GPS: Where Genomics, Public Policy and Society Meet

In 2009, Genome Canada launched “GPS: Where Genomics, Public Policy and Society Meet” an Ottawa-based GE3LS series intended to broker a dialogue between federal policy-makers and researchers on issues that arise at the interface of genomics and society. The GPS events help foster evidence-based public policy and identify timely and socially-relevant research priorities.

2014-2015 Series: The Bioeconomy

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), “the application of biotechnology to primary production, health and industry could result in an emerging “bioeconomy” where biotechnology contributes to a significant share of economic output.” The concept of the bioeconomy, then, is meant to capture economic activities, and their related products and services, which result from new discoveries in the biosciences, including genomics.

Genome Canada is well positioned to help Canada become a global leader of the 21st century bioeconomy. However, just as the OECD noted a number of policy areas that require attention to address the uncertainties that lie ahead, the GPS series considers challenges and opportunities that genomic applications may face in Canada, and beyond.

2012-2013 Series: The Innovation Continuum

Innovations result from a broad range of activities that occur through interactions between diverse stakeholders. In the realm of science and technology, it is widely recognized that this process isn’t linear, nor predictable, as it entails the intervention of many different agents who operate in different networks. Therefore, when considering genomic-based innovations, the path from discovery to application must be traced not only through science-based networks but also through policy ones, as well as other societal networks, all of which are in a constant state of evolution.

Following from its previous GPS series on translational genomics, Genome Canada broadens the discussion in 2012-2013 by casting the process of innovation as a continuum where the transformation of research outcomes into innovations depends partly on agents’ ability to interact across networks

2011 Series: Translational Genomics

Beyond pursuit of leading edge research across the life sciences, Genome Canada also endeavours to facilitate the translation of research into socio-economic benefits for Canadians, through activities that help “move genomics out of the laboratory and into the market, the clinic, or society at large.” Embedded in this working definition, developed by Dr. Janet Atkinson-Grosjean and her Translational Genomics Research Group, are the many hurdles that stand in the way of translating research findings into practical applications that contribute to the welfare of Canadians. In 2011, GPS will devote its attention to some of these hurdles, seeking to advance the policy dialogue, enhance translational practices, and highlight their importance to prosperity and the public interest.

2009-2010 Series: Genetic Information

  • Consent, Privacy and Research Biobanks
    November 27, 2009
  • Revisiting Genetic Discrimination Issues in 2010: Is Canada on the Right Course?
    April 16, 2010
  • Online Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: Implications of this New Business Model
    June 29, 2010

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