Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Agfa Gets Canadian Bailout Grant

Agfa-Gevaert is a Belgian company, but it has a major presence in Canada, specifically in Waterloo and Toronto.

I have reported here and there about Agfa's Imaging Division being for sale, but so far, it remains as it was. I suspect that it will continue for a good while longer, thanks to the Province of Ontario, Canada:

BRUSSELS, Jan 19 (Reuters) - Belgian imaging technology group Agfa-Gevaert (AGFB.BR) said on Monday its healthcare unit had received a grant of 29.6 million Canadian dollars (US$23.6 million) from the Ontario government to aid its growth there.

Agfa Healthcare, which provides hospital imaging systems and other information technology services, said the money would support its research and development and regional operations in Toronto and Waterloo, Canada.

The grant will be part of an increased investment by Agfa Healthcare in its Ontario operations, creating 100 new positions, Agfa Healthcare said.

Ontario's Premier, Dalton McGunity, seems to enjoy playing Santa Claus, as he is also behind a $4 Billion (Canadian) loan to Chrysler and GM. The grant (not a loan, apparently) to Agfa will:

. . .help fund the development of new software that allows radiologists to share digital images across a regional network, instead of having to develop X-rays and physically transport them between facilities.
Those types of investments, McGuinty said, are also important to ensure the province's economy bounces back.

"We're doing both at the same time," McGuinty said. "We're lending a hand to Agfa, we're lending a hand to the auto sector as well."

Let's do some math here, shall we? $30 Million (Canadian) for 100 jobs. That would be $300,000 per job, yes? Should I ask my friends up in Waterloo if they're getting $300K at the moment? Probably not. Maybe they would consider hiring only 90 people and working really, really hard on some of my Impax issues?

Oh, Canada! Can I have a grant, too? Please?


Anonymous said...

O' Canada.....did Agfa really need a bailout? I do believe that McKesson and GE have significant installations in Canada, on the Canada Infoway project that could merit $$$ too. O' Canada...how about tiny, but spirited Intelerad. Do those hosers not cut the mustard? I'm sure they'd like some cash too.

Anonymous said...

I agree why AGFA and only AGFA? Seems like some people are getting silly over this whole economic down turn. I agree with the other comment maybe Infoway would have been a better way to go. Or yes Intelerad.

Anonymous said...

I think "bailout" is a poor term here. "Investment" is more reflective of the intent behind the grant.

Interesting timing for this month's Healthcare Informatics cover story, "Show me the (grant) money".


Dalai said...

Thank you, Mitra.

Anonymous said...

This is very disappointing to me, speaking as a taxpayer residing in Ontario. More than that, however, I'm disappointed that it's so difficult for small companies like ours (http://www.clearcanvas.ca) to get funding from the government for projects that are essentially aimed at furthering the public interest. We're a company building an open source RIS/PACS from the ground up, and our RIS just went live at Women's College Hospital in Toronto, with the the PACS scheduled to rollout later in the spring. Our project would have been furthered greatly with even 10% of that grant. Does Agfa really need that money and will that money really give the greatest ROI?

Anonymous said...

Help for another Big 3 (film companies)?

100 more workers:
Products seen 2 yrs ago might actually appear?

"develop X-rays and physically transport them between facilities"?

Hope they take off their red (fluoroscope) goggles before hopping in the Packard

Unknown said...

Agfa is doing what Agfa does best -> lobbying & politics.

Agfa is losing its marketshare rapidly in Europe due to several problems (economical, product issues).

Is it a fair situation? No, but politics rarely are.