The federal government is providing $2.1 million in funding to the Nova Scotia Health Authority, or NSHA, to assist with the development of five novel radiotherapy technologies.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, which is providing the money through its Atlantic Innovation Fund, said in a statement the funding will help NSHA researchers to develop and improve five radiotherapy and radiosurgery technologies.

More than 50 percent of cancer patients receive radiation therapy to help manage their disease. By 2030, it is estimated that there will be a 68 percent increase in the incidence of cancer globally. The research will result in improved treatment accuracy that will spare healthy tissues and organs, resulting in better patient outcomes.

This funding will support the hiring of eight full-time individuals, including three PhD students. The money will also help with the purchasing of specialized equipment and to introduce the technology to market more quickly.

Munich, Germany-based medical technology company Brainlab will help bring the technology to market and distribute NSHA’s products internationally. Brainlab supplies products to over 100 countries and operates offices in Europe, Asia, Australia and North and South America.

Royalty revenues from this intellectual property will help NSHA to fund future research and commercialization efforts and retain medical physics talent.

“The efficacy of radiation therapy depends critically on the accuracy with which cancer is targeted,” said Janet Knox,  President and CEO of  the Nova Scotia Health Authority. “Investments by and collaboration with ACOA and Brainlab will not only allow our Medical Physics team to further the state-of-the-art in this regard, but will establish a channel ensuring that improvements may reach patients around the world.”

The federal funding was announced by Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Halifax.