Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts named CEO of new health-tech foundation

Former Surrey mayor Dianne Watts named CEO of new health-tech foundation

CITY CENTRE — Former mayor Dianne Watts has been named CEO of a new foundation for Surrey’s Innovation Boulevard.

The Health Tech Innovation Foundation will oversee the "Innovation Hub" at City Centre 1, located across 96th Avenue from Surrey Memorial Hospital, which is set to open in April.

In September Watts announced her intention to seek the Conservative MP nomination in South Surrey-White Rock, a riding currently held by Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, who is not seeking re-election. The federal election will be held later this year.

‘When the election is called, I will step aside and focus on the federal election," Watts said of her "exciting" new job.

The hub is part of Innovation Boulevard, a high-tech health sector occupying one square mile of Surrey’s City Centre between Simon Fraser University and Surrey Memorial Hospital. The city hopes to foster a network of health institutions and a community of talented academics, clinicians and researchers here.

Innovation Boulevard is focused on creating new medical devices as well as independent living and digital health technologies.

“This is a significant milestone for Innovation Boulevard,” said Mayor Linda Hepner in a release. “The foundation will provide the companies with access and support for health technology development, research and testing while the addition of former mayor Dianne Watts will bring tremendous value to the position with her long history and expertise with Innovation Boulevard.”

Health Tech Innovation Foundation will work with companies to develop technology to solve specific health-related issues with the goal of improving outcomes for patients. The city says the foundation is currently engaged in talks with 43 companies, including three multi-national operations.