NEWS RELEASE: Health and life sciences companies focused on mental health and wellness invited to pitch at second Health Challenge event

by | Aug 30, 2020 | News

Health and life sciences companies focused on mental health and wellness invited to pitch at second Health Challenge event

HALIFAX, NS – August 30, 2020 – Health and life sciences companies in Atlantic Canada are being invited to present their innovative solutions for improving mental health and wellness of Nova Scotians during the second Health Challenge Pitch Event. Participants will vie for a $100,000 prize and an opportunity to launch their product in collaboration with Nova Scotia Health.

Applications are now being accepted for the second Health Challenge Pitch Event presented by Volta with support from Nova Scotia Health, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, QEII Foundation and BioNova.

The Health Challenge Pitch event will take place virtually via video conference on Friday, October 2 starting at 12 p.m., with up to five short-listed companies presenting their medical technologies. Participants will have ten minutes to present their solutions, and the judging panel – made up of industry experts and leaders – will have five minutes to ask questions. Applications will be accepted via email until Tuesday, September 15 at 11:59 p.m. Details about the application process can be found on the Volta website.

This is the second of five pitch events in the Health Challenge series that aims to enhance the health care system in the province. Each event focuses on a different health care priority, as identified by Nova Scotia Health. Health and life sciences companies interested in applying must be based in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador. The winner at each pitch competition will receive $100,000 and their innovative medical technology will be launched as a proof of concept within Nova Scotia Health and consideration given for scaled deployment.

Members of the public are invited to attend the virtual Pitch Competition on October 2, and can register for the event on our Eventbrite page. Visit the Volta website to learn more.


“A collective focus on mental health is incredibly important. This is particularly relevant today given the many challenges associated with the ongoing pandemic. At Volta, we are committed to supporting the mental health and wellness of our broader community, and we are very happy that this area has been identified as the subject for the second Health Challenge Pitch Event. We look forward to learning more about the medtech companies leading research and innovation in this field.”
– Martha Casey, CEO, Volta 

“We are committed to making life better for Canadians. People must be able to access critical services to support their mental health and wellbeing, especially during these difficult times. The Health Challenge Pitch Event will spur innovative ideas from the vibrant Atlantic Canadian medtech sector to improve mental health care, while creating jobs in Atlantic Canada.”
–The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“This collaborative initiative gives our innovative companies a first customer while prioritizing mental health and wellness for the benefit of Nova Scotians, a well identified need that is being highlighted by COVID-19.”
– Scott Moffitt, Executive Director, BioNova

“At Nova Scotia Health, our Research and Innovation team is incredibly proud to partner with the Mental Health and Addictions team on this important Health Challenge focusing on mental health and wellness. We are excited to collaborate with our partners on developing new health innovations that will lead and stimulate solution-driven discoveries in support of patients, families, and all Nova Scotians.”
– Dr. Gail Tomblin Murphy, Vice President, Research, Innovation & Discovery and CNE, Nova Scotia Health

“The research available today clearly demonstrates that mental illness will affect us all, whether personally or through the experiences of loved ones. But Nova Scotia is primed for a major shift in how we deliver mental health intervention to ensure the right care is there when needed most. Through new approaches, like those that will come forward in the Health Challenge Event, and donor supported initiatives, we have an opportunity to introduce new, evidence-based mental health treatments. 2020 has demonstrated how quickly our health care needs can change and we can find ourselves needing a little extra support. The QEII Foundation is extremely proud to be part of this initiative, addressing the conversation head-on and tackling some of the big needs in our community.” 

– Susan Mullin, President and CEO, QEII Foundation 

About Volta

Volta (formerly Volta Labs) is one of Canada’s largest innovation hubs, located in downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. Volta is creating a space where members of the Atlantic Canadian innovation ecosystem can work, connect and learn from one another by accessing co-working space, participating in programs and attending events. Volta has been home to more than 50 startups through their Residency program, which have created more than 300 jobs and raised a combined total of $60-million in equity financing.

About Nova Scotia Health Authority

Nova Scotia Health provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. We operate hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We also work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit for more.

About BioNova 

BioNova leads the development of Health and Life Sciences in Nova Scotia. Our industry-led sector growth plan, BioFuture 2030, has made us the fastest growing sector in Atlantic Canada. We represent over 100 companies in Nova Scotia who have raised over $65 million in investment dollars since the beginning of 2020.

About the QEII Foundation

The QEII Foundation inspires generosity to advance health care at the QEII. With financial support from all levels of the community, the QEII Foundation helps fund new technologies, medical research, innovation and professional education that contribute to life-changing moments experienced every day by patients and their loved ones. By working together with people who share a vision of better health, the Foundation strengthens care delivered at the QEII, improving the health and lives of Atlantic Canadians.

About the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency works to create opportunities for economic growth in Atlantic Canada by helping businesses become more competitive, innovative and productive, by working with diverse communities to develop and diversify local economies, and by championing the strengths of Atlantic Canada. Together, with Atlantic Canadians, ACOA is building a stronger economy. For more information, please visit