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Major investment in genomics research will improve the lives of Canadians

Monday, February 4, 2019

Guelph, ON

More than $22 million to support genomics projects between researchers and innovators 

Canada is a world leader in genomics research, producing dramatic breakthroughs in science, and transforming our understanding of the world around us. The results of this research are being used to tackle important challenges and develop innovative solutions, not just in human health, but across diverse sectors of the economy.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced $22.7 million funding to support 36 research projects as a result of three funding competitions through Genome Canada. An additional $33.4 million is being invested by provincial governments, business and research partners for a total of $56 million in support for these projects spanning sectors such as health, agriculture, natural resources, and the environment.

This investment will support researchers at the University of Guelph including Dr. Bonnie Mallard, who is working on improving cattle welfare by fighting Bovine Respiratory Disease, which costs Canadian farmers more than $100 million a year. Funding will also support Dr. Mehrdad Hajibabaei and his team who will use ‘environmental DNA barcoding’ to generate and monitor biodiversity of Canada’s watersheds to better understand the impacts of resource projects like mines, hydro dams and energy projects.

Genomics collaborations not only improve the health of Canadians and expand our understanding of the genomics field – they will help create jobs and economic growth. Today’s investment in these projects will help businesses grow while supporting a stronger middle class.

Quotes

“Since taking office, our government has worked hard to return science and research to its rightful place. Today’s announcement is another step in that direction. Genomics research is driving innovation across many sectors: including health, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy and the environment. These exceptional projects we are investing in today encourage strong research partnerships and will help our economy and communities thrive.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“It’s very exciting to see the ways that our different programs help enable large-scale science, pioneering technologies, and the translation of discoveries into real-world applications. Every day we are learning that genomics has very real, very tangible benefits in diverse sectors across Canada.”

– Marc LePage, President and CEO Genome, Canada

“Through these collaborative investments, we are enabling the development of real-world genomics-based solutions that will positively impact the health and well-being of Ontarians, protection of our environment, and growth of the Canadian economy.”

– Dr. Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO, Ontario Genomics  

Quick Facts

  • The University of Guelph is one of 16 Canadian universities to benefit from the $56.1 million to support 36 research projects at institutions across Canada.
  • Today’s announcement includes support for recipients of three Genome Canada programs: Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition, Disruptive Innovation in Genomics and Round 10 of the Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP).
  • Genomics research is driving innovation across sectors: including health, forestry, agriculture, fisheries, mining, energy, the environment.
  • Since 2000, the government has made $1.5 billion in targeted investments for genomics research through Genome Canada.
  • The global genomics market is expected to reach 27.6 billion US dollars in the next six years.

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