In June 2015, Genome Canada launched the Disruptive Innovation in Genomics (DIG) Competition. The major objective of the competition is to support the development of disruptive innovation in the field of genomics, which is defined as a new genomics-based technology or the application of an existing technology from another field, applied to the field of genomics, that is truly transformative in that it has the potential to either displace an existing technology, disrupt an existing market or create a new market. A disruptive innovation offers the capability to do things not previously possible and is not an incremental improvement of an existing technology.
To maximize the benefits for the genomics community, the DIG program is being delivered in two phases:
Phase 1 supports activities to prove the feasibility of an “idea” – does this technology work and what can it do? This phase supports ideas for potential disruptive innovations from either individuals with a need (i.e. users of genomics), technology developers or others with great ideas.
Phase 2 supports the development of a prototype (e.g. process, product and/or method) to advance the “idea”. Two rounds of Phase 2 funding are available (the second Round open only to eligible Phase 1 projects.)
Twenty projects were selected for funding under Phase 1 with an investment of approximately $5 million from Genome Canada. No co-funding sources were required for these projects.
In addition, five projects were selected for funding in the first round of Phase 2, with an investment of approximately $4.1 million from Genome Canada and $9.2 million in co-funding from other sources, including provinces, private sector, not-for-profit organizations and others.
These projects were announced on December 9, 2016.