stages of start-ups:

  • Prototype Blueprint Developed - No current users
  • Prototype Developed - No current users
  • Prototype Developed - Pilot users
  • Product Developed - Current users

Stage One: Online Application Submission

To participate in the KITE Power Play Pitch Competition, applicants are required to submit an online application consisting of a 2 to 3 page business plan and a compelling 2 minutes video pitch.

Submit Your Proposal

The business plan should provide a comprehensive overview of the innovative concept or startup, demonstrating substantial and sustainable growth potential. It should cover the following key aspects:

  1.  Business Overview – products/service offered (e.g. What is the unmet need? Why will people buy your product or service? What is the key benefit – the unique selling point? If the business is in the form of a company or partnership, how long has the entity been in operation and what has been accomplished to date?)

  2.  Target market (e.g. who is your target customer, and what is the size of this customer base in Canada and elsewhere? What are the competing products/services and advantages? )

  3.  Marketing Strategy (e.g. describe actual and/or contemplated marketing strategy and efforts)

  4.  Management team (e.g. identify the key members of the team and their relevant experience/training and any additional positions, expertise, experience and training required)

  5.  Funding required (How much money do you need to take the product/service to the next stage? What are your sales and expense expectations? If you win a prize in this competition, how will the funds be used?)

Your video submission should:

  1. Provide a compelling pitch outlining your concept or business.
  2. Clearly convey the essence of your innovation.
  3. Address key elements from your written business plan.

Please note that by submitting your business plan and video submission to the KITE Power Play Pitch Competition, you acknowledge that you have provided us with the necessary rights to evaluate your business product, solution, concept and strategy in connection with your participation in the KITE Power Play event.

Stage Two: Register for ICAIR

As part of the submission process, all applicants must register for the International Conference on Aging, Innovation & Rehabilitation (ICAIR). This crucial step ensures the completeness of your submission. Follow the instructions below to complete your ICAIR registration:

  • Visit the registration link: Register
  • Fill in the required details to complete your registration.

Upon successful registration for ICAIR, principal applicants will receive an exciting incentive: a complimentary ICAIR registration for the secondary applicant. This grants both principal and secondary applicants full access to the two-day ICAIR conference on May 6th and 7th.

Stage Three: Select Finalists

On April 8, 2024, the KITE Power Play Finalists will be announced. The top 10 finalists (in each category) will receive a dedicated space in the Carlu's Round Room during the Conference Reception on May 6, 2024, to gain exposure, showcase their innovations, forge valuable connections, and network with industry professionals, investors, and fellow innovators. Furthermore, the top 5 finalists (in each category) will have the exclusive opportunity to showcase their talent and ingenuity, with a live pitch at the ICAIR conference on May 7, 2024.

Stage Four: KITE Power Play Pitch Competition Grand Finale

The pitch competition will take place during ICAIR on the following date and venue:

Date: May 7, 2024

Venue: The Carlu, 444 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M5B 2H4, Canada

ADVERTISING AND PUBLICITY – Photographs and videos will be taken of attendees at the KITE Power Play competition event for publication on websites, newsletters, brochures, social media platforms and other media of UHN, KITE, and Toronto Rehab Institute. As a condition of participating as finalists in the KITE Power Play competition event, all finalists (and their representatives), by their attendance at the event, will be deemed to have given their consent to have photographs and videos taken of them at the event and for publication on the specified websites, newsletters, brochures, social media platforms, and other media.

FINALISTS – Finalists are expected to attend the live-pitch competition. If a finalist is not able to attend for whatever reason, the pitch competition will proceed with the remaining finalists. Each attending finalist in the Concept Category will give a presentation to a judging panel of industry experts and investors, followed by a short Q&A session. Finalists may use one PowerPoint slide at the live-pitch competition if they submit them to Sophia Li at Yue.Li@uhn.ca.

JUDGING – A finalist's pitch will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Team's background and expertise
  • Idea/Solution
  • Development and business plan
  • Market opportunity
  • Competitive advantages

At the end of all of the finalists' pitches, the judges will determine the winners in each of the two categories.

For questions relating to the usage of PowerPoint or videos to help describe the product, technology or service for the live-pitch competition, please contact Sophia Li at Yue.Li@uhn.ca.

The Prizes

START-UP COMPETITION

1st Place Prize | $25,000

2nd Place Prize | $10,000

3rd Place Prize | $10,000

CONCEPT COMPETITION

1st Place Prize | $2,500

2nd Place Prize | $1,500

3rd Place Prize | $1,000

Important Dates

March 8, 2024
Online application submission closes

April 8, 2024
KITE Power Play finalists announced

May 7, 2024
KITE Power Play pitch competition event


Power Play Judges:

  • Andrew Fraser

    Licensing & Commercialization Professional, University Health Network.

    Bio:

    Andrew is a highly accomplished leader in the fields of business development and operations, with a proven track record in the investment industry and higher education sector. He is deeply passionate about cultivating and growing high-value, mutually beneficial partnerships, enabling the development and commercialization of disruptive products and services, and fostering the development of talent.

    Andrew worked 8 years at life science venture capital funds in Europe and across Canada, partnering with entrepreneurs to help them to develop and commercialize innovative medical technologies and drug products. Also, Andrew has worked for over 12 years as a leader in college and university research commercialization to grow partnerships, projects, and funding.


  • Andrew Loh

    Science and Technology Lawyer

    Bio:

    For over 20 years, Loh has advised pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, natural health product, cosmetic and other life sciences companies, as well as teaching hospitals, research institutions, and research networks, on a broad range of matters including collaborations, licensing, manufacture, clinical trials, marketing, importation, warehousing, distribution, sale, acquisitions and related intellectual property and regulatory matters. Prior to the practice of law, Loh worked in software development and microbiology.


  • Bruce Simpson

    Investigator, Creative Destruction Lab

    Bio:

    Simpson is a Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey, where he worked for more than 33 years in New York, Paris, and-since 2000-in Toronto. He is now a Senior Advisor to McKinsey. He led the Canadian practice, then convened the firm's global Operations Practice, delivering client impact across all sectors in service operations, procurement, supply chain, new product development, manufacturing, and capital productivity.


    Bruce then led McKinsey's Tech/Innovation incubator - a VC approach that funded, and incubated startups inside McKinsey, leveraging the firm's access to leading companies and go-to-market channels, to help them rapidly scale up at clients.

    He is now a general partner in a VC fund he is raising called Age Tech Capital focused on investing in Series A tech to enable healthier, wealthier and more fulfilling aging, a major societal challenge given explosive growth in numbers of our underserved aging demographic.


  • Donna Shukaris

    Senior Commercialization Manager, Innovations and Partnerships Office, University of Toronto

    Bio:

    Shukaris has been responsible for institutional company startups and licensing technologies in the fields of machine learning, digital processing, data and computational mining, cryptology, e-learning, diagnostics, medical treatment, e-health, and rehabilitation.

    She possesses extensive and diverse experience in all areas of innovation, intellectual property protection, product development, government and private funding, licensing, and structuring new ventures. She continues to work with leading edge inventors preparing the right business opportunities, path to commercialization, and partnerships.


  • Dr. J Paul Santerre

    Professor, University of Toronto

    Bio:

    Professor Santerre has published >220 peer reviewed publications and is a listed inventor on >70 patents in the area of medical polymers. He is co-founder and current director of the Health Innovation Hub at the University of Toronto (a student focused entrepreneur training co-curricular program that has trained > 750 client health science companies which have generated > $500M Cdn).

    He is also the current chair of the Health Entrepreneuship Pillar for the African Higher Education Health Collaborative supported by the Mastercard Foundation. He is a co-founder of Interface Biologics, along with having spun-out five other start-up companies from his lab, and has won multiple national awards for his achievements in enabling entrepreneurship, included Canada's Governor General award for Innovation, and the Professional Engineers of Ontario Entrepreneurship Award in 2017.

    He has received multiple awards for his community activity including the 2016 Community award from the Canadian Biomaterials, the 2018 President's Impact Award from the University of Toronto.


  • Varun Chandak

    Founder and President, Access to Success

    Bio:

    Varun Chandak is the Founder and President of Access to Success, a Toronto-based not-for-profit whose mission is to Enable Everyone. Driven by his own lived experiences with disabilities and hopes of better assistive tech, he established ATS Labs, Canada's leading accelerator for accessibility startups.

    Startups that Varun has supported have gone on to benefit well over 640,000 people with disabilities. A sought-after speaker on accessibility innovation and inclusive design, Varun has been recognized as a Top 50 Changemaker in Canada and received the inaugural Tom Wilson Leadership in Disability Award.

Areas of Focus


Aging

  • Treatments for Pain and Physical Decline
  • Promotion of Mobility
  • Support of Independent Living
  • Study of Disease Areas
  • Investigation of Illness and Frailty
  • Examination of Dementia and Memory
  • Study of Neural and Physical Decline
  • Falls and Injury Prevention

Innovation

  • Identification of New Technologies
  • Neuromodulation and Brain Tech (implants/interfaces)
  • Innovative Designs and the Development of Wearable Technologies, Smart Textiles, Robotic Systems
  • Robotics for Therapy, Social Interaction and Care
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Disruptive Technologies and Business Models
  • Fostering Invention
  • Research Commercialization
  • Drug Discovery for Neuro, Muscular and Bone Diseases

Rehabilitation

  • Telerehabilitation
  • Restoration of Function
  • Prevention of Injury and Infection
  • Deployment of New Treatments
  • Promotion of Independence
  • Advocacy of Reintegration and Active Living
  • Improvements in Pediatric, Geriatric, Musculoskeletal and Cardiac Care
  • Improved Participation
  • Treatment of Age-Related Diseases (Neurodegeneration, Arthritis)

2024 Agenda


Day 1

Registration

10:15 AM - 1:00 PM

10:15 AM - 1:00 PM

Trainee Brunch

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Opening Remarks

12:25 PM - 12: 30 PM

12:25 PM - 12: 30 PM

ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series Competition:
Journal presentation competition, where leading rehabilitation scientists will present their published research, for a chance to earn the title of "ICAIR Paper of the Year"

12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Nutrition Break & Poster Viewing Session

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series Competition (continued)

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Conference Reception

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Day 2

Registration

7:15 AM - 8:30 AM

Opening Remarks:
  • Meric Gertler - President, University of Toronto
  • Dr. Jennifer Campos - Associate Director - Academic, and Senior Scientist, KITE Research Institute
  • Dr. Angela Colantonio - Director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Keynote Speaker: André Picard

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Power Play Innovative Concept Competition:
Up-and-coming entrepreneurs present their exciting, creative and innovative early stage change-making ideas in a Dragon's Den-style competition.

9:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Nutrition Break:

10:20 AM - 10:50 AM

Power Play Innovative Start-up Competition:
Start-up companies looking to fill a gap in the healthcare industry present their concepts, prototypes, and healthcare innovations in a Dragon's Den-style competition.

10:50 AM - 11:45 AM

Poster Viewing Session & Lunch

11:45 AM - 1:45 PM

Keynote Speaker: Elise Roy

1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

3-Minute Talks:
The next generation of aging and rehabilitation leaders present their findings and ideas in a three-minute Ted Talk style competition.

2:15 PM - 3:10 PM

Refreshment Break

3:10 PM - 3:40 PM

3 Minute Talks (continued)

3:40 PM - 4:30 PM

Awards Ceremony

4:45 PM - 5:15 PM

Closing Remarks

5:15 PM

Registration


For Attendees


Accommodations

A discounted nightly rate at Chelsea Hotel is available for all ICAIR attendees. Please use this booking link to take advantage of this special offer!

Travel
Air
International - Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • ICAIR attendees are eligible for discounts on Air Canada and West Jet flights! Contact kite.icair@uhn.ca for more information.
  • Union Pearson Express (Up Express) connects Pearson Airport to Union Station, in downtown Toronto, and departs every 30 minutes. Click here for more information. ICAIR attendees receive a special discount! Contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca.
Domestic - Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (services select locations in North America)
  • Regular TTC streetcar service to Union Station is available a short walk away. Click here for more information.
Ground
Toronto Public Transit
  • The Carlu is located at the College subway station. Click here for a TTC subway map.
  • For wheelchair access: Please note that the College Subway station is not wheelchair accessible. For wheelchair access using the subway, please use the Queens Park, Wellesley or Dundas TTC Stations instead of College. Please check the TTC Accessibility web page to verify that the elevators at the station you select are operational. The College Street entrance to the Carlu is wheelchair accessible.
GO Transit
  • Metrolinx provides rail transit service connecting select GTA locations with Union Station, in downtown Toronto. Click here for more information.
  • ICAIR attendees receive a special discount! Contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca for information.
Via Rail
  • Via Rail provides rail transit service connecting select Canadian locations, with Union Station, in downtown Toronto. Click here for more information.
  • ICAIR attendees receive a special discount! Contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca for information.
Accessibility Information
The Carlu (The Carlu Yonge Street entrance is not wheelchair accessible. Please use the College Street entrance for an accessible entrance.)
Chelsea Hotel

For Sponsors and Exhibitors


The International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation (ICAIR) is an important cross-disciplinary event that brings together the leading researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs currently working to improve the lives of people around the world who live with the impacts of illness, disability and aging.

  • ICAIR will feature TED-style talks by renowned players in the rehab space
  • ICAIR will feature educational keynote speeches by top rehabilitation engineers, scientists and clinicians
  • ICAIR is the first research-based conference of its scale and style hosted by the Kite Research Institute at UHN
  • ICAIR provides a platform for rehabilitation professionals to exchange their ideas, get inspired and form research partnerships
  • At ICAIR, you will reach over 1000 of the world's leading minds in rehabilitation research and technology
  • ICAIR will feature a pitch competition that will attract top entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups.
  • ICAIR offers competitive sponsorship packages for industry partners to become an integral part of the conference

For those who are interested, please contact kite.partnerships@uhn.ca.

2025 Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsors

Logo kite uhn Logo Institute of Biomedical Engineering University of Toronto Logo Rehabilitation Sciences Institute University of Toronto

2024 Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsors

Logo Motus Academy Logo toyota mobility foundation Logo the sona group
Logo springer nature Logo kite uhn Logo brain institute
Logo vee technologies Logo Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Exhibitors

Logo hiroc Logo MaRS Logo Institute of Biomedical Engineering University of Toronto
Logo West Park Logo access to success Logo ENSAIT
Logo AGE WELL Logo Level Rehab Tracking Logo piper Pride in Patient Engagement in Research
Logo Rehabilitation Sciences Institute University of Toronto Logo wimtach centennial college Logo Age Unity
Logo Pragma Clin Research Logo PROVA Innovations Logo truste lab
Logo Rehab2Go Logo RK-Healthcare-Services Logo agile translate
Logo Saraa Sits Logo Steadiwear Logo the Manipulet
Logo aiim sense Logo avicenna research Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Bionic Power Logo BISEP Logo Cardio Tec4Climate
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Sheridan College Generator Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school

Conference Videos


Contact


If you have any questions about ICAIR conference, please contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca. Please make sure that the conference acronym is clearly specified in your message.

ICAIR 2024 Scientific Spotlight Speakers

The ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series is a competition event in which authors of prominent research papers, as selected by an expert committee, present their findings in person. Topics showcased during the series include Aging, Cardiac Care, Long-Term Care, Musculoskeletal, Neuroscience & Spinal Cord Injury. Winners of this competition will be presented with ICAIR's Paper of the Year Award.

Kritleen Bawa

Affiliation:

Clinical Research Coordinator at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Paper:

Lipid Peroxidation as a Marker of Apathy and Executive Dysfunction in Patients at Risk for Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Dr. Vincy Chan

Affiliation:

Assistant Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Associate Director at Acquired Brain Injury Research Lab at the University of Toronto.

Paper:

Social determinants of health associated with psychological distress stratified by lifetime traumatic brain injury status and sex: Cross-sectional evidence from a population sample of adults in Ontario, Canada


Dr. Sharon Gabison

Affiliation:

Affiliate Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.

Paper:

Measuring Repositioning in Home Care for Pressure Injury Prevention and Management

Dr. Fatma Inanici

Affiliation:

Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Paper:

Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Restores Hand and Arm Function After Spinal Cord Injury

Dr. Natasha Layton

Affiliation:

Senior Research Fellow at the Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre at Monash University.

Paper:

Towards Co-Design in Delivering Assistive Technology Interventions: Reconsidering Roles for Consumers, Allied Health Practitioners, and the Support Workforce

Dr. Tatyana Mollayeva (Dr. Vincy Chan presenting on Dr. Mollayeva's behalf)

Affiliation:

Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health with cross-appointment at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto.

Paper:

Decoding health status transitions of over 200 000 patients with traumatic brain injury from preceding injury to the injury event

Dr. Gabriela Melo Ghisi

Affiliation:

Affiliate Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.

Paper:

Developing a group-based virtual education curriculum for cardiac rehabilitation and the associated toolkit to support implementation in Canada and across the globe

Dr. Catherine F. Notarius

Affiliation:

Scientist Associate at the Clinical Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory at University Health Network.

Paper:

Autonomic modulation in heart failure patients by cardiopulmonary rehabilitation: who benefits?

Violet Williams

Affiliation:

Ph.D. canadidate in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Paper:

Situational factors that influence overreaching on a ladder during a gutter clearing task among older adults

Andrea Sabo

Affiliation:

Research Associate at the KITE Research Institute.

Paper:

Estimating Parkinsonism Severity in Natural Gait Videos of Older Adults With Dementia

Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos

Affiliation:

Associate Professor in Criminology and Justice at Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University.

Paper:

"It's the worst thing I've ever been put through in my life": the trauma experienced by essential family caregivers of loved ones in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada

Karen Myers Barnett

Affiliation:

Advisory Group Member with The Engagement of People with Lived Experience of Dementia.

Paper:

Engagement of people with lived experience of dementia advisory group and cross-cutting program: reflections on the first year

Dori Simeonov

Affiliation:

Research and Innovation Manager at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Paper:

Older People's Use of Digital Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ahmed Hassan

Affiliation:

Ph.D. candidate in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

Paper:

Decreased automaticity contributes to dual task decrements in older compared to younger adults

About ICAIR

The International Conference on Aging, Innovation & Rehabilitation drives discovery, collaboration and invention in the healthcare, rehabilitation and age-tech sectors.

ICAIR is a unique conference destination designed to help researchers, academics, clinicians, students, entrepreneurs, startup companies, investors and other innovators share research and academic success stories, build and foster relationships across disciplines, and encourage cross-pollination of communication, research and ideas.

The annual conference is hosted by the KITE Research Institute at the University Health Network (UHN) and co-presented by the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto with significant input and participation from clinical, research and academic partners from around the world.

Welcome

Dear friends and colleagues,

On behalf of the organizing committee, it is my sincere pleasure to invite you to attend the International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation.

ICAIR is a one-of-a-kind event that drives cross-collaboration across multiple disciplines thanks to the input and participation of world-leading scientific, health-care, academic, engineering, technology and entrepreneurial experts.

Advances in aging and rehabilitation technologies have the potential to significantly improve the lives of those in our communities who are living with the impacts of disease, disability, injury and aging.

We look forward to welcoming you to the historic Carlu event venue in Toronto at ICAIR 2025. Your attendance will help us accelerate the development of new products, services, treatments and solutions designed to help those who are most in need now, and in the years to come.

Dr. Milos R. Popovic
Chair, ICAIR organizing committee

ICAIR Research Spotlight

ICAIR Research Spotlight

Each year, the International Conference on Aging, Innovation & Rehabilitation (ICAIR) partners with the journal BioMedical Engineering OnLine to produce a special collection of original research articles from ICAIR.

The special collection features the full-length versions of papers whose author’s abstracts received the highest scores at the previous year’s conference. Here is a selection.

INVESTIGATING NEW BALANCE TRAINING SYSTEM FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY PATIENTS

These findings could lead more people experiencing the benefits of balance therapy.

This study shows the potential of using commercial sensors as a replacement sensor in research rehabilitation systems. - Derrick Lim

More Info

NEW AI DEVELOPED BY KITE RESEARCHERS CAN PERCEIVE REAL WORLD ENVIRONMENTS WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY

This breakthrough could advance the development of next assistive technologies for people living with mobility impairments.

Our highest performing model was able to learn to recognize complex stair environments with over 98.8% accuracy and prediction speeds up to 2.8 ms. - Andrew Garrett Kurbis

More Info

KITE SCIENTISTS USE AI TO DEVELOP AT HOME ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR PARKINSON'S PATIENTS

The results of this paper will ultimately help improve accessibility to care for those living with the effects of disability, injury and aging.

This work has the potential to improve the treatment of individuals with both DIP and PD. - Andrea Sabo

More Info

RESEARCHERS TEACH AI HOW TO DIAGNOSE SEVERITY OF ALS

This breakthrough could lay the foundation for a new method of treating ALS.

By identifying objective measures of speech function, it may be possible to stratify patients for trials of novel therapeutics and track their effects over time. - Dr. Leif Simmatis

More Info

TELEREHABILITATION TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED AT KITE COULD INCREASE ACCESS TO CARE

This technology has potential to reduce costs to the healthcare system and improve patient outcomes.

This telerehabilitation system ensures accessibility for individuals with mobility limitations or those residing in remote areas. - Ali Barzegar Khanghah

More Info

ADVANCING DIABETIC FOOT ULCER CARE WITH ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

This breakthrough could give researchers a better understanding of diabetic foot ulcers and spur the development of new treatments.

These outcomes underscore the significance of the protocol and dataset in advancing DL-based DFU research and development. - Reza Basiri

More Info

INVESTIGATING SAFE EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOLS FOR OLDER ADULTS WITH ASTHMA

Findings from this paper could be used to develop technologies that improve care for older adults with asthma.

In the future, this experimental protocol can be used to develop technologies to assess physiological monitoring. - Shaghayegh Chavoshian

More Info

Venue

Location: The historic Carlu in downtown Toronto

Address: 444 Yonge St. - #7, Toronto, ON, M5B 2H4

Website: https://www.thecarlu.com/

Phone: 416-597-1931

Areas of Focus

Aging
  • Treatments for Pain and Physical Decline
  • Promotion of Mobility
  • Support of Independent Living
  • Study of Disease Areas
  • Investigation of Illness and Frailty
  • Examination of Dementia and Memory
  • Study of Neural and Physical Decline
  • Falls and Injury Prevention
Innovation
  • Identification of New Technologies
  • Neuromodulation and Brain Tech (implants/interfaces)
  • Innovative Designs and the Development of Wearable Technologies, Smart Textiles, Robotic Systems
  • Robotics for Therapy, Social Interaction and Care
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Disruptive Technologies and Business Models
  • Fostering Invention
  • Research Commercialization
  • Drug Discovery for Neuro, Muscular and Bone Diseases
Rehabilitation
  • Telerehabilitation
  • Restoration of Function
  • Prevention of Injury and Infection
  • Deployment of New Treatments
  • Promotion of Independence
  • Advocacy of Reintegration and Active Living
  • Improvements in Pediatric, Geriatric, Musculoskeletal and Cardiac Care
  • Improved Participation
  • Treatment of Age-Related Diseases (Neurodegeneration, Arthritis)

Scientific Committee

Milos Popovic, Ph.D., PEng (General Chair).

Angela Colantonio, Ph.D.

Alison Novak, Ph.D.

Jon Sensinger, Ph.D., PEng.

Matija Milosevic, Ph.D.

Ken Yoshida, Ph.D., PEng.

Vladan Koncar, Ph.D.

Thierry Keller, Ph.D.

Susan Marzolini, MSc, Ph.D.

Babak Taati, Ph.D. PEng.

Tracey Colella, RN, ACNP, Ph.D.

Cathy Craven, MD, MSc.

Tilak Dutta, Ph.D.

Sarah Munce, MSc, Ph.D.

Jennifer Bethell, BSc, MSc, Ph.D.

Andrea Furlan, MD, Ph.D.

Nancy Salbach, MSc, Ph.D.

Behrang Keshavarz, Ph.D.

Kristin Musselman, MSc, Ph.D.

Organizing Committee

Milos R. Popovic, Chair

Mary Lam

Sharmini Atputharaj

Lesley Fullerton

Janitha Shanmugarajan

Andrew Turner

Shoshana Teitelman

Anthony Palma

Alison Novak

Jessica Boafo

Peter Athanasopoulos

Jarrett Churchill

Polina Andrievskaia

Michael Grace-Dacosta

Sophia (Yue) Li

Andrew Whitmell

Susan Gorski

Sebastian Gonzalez Pardo

Jose Ongpin

Babak Taati

Tara Lai

Keynote Speakers

Information about 2025 speakers coming soon!

ICAIR 2024 Keynote Speakers


André Picard

Critical Care - What's Happening in Canada's Healthcare System

Bio

André Picard is a health reporter and columnist for The Globe and Mail as well as the author of five bestselling books. Picard has been named Canada’s first “Public Health Hero” by the Canadian Public Health Association and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, for his dedication to improving healthcare.

Abstract

How strong is our healthcare system? What challenges can it withstand? Are there opportunities for improvement? Award-winning national health writer, André Picard, answers these questions and more as he shares his healthcare vision for the future.

Elise Roy

Different Is the New Normal: How Designing for Difference Helps Everyone Thrive

Bio

Elise Roy is a deaf human centered designer, former lawyer, and motivational speaker who works in the vanguard of the disruptive innovation movement. She is a passionate proponent of the notion that when we design for disability, we often develop solutions that are better than when we design for the norm.

Abstract

As a lawyer, Elise was always advocating for people with disabilities to be treated the same. In her new career, as a design strategist, she says to heck with that. We are different and difference is what makes us valuable.

Companies are discovering that in designing strategies, policies, services or other innovations, looking to average no longer works. Instead, we should be designing for extremes - and people with disabilities are great examples of extreme users. The audio books that you listen to on your commute to work, the keyboard that you type on, emails that you send by the minute, the captions that you view while watching Facebook videos, were all originally designed for disability but are loved by everyone. This is because when we design for disability, we create the superpowers that we all want – to do more, to hear more, to see more, and to go further. We learn how to create ability in the absence of natural, human ability.

In this talk Elise challenges us to shift our thinking about the value of those with differing abilities. This group, which has traditionally been excluded from the innovation realm because society is so used to designing around average, has proven to be one of the most valuable assets to the innovation process. Learn why companies like Microsoft, Marriott, and Tommy Hilfiger are looking to difference to help them stimulate new thinking and develop ground breaking innovations. Difference, whether in ability, cultural background, race, or sexual orientation is what makes us thrive.

Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic

Personalized AI-based neurostimulation for functional and cognitive benefits

Bio

Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic is an assistant professor of neuroengineering in the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland. His research interests focus on the development of innovative devices for treatment of neurologically disabled persons (amputees and diabetics).

Abstract

Advances in peripheral nervous system (PNS) interfacing present a promising venue for rehabilitation of individuals with different neurological disabilities. Subjects with diabetes or lower-limb amputation frequently do not engage fully in everyday activities because they are afraid of falls. They also tend to have reduced mobility, which can induce a sedentary lifestyle that promotes disease development and hinders reinsertion into society, while the neuropathic pain is also common and poorly managed with current medications.

Despite a wide range of possibilities for human-machine interfacing, the nature of the optimal human-machine interaction remains poorly understood. Knowledge gained from in-silico modelling of targeted neural structures can inform an optimized design of such interfacing, therefore we develop the exact models of different nerves, enabling for AI-based personalized treatments.

We have pioneered a human-machine systems that translates prosthetic sensors’ read-outs into “language” understandable by the nervous system. A “sensing leg,” for lower- limb amputees, by connecting sensors from the prosthetic knee and under the foot to the residual PNS, transduces the readout of the sensors into stimulation parameters. The “smart orthosis” for diabetics “speaks” to their residual healthy nerves with a similar philosophy. Their effects at the brain level were evaluated, observing important benefits. These studies not only provided clear evidence of the benefit of neuromodulation for neurologically disabled subjects but also provided insights into fundamental mechanisms of supraspinal integration of the restored sensory modalities.

Speaker Series

ICAIR 2024 Scientific Spotlight Speakers

The ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series is a competition event in which authors of prominent research papers, as selected by an expert committee, present their findings in person. Topics showcased during the series include Aging, Cardiac Care, Long-Term Care, Musculoskeletal, Neuroscience & Spinal Cord Injury. Winners of this competition will be presented with ICAIR's Paper of the Year Award.


Kritleen Bawa

Affiliation

Clinical Research Coordinator at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

Paper

Lipid Peroxidation as a Marker of Apathy and Executive Dysfunction in Patients at Risk for Vascular Cognitive Impairment

Dr. Vincy Chan

Affiliation

Assistant Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Associate Director at Acquired Brain Injury Research Lab at the University of Toronto.

Paper

Social determinants of health associated with psychological distress stratified by lifetime traumatic brain injury status and sex: Cross-sectional evidence from a population sample of adults in Ontario, Canada

Lisa Cotie


Dr. Sharon Gabison

Affiliation

Affiliate Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.

Paper

Measuring Repositioning in Home Care for Pressure Injury Prevention and Management

Dr. Fatma Inanici

Affiliation

Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine.

Paper

Transcutaneous Spinal Cord Stimulation Restores Hand and Arm Function After Spinal Cord Injury

Dr. Natasha Layton

Affiliation

Senior Research Fellow at the Rehabilitation, Ageing and Independent Living (RAIL) Research Centre at Monash University.

Paper

Towards Co-Design in Delivering Assistive Technology Interventions: Reconsidering Roles for Consumers, Allied Health Practitioners, and the Support Workforce

Dr. Tatyana Mollayeva (Dr. Vincy Chan presenting on Dr. Mollayeva's behalf)

Affiliation

Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Assistant Professor at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health with cross-appointment at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto.

Paper

Decoding health status transitions of over 200 000 patients with traumatic brain injury from preceding injury to the injury event

Dr. Gabriela Melo Ghisi

Affiliation

Affiliate Scientist at the KITE Research Institute, Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy at the University of Toronto.

Paper

Developing a group-based virtual education curriculum for cardiac rehabilitation and the associated toolkit to support implementation in Canada and across the globe

Dr. Catherine F. Notarius

Affiliation

Scientist Associate at the Clinical Cardiovascular Physiology Laboratory at University Health Network.

Paper

Autonomic modulation in heart failure patients by cardiopulmonary rehabilitation: who benefits?

Violet Williams

Affiliation

Ph.D. canadidate in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh.

Paper

Situational factors that influence overreaching on a ladder during a gutter clearing task among older adults

Andrea Sabo

Affiliation

Research Associate at the KITE Research Institute.

Paper

Estimating Parkinsonism Severity in Natural Gait Videos of Older Adults With Dementia

Dr. Vivian Stamatopoulos

Affiliation

Associate Professor in Criminology and Justice at Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University.

Paper

"It's the worst thing I've ever been put through in my life": the trauma experienced by essential family caregivers of loved ones in long-term care during the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada

Karen Myers Barnett

Affiliation

Advisory Group Member with The Engagement of People with Lived Experience of Dementia.

Paper

Engagement of people with lived experience of dementia advisory group and cross-cutting program: reflections on the first year

Dori Simeonov

Affiliation

Research and Innovation Manager at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.

Paper

Older People's Use of Digital Technology During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Ahmed Hassan

Affiliation

Ph.D. candidate in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto.

Paper

Paper: Decreased automaticity contributes to dual task decrements in older compared to younger adults

Poster Competition & 3MT

Poster Competition

Here's what to expect when you submit a poster for consideration:

  • Registered trainees, post-docs, scientists, and staff, will have the option of submitting a poster, which will be reviewed by the ICAIR Scientific Advisory Committee. Only one, first authored poster can be submitted per person. Authors of selected posters will receive notification of acceptance.
  • All submissions must use the Poster Template. Your poster will be printed for you and placed in the conference poster room.
  • Trainees (students/post-docs) submitting a poster will also be asked to indicate if they would like to be considered for the opportunity to compete in the Three Minute Talk (3MT) competition on the main stage.
  • The top 14 posters will be considered for publication in a special interdisciplinary issue of the Journal of BioMedical Engineering Online. Your publication will require approval from your academic advisor and will be peer-reviewed by the ICAIR Scientific Advisory Committee.
  • The deadline for submissions is March 8th, 2024 at 23:59.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Please contact kite.icair@uhn.ca if you have any further questions.


3 Minute Talk Competition

Authors of the top 20 posters will be invited to participate in the 3 Minute Talk (3MT) stage competition. Finalists will be notified, and are expected to prepare a one-slide presentation to accompany their talk. (An additional slide for authors and affiliations will be allowed)

Start your registration and submission process here!

Power Play

KITE Power Play Pitch Competition

If you have an innovative concept or business in the healthcare space, the KITE Power Play Pitch Competition is your gateway to recognition and support.

We are looking for energetic, innovative and passionate healthcare innovators who can address an unmet need in the healthcare industry, through preventative healthcare solutions, treatment and management of disabling injuries and illnesses, restorative assistive devices to help restore function, diagnostic tools, digital health, and others.

We welcome innovators involved in all stages of product and technology development, from concepts and prototypes to finished products and services and start-up companies, and who need capital to help bring their innovations to the next stage.

With $50,000 available in total prizes, the stakes are higher than ever. Don't miss your chance to build the future of healthcare!

The two categories of entries are:

  • The Innovative Concept - This award is open to all new, exciting, creative and innovative early stage change-making ideas that have the potential to make a transformative impact on all levels of the healthcare system. This is the only award for which innovators do not need to be in business; they just need to prove that they have a viable idea that's going to make an impact.
  • The Innovative Start-up - This award is open to all start-up companies who ever have a proven concept with a novel service offering or technology or product for sale or license, or a new product or service currently under development. The technology can be drawn from any field in the healthcare industry as long as the company is actively aiming to solve a gap in the healthcare market.

For example, we will accept the following stages of start-ups:

  • Prototype Blueprint Developed - No current users
  • Prototype Developed - No current users
  • Prototype Developed - Pilot users
  • Product Developed - Current users

Power Play Judges:

Andrew Fraser

Licensing & Commercialization Professional, University Health Network

Bio

Andrew is a highly accomplished leader in the fields of business development and operations, with a proven track record in the investment industry and higher education sector. He is deeply passionate about cultivating and growing high-value, mutually beneficial partnerships, enabling the development and commercialization of disruptive products and services, and fostering the development of talent.

Andrew worked 8 years at life science venture capital funds in Europe and across Canada, partnering with entrepreneurs to help them to develop and commercialize innovative medical technologies and drug products. Also, Andrew has worked for over 12 years as a leader in college and university research commercialization to grow partnerships, projects, and funding.


Andrew Loh

Science and Technology Lawyer

Bio

For over 20 years, Loh has advised pharmaceutical, biologics, medical device, natural health product, cosmetic and other life sciences companies, as well as teaching hospitals, research institutions, and research networks, on a broad range of matters including collaborations, licensing, manufacture, clinical trials, marketing, importation, warehousing, distribution, sale, acquisitions and related intellectual property and regulatory matters. Prior to the practice of law, Loh worked in software development and microbiology.


Bruce Simpson

Investigator, Creative Destruction Lab

Bio

Simpson is a Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey, where he worked for more than 33 years in New York, Paris, and-since 2000-in Toronto. He is now a Senior Advisor to McKinsey. He led the Canadian practice, then convened the firm's global Operations Practice, delivering client impact across all sectors in service operations, procurement, supply chain, new product development, manufacturing, and capital productivity.

Bruce then led McKinsey's Tech/Innovation incubator - a VC approach that funded, and incubated startups inside McKinsey, leveraging the firm's access to leading companies and go-to-market channels, to help them rapidly scale up at clients.

He is now a general partner in a VC fund he is raising called Age Tech Capital focused on investing in Series A tech to enable healthier, wealthier and more fulfilling aging, a major societal challenge given explosive growth in numbers of our underserved aging demographic.


Donna Shukaris

Senior Commercialization Manager, Innovations and Partnerships Office, University of Toronto

Bio

Shukaris has been responsible for institutional company startups and licensing technologies in the fields of machine learning, digital processing, data and computational mining, cryptology, e-learning, diagnostics, medical treatment, e-health, and rehabilitation.

She possesses extensive and diverse experience in all areas of innovation, intellectual property protection, product development, government and private funding, licensing, and structuring new ventures. She continues to work with leading edge inventors preparing the right business opportunities, path to commercialization, and partnerships.


Dr. J Paul Santerre

Professor, University of Toronto

Bio

Professor Santerre has published >220 peer reviewed publications and is a listed inventor on >70 patents in the area of medical polymers. He is co-founder and current director of the Health Innovation Hub at the University of Toronto (a student focused entrepreneur training co-curricular program that has trained > 750 client health science companies which have generated > $500M Cdn).

He is also the current chair of the Health Entrepreneuship Pillar for the African Higher Education Health Collaborative supported by the Mastercard Foundation. He is a co-founder of Interface Biologics, along with having spun-out five other start-up companies from his lab, and has won multiple national awards for his achievements in enabling entrepreneurship, included Canada's Governor General award for Innovation, and the Professional Engineers of Ontario

He has received multiple awards for his community activity including the 2016 Community award from the Canadian Biomaterials, the 2018 President's Impact Award from the University of Toronto.


Varun Chandak

Founder and President, Access to Success

Bio

Varun Chandak is the Founder and President of Access to Success, a Toronto-based not-for-profit whose mission is to Enable Everyone. Driven by his own lived experiences with disabilities and hopes of better assistive tech, he established ATS Labs, Canada's leading accelerator for accessibility startups. Startups that Varun has supported have gone on to benefit well over 640,000 people with disabilities. A sought-after speaker on accessibility innovation and inclusive design, Varun has been recognized as a Top 50 Changemaker in Canada and received the inaugural Tom Wilson Leadership in Disability Award.


Stage One: Online Application Submission

To participate in the KITE Power Play Pitch Competition, applicants are required to submit an online application consisting of a 2 to 3 page business plan and a compelling 2 minutes video pitch.

Submit Your Proposal

The business plan should provide a comprehensive overview of the innovative concept or startup, demonstrating substantial and sustainable growth potential. It should cover the following key aspects:

  1.  Business Overview – products/service offered (e.g. What is the unmet need? Why will people buy your product or service? What is the key benefit – the unique selling point? If the business is in the form of a company or partnership, how long has the entity been in operation and what has been accomplished to date?)

  2.  Target market (e.g. who is your target customer, and what is the size of this customer base in Canada and elsewhere? What are the competing products/services and advantages? )

  3.  Marketing Strategy (e.g. describe actual and/or contemplated marketing strategy and efforts)

  4.  Management team (e.g. identify the key members of the team and their relevant experience/training and any additional positions, expertise, experience and training required)

  5.  Funding required (How much money do you need to take the product/service to the next stage? What are your sales and expense expectations? If you win a prize in this competition, how will the funds be used?)

Your video submission should:

  1. Provide a compelling pitch outlining your concept or business.
  2. Clearly convey the essence of your innovation.
  3. Address key elements from your written business plan.

Please note that by submitting your business plan and video submission to the KITE Power Play Pitch Competition, you acknowledge that you have provided us with the necessary rights to evaluate your business product, solution, concept and strategy in connection with your participation in the KITE Power Play event.

Stage Two: Register for ICAIR

As part of the submission process, all applicants must register for the International Conference on Aging, Innovation & Rehabilitation (ICAIR). This crucial step ensures the completeness of your submission. Follow the instructions below to complete your ICAIR registration:

  • Visit the registration link: Register
  • Fill in the required details to complete your registration.

Upon successful registration for ICAIR, principal applicants will receive an exciting incentive: a complimentary ICAIR registration for the secondary applicant. This grants both principal and secondary applicants full access to the two-day ICAIR conference on May 6th and 7th.

Stage Three: Select Finalists

On April 8, 2024, the KITE Power Play Finalists will be announced. The top 10 finalists (in each category) will receive a dedicated space in the Carlu's Round Room during the Conference Reception on May 6, 2024, to gain exposure, showcase their innovations, forge valuable connections, and network with industry professionals, investors, and fellow innovators. Furthermore, the top 5 finalists (in each category) will have the exclusive opportunity to showcase their talent and ingenuity, with a live pitch at the ICAIR conference on May 7, 2024.

Stage Four: KITE Power Play Pitch Competition Grand Finale

The pitch competition will take place during ICAIR on the following date and venue:

Date: May 7, 2024

Venue: The Carlu, 444 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M5B 2H4, Canada

ADVERTISING AND PUBLICITY – Photographs and videos will be taken of attendees at the KITE Power Play competition event for publication on websites, newsletters, brochures, social media platforms and other media of UHN, KITE, and Toronto Rehab Institute. As a condition of participating as finalists in the KITE Power Play competition event, all finalists (and their representatives), by their attendance at the event, will be deemed to have given their consent to have photographs and videos taken of them at the event and for publication on the specified websites, newsletters, brochures, social media platforms, and other media.

FINALISTS – Finalists are expected to attend the live-pitch competition. If a finalist is not able to attend for whatever reason, the pitch competition will proceed with the remaining finalists. Each attending finalist in the Concept Category will give a presentation to a judging panel of industry experts and investors, followed by a short Q&A session. Finalists may use one PowerPoint slide at the live-pitch competition if they submit them to Sophia Li at Yue.Li@uhn.ca.

JUDGING – A finalist's pitch will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Team's background and expertise
  • Idea/Solution
  • Development and business plan
  • Market opportunity
  • Competitive advantages

At the end of all of the finalists' pitches, the judges will determine the winners in each of the two categories.

For questions relating to the usage of PowerPoint or videos to help describe the product, technology or service for the live-pitch competition, please contact Sophia Li at Yue.Li@uhn.ca.

The Prizes

START-UP COMPETITION

1st Place Prize | $25,000

2nd Place Prize | $10,000

3rd Place Prize | $10,000

CONCEPT COMPETITION

1st Place Prize | $2,500

2nd Place Prize | $1,500

3rd Place Prize | $1,000

Important Dates

March 8, 2024
Online application submission closes

April 8, 2024
KITE Power Play finalists announced

May 7, 2024
KITE Power Play pitch competition event

2024 Agenda

(Day 1)

Registration

10:15 AM - 1:00 PM

10:15 AM - 1:00 PM

Trainee Brunch

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

11:15 AM - 12:15 PM

Opening Remarks

12:25 PM - 12: 30 PM

12:25 PM - 12: 30 PM

ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series Competition:
Journal presentation competition, where leading rehabilitation scientists will present their published research, for a chance to earn the title of "ICAIR Paper of the Year"

12:30 PM - 2:30 PM

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Nutrition Break & Poster Viewing Session

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

ICAIR Scientific Spotlight Series Competition (continued)

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

4:30 PM - 6:30 PM

Keynote Speaker:Dr. Stanisa Raspopovic

6:00 PM - 6:30 PM

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Conference Reception

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
(Day 2)

Registration

7:15 AM - 8:30 AM

Opening Remarks:
Meric Gertler - President, University of Toronto
Dr. Jennifer Campos - Associate Director - Academic, and Senior Scientist, KITE Research Institute
Dr. Angela Colantonio - Director of the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute at the University of Toronto

8:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Keynote Speaker: André Picard

9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Power Play Innovative Concept Competition:
Up-and-coming entrepreneurs present their exciting, creative and innovative early stage change-making ideas in a Dragon's Den-style competition.

9:30 AM - 10:20 AM

Nutrition Break:

10:20 AM - 10:50 AM

Power Play Innovative Start-up Competition:
Start-up companies looking to fill a gap in the healthcare industry present their concepts, prototypes, and healthcare innovations in a Dragon's Den-style competition.

10:50 AM - 11:45 AM

Poster Viewing Session & Lunch

11:45 AM - 1:45 PM

Keynote Speaker: Elise Roy

1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

3-Minute Talks:
The next generation of aging and rehabilitation leaders present their findings and ideas in a three-minute Ted Talk style competition.

2:15 PM - 3:10 PM

Refreshment Break

3:10 PM - 3:40 PM

3 Minute Talks (continued)

3:40 PM - 4:30 PM

Awards Ceremony

4:45 PM - 5:15 PM

Closing Remarks

5:15 PM

Registration & Submission

For Attendees

Accommodations

A discounted nightly rate at Chelsea Hotel is available for all ICAIR attendees. Please use this booking link to take advantage of this special offer!

Travel
Air
International - Lester B. Pearson International Airport (YYZ)
  • ICAIR attendees are eligible for discounts on Air Canada and West Jet flights! Contact kite.icair@uhn.ca for more information.
  • Union Pearson Express (Up Express) connects Pearson Airport to Union Station, in downtown Toronto, and departs every 30 minutes. Click here for more information. ICAIR attendees receive a special discount! Contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca.
Domestic - Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (services select locations in North America)
  • Regular TTC streetcar service to Union Station is available a short walk away. Click here for more information.
Ground
Toronto Public Transit
  • The Carlu is located at the College subway station. Click here for a TTC subway map.
  • For wheelchair access: Please note that the College Subway station is not wheelchair accessible. For wheelchair access using the subway, please use the Queens Park, Wellesley or Dundas TTC Stations instead of College. Please check the TTC Accessibility web page to verify that the elevators at the station you select are operational. The College Street entrance to the Carlu is wheelchair accessible.
GO Transit
  • Metrolinx provides rail transit service connecting select GTA locations with Union Station, in downtown Toronto. Click here for more information.
  • ICAIR attendees receive a special discount! Contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca for information.
Via Rail
  • Via Rail provides rail transit service connecting select Canadian locations, with Union Station, in downtown Toronto. Click here for more information.
  • ICAIR attendees receive a special discount! Contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca for information.
Accessibility Information
The Carlu (The Carlu Yonge Street entrance is not wheelchair accessible. Please use the College Street entrance for an accessible entrance)
Chelsea Hotel

Sponsors and Exhibitors

The International Conference on Aging, Innovation and Rehabilitation (ICAIR) is an important cross-disciplinary event that brings together the leading researchers, scientists and entrepreneurs currently working to improve the lives of people around the world who live with the impacts of illness, disability and aging.

  • ICAIR will feature TED-style talks by renowned players in the rehab space
  • ICAIR will feature educational keynote speeches by top rehabilitation engineers, scientists and clinicians
  • ICAIR is the first research-based conference of its scale and style hosted by the Kite Research Institute at UHN
  • ICAIR provides a platform for rehabilitation professionals to exchange their ideas, get inspired and form research partnerships
  • At ICAIR, you will reach over 1000 of the world's leading minds in rehabilitation research and technology
  • ICAIR will feature a pitch competition that will attract top entrepreneurs, innovators and start-ups.
  • ICAIR offers competitive sponsorship packages for industry partners to become an integral part of the conference

For those who are interested, please contact kite.partnerships@uhn.ca.

2025 Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsors

Logo kite uhn Logo Institute of Biomedical Engineering University of Toronto Logo Rehabilitation Sciences Institute University of Toronto

2024 Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsors

Logo Motus Academy Logo toyota mobility foundation Logo the sona group
Logo springer nature Logo kite uhn Logo brain institute
Logo vee technologies Logo Spinal Cord Injury Ontario

Exhibitors

Logo hiroc Logo MaRS Logo Institute of Biomedical Engineering University of Toronto
Logo West Park Logo access to success Logo ENSAIT
Logo AGE WELL Logo Level Rehab Tracking Logo piper Pride in Patient Engagement in Research
Logo Rehabilitation Sciences Institute University of Toronto Logo wimtach centennial college Logo Age Unity
Logo Pragma Clin Research Logo PROVA Innovations Logo truste lab
Logo Rehab2Go Logo RK-Healthcare-Services Logo agile translate
Logo Saraa Sits Logo Steadiwear Logo the Manipulet
Logo aiim sense Logo avicenna research Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Bionic Power Logo BISEP Logo Cardio Tec4Climate
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Sheridan College Generator Logo Canada's National Ballet school
Logo Canada's National Ballet school Logo Canada's National Ballet school

Conference Videos

Contact

If you have any questions about ICAIR conference, please contact us at kite.icair@uhn.ca. Please make sure that the conference acronym is clearly specified in your message.