Agriculture and health sectors receiving $17 million for genomics research

Friday, May 26, 2017

Government of Canada and partners support five new projects that will help scientists work with industry to address real-world challenges through genomics research 

May 26, 2017, Guelph, Ontario – Canadian scientists make a difference. They want to discover, to innovate and to solve problems to ensure a better future for us all. Genomic researchers in particular apply their knowledge to create new health technologies for doctors and nurses, to develop more resistant crops for farmers, and to improve the environmental practices of livestock production. That’s precisely why the Government of Canada is committed to supporting the work of front-line scientists and researchers.

Today, Parliamentary Secretary for Science, Kate Young, on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced $6 million in federal funding for five applied genomics projects. The Parliamentary Secretary made the announcement at the University of Guelph, where several of the projects’ academic partners are based.

One of the projects being funded at the University of Guelph is Dr. Peter Pauls’ work with Benson Hill Biosystems. His research is exploring ways to significantly enhance crop productivity of canola, an important Canadian crop. This is a perfect example of the power of genomics research, which is the field of science that studies the full set of genes in an organism and their functions. Dr. Pauls’ work will have a direct benefit on the growers, processors and others along the value chain.

With a total $17 million being invested, including $11 million in funds from the private sector and provincial governments, these projects will have a direct impact on Canada’s agriculture, agri-food and health-care sectors. Four of the projects receiving funding will result in significant competitive advantages to the Canadian dairy, canola, pork and turkey industries, while the fifth project will address the problem of adverse drug reactions in the health-care system.

These projects are supported through Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP). GAPP projects translate Canadian knowledge and expertise in genomics into valuable applications that support a strong economy and a growing middle class.

Quotes

“Our government is proud to support this remarkable group of genomic researchers who are using science to address challenges affecting Canadian farmers, health specialists and poultry and dairy producers. Their efforts demonstrate the important role that science plays in creating new opportunities that lead to jobs, a sustainable environment and a growing middle class.

– Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“The Government of Canada is proud to support these five research teams who are using genomics to benefit the health, environment and economy for all Canadians. These projects open new avenues for stronger markets for our industries, job creation, and opportunities that support all Canadians.”

– Kate Young, Parliamentary Secretary for Science

“As the science of genomics matures, its applications are becoming ever more wide-ranging. These new projects demonstrate just how cross-cutting genomics can be and how powerful it is as a tool to drive innovations in health, agriculture and agri-food among other areas of importance to the Canadian economy.”

– Mr. Marc LePage, President and CEO, Genome Canada 

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