Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

Curious about the tenants at Innovation Place?
Check out our Meet the Tenants series to learn more about them and what they do.

Meet the Tenants

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation

Innovation Place tenant since
Since it all began for SHRF in 2003!

The Atrium, 111 Research Drive

Innovation Place, Saskatoon

Tell us about SHRF!

Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) is the provincial funding agency that funds, supports and promotes the impact of health research that matters to Saskatchewan.

SHRF is proud to contribute to the growth of a high-performing health system, robust culture of research and innovation, and the improved health of citizens by strengthening research capacity and competitiveness, increasing the investment in health research in Saskatchewan and aligning research with the needs of our stakeholders.

As a research funding agency, SHRF is a trusted, neutral convenor of multiple stakeholder groups, possessing in-depth knowledge, an unbiased view and expertise that adds value and unique insights to Saskatchewan’s research ecosystem. SHRF is proud to partner with local and national partners to increase the investment in research and innovation in the province, while maximizing efficiencies, reducing duplication and increasing impact.

What is SHRF’s proudest achievement?

A recent source of pride for SHRF was the investment of more than $1M in research projects that will focus on virtual care. This investment will mobilize the research community and its partners to focus and coordinate their diverse skills and perspectives to address timely Saskatchewan health challenges.

Although complex, examining new and innovative ways to measure the impact and return on research investment is important and needed. Another source of pride for SHRF is that we developed an award-winning return on investment (ROI) methodology to measure and demonstrate the impact of Saskatchewan health research.

Our proudest achievement, however, has to be supporting Saskatchewan’s health research talent in discoveries that are leading to better health care, healthier communities and brighter futures for us all.

How has SHRF adapted during the pandemic?

For SHRF, it was more than adapting to virtually connecting with our team, our researchers and our partners. What our province needed was for us to adapt how we supported the community to find solutions to the health challenges the pandemic was presenting us with.

That’s why SHRF quickly adapted our Research Connections funding program to support projects that could quickly turn research knowledge into action and lead to informed decision making, a more knowledgeable and prepared public, and increased knowledge or resources for front line or essential services.

We also launched a new funding program called Solutions, with a focus area targeting virtual care. This new program is designed to allow us to continue to be responsive and align with the needs of the province during and beyond the pandemic.

What’s one thing SHRF cannot function without?

During the pandemic, we have become dependent on Teams and other video conferencing software to stay connected with each other, our research community and partners. Teams also has allowed us to be more collaborative in the way we work together on documents and projects in real time. The chat function also allows us to deliver perfectly timed GIFs to communicate when words aren’t enough! SHRFies love a good GIF!

Why do you love working in Saskatchewan?

As a small yet mighty province, Saskatchewan is home to some of the most advanced health research technologies, infrastructure and expertise in the world. SHRF enables Saskatchewan health researchers to place themselves among the world’s best by maintaining a rigorous peer review process that ensures the quality and relevance of research, setting scientists up for further success and measuring and sharing stories of impact.

SHRF works as a catalyst to advance health research in areas that address the needs of Saskatchewan people and capitalizes on the unique strengths of Saskatchewan’s research ecosystem.

What does the future of Saskatchewan tech look like to you?

We hope the future of tech in Saskatchewan continues to include collaborations between the tech industry, academia, clinicians, patients, communities and all those who can contribute to improving health outcomes for the people of Saskatchewan.

More can be accomplished when we work together. That’s one of the reasons we started our new Solutions funding program. The Solutions Program aims to mobilize the research community and its partners, like those in the tech industry, to focus and coordinate their diverse skills and perspectives to address timely Saskatchewan health challenges.

How does Innovation Place help you thrive in Saskatchewan’s tech sector? (We had to ask!)

Being located at Innovation Place helps us play our important role in Saskatchewan’s research community and that role is bringing together varied stakeholders to contribute to a common goal of a healthier and thriving province.

Innovation Place’s learning opportunities and events are something the SHRF team takes advantage of to not only grow in their professional roles, but also to be inspired by in finding new approaches and networks that can help us accomplish SHRF’s goals.

Innovation Place helps share our stories of impact with a broader audience and we truly feel like a part of a community here. Not to mention, Innovation Place having locations in both Saskatoon and Regina means we have a home away from home where we can easily access the things we need to facilitate our work with our varied stakeholders.

What’s the #1 piece of advice you give to people?

Right now, we can’t help but reiterate what we’re hearing everywhere – wash your hands, wear a mask, keep your distance and follow all public health measures.

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- 2021