David Johnston Research + Technology Park

Carol Stewart

The David Johnston Research + Technology Park (R+T) Park is one of the largest research parks in Canada and is uniquely located on the University of Waterloo's North Campus. Designed to accommodate 1.2 million square feet of office space on 120-acres (49 hectares), the Research Park houses thousands of ICT industry researchers, and technology jobs. The Research Park has generated an economic impact of $602 million in spending, $428 million in GDP, and $319 million in labour.

The cornerstone of the park is the Accelerator Centre (AC) which is a world-renowned, award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located at the gateway of the R+T Park in Waterloo, Ontario. The Accelerator Centre has graduated over 30 companies from their Accelerator Program , and has been ranked 9/10 for overall experience by their clients. Today the park is home to 50+ companies and almost 3,500 knowledge workers.

Health Issues


The young lady on our cover reminds us it’s good to eat an apple a day. As the old saying goes, it can help keep the doctor away.

But there’s just a bit more involved in maintaining and sustaining health through a lifetime than snacking on a few slices of apple. By 2051, it is estimated that one in four Canadians will be 65 years of age or older, creating new strains on family caregivers, our healthcare system and society in general. In addition, there are any number of contributing factors (beyond the occasional apple) that impact our overall health and wellbeing from birth through to end of life. Research is showing frequency of exercise, a nutritious diet, and avoidance of risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol, and even a better understanding of our own individual genetic make-up, have the ability to positively affect long term health outcomes.

In this issue of WATCH Magazine we explore the health issues affecting our society. We sit down with Dr. Susan Elliott, University of Waterloo’s Dean of Applied Health Sciences, to discuss AHS’s strategic vision for long-term health and wellness, and the examine some of the world-class research coming out of that faculty, addressing such prominent health topics as vascular health, impact of exercise, fall prevention for older persons, brain health and causes of, and treatments for dementia.

We also learn more about the plans for the former TechTown from Dr. Bill McIllroy, Chair of the Department of Kinesiology, which will soon be transformed into a Centre for Kinesiology Research and Innovation, where University of Waterloo’s research can be applied in a real world setting, on real people, to improve therapies, treatments and health outcomes.

And finally, we take a look at two exciting healthcare oriented companies here within the David Johnston R+T Park – Agfa Healthcare and technology start up Intellijoint.

Agfa Healthcare, a world recognized leader in medical imaging technologies is on the leading edge of the curve with respect to electronic health records, providing new ability for clinicians to collaborate within and across departments and healthcare institutions to improve and speed patient care.

Intellijoint Surgical , a medical device start up founded by three Waterloo Engineering grads, is an exciting start up located within the Accelerator Centre. Intellijoint is pioneering new technology advancements to be used in joint replacement surgery and is experiencing significant market traction with hospitals, orthopedic surgeons and patients.

While the University of Waterloo is typically best known around the world for its strong mathematics, computer science and engineering programs, this issue of WATCH reminds us that this region is equally strong in the field of healthcare. The University of Waterloo, and technology companies in this region bring to the table an incredibly rich and varied background in research and technology that is regarded and respected the world over.