Ottawa’s iBIONICS lands $438,000 in Quebec government financing

iBIONICS co-founder and CEO Suzanne Grant. File photo.

A local firm is getting a leg up from the government of Quebec in its mission to restore vision to the blind.

Ottawa-based iBIONICS is developing a patented technology that could help blind people to see by capturing visual data with a specialized pair of glasses and sending those electronic signals to the brain through a diamond-based implant in the eye.

The Quebec government announced Thursday the startup will receive a total of $438,400 in financing from the Quebec Life Sciences Strategy. The 10-year, $205-million fund is meant to foster innovation in the province’s health-care system and set firms up to attract private investment down the line.

In a statement, iBIONICS CEO and co-founder Suzanne Grant said the extra cash will set the firm up to raise an equity round later this fall. Coming in to 2018, the firm had raised roughly US$4 million between grants and public and private funding sources.

“If you have a highly-purposed mission within your project, the level of support you get is very different,” Grant told Techopia Live earlier this year.