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INNOVATION IN ACTION: Surrey Trade Mission to Israel a "Game Changer"

Surgeons working on a patient in an operating room in a Surrey hospital.

December 19, 2013

Surrey, BC – Surrey's Innovation Boulevard is set to change the way healthcare is delivered to the people of Surrey and the region as a direct result of this week's City of Surrey's Trade Mission to Israel.

Joining Mayor Dianne Watts is a delegation of participants from private industry, advanced education and government who are poised to tap into Israel's cutting edge start up medical technology companies. From state of the art remote patient monitoring and virtual reality surgical tools to low cost diagnostic testing and mobile healthcare platforms, Surrey's Innovation Boulevard will soon be home to advanced medical innovations unseen in North America.

The City of Surrey has also agreed to share its unique formula for Innovation Boulevard with Be'ersheva's Gav Yam Advanced Technologies Park – Israel's fastest growing innovation centre which is pioneering the growth of Israel's Negev region.

"Israel and Surrey have common healthcare challenges and share the goal of setting a new standard in medical care and innovation. By combining our remarkable pool of talents and expertise I know that Surrey and Israel will together create ground-breaking and life changing advancements in healthcare," said Mayor Dianne Watts.

The University of British Columbia is excited by the opportunities this mission has presented.

"Perhaps most promising is the realization of new partnerships with Israeli research institutions aligned with UBC's most accomplished programs in heart and brain diseases," said Dr. Howard Feldman, Executive Associate Dean at UBCs Faculty of Medicine.

Simon Fraser University is also poised to benefit from collaborations in Israel.

"We are already assembling a team of various stakeholders to expand a research project in diabetes and dementia which will benefit SFU, Surrey and beyond," said Dr. Norbert Haunerland, Associate Vice President of SFU.

"It's been an absolutely inspiring opportunity to see the exciting medical technologies coming out of Israel. This initiative taken by Mayor Watts and the Innovation Boulevard team will be a game changer for Surrey and all of British Columbia," said mission participant Dr. Roy Jackson, Founder and CEO of the Romich Group.

"We have seen specific cutting edge Israeli technologies which will have great applicability for patients in BC. This will have far reaching implications for patients in BC, but also importantly for jobs and the economy," said Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, Cofounder and Chief Medical Officer of PHEMI Health Systems.

Mayor Dianne Watts is in Israel on a week-long business trade mission focused on medical technology in partnership with the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA).

The City of Surrey looks forward to hosting former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak along with the former leaders of Greece and Australia as part of an international panel on global innovation the city's Surrey Regional Economic Summit on February 27th, 2014.

For more information about Simon Fraser University visit www.sfu.ca

For more information about the Romich Group visit www.romichproperties.com

For more information about PHEMI Health Systems visit www.phemi.com

Innovation Boulevard is a network of health institutions, universities, companies and talented people located within one square mile in Surrey’s City Centre between Simon Fraser University and Surrey Memorial Hospital Campus. For more information visit www.surrey.ca/innovationboulevard

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For media inquiries/interview requests:

Amanda Silvers
Senior Communications Specialist
Office of the Mayor
604-591-4519