Vancouver, BC – BC researchers have earned over thirty-one (31) per cent of a national funding program announced today by the federal government. Genome Canada’s Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition (DIG) will support the development of disruptive innovation in the field of genomics. A disruptive innovation offers the capability to do things not previously possible and is not an incremental improvement of an existing technology.
The projects will each work on a new genomics-based technology or the application of an existing technology from another field, applied to a new field of genomics in a truly transformative way. This work has the potential to either displace an existing technology, disrupt an existing market or create a new market.
In the DIG competition, twenty projects at the idea phase (Phase 1) will receive support; three of those are BC-based. Another five projects at the prototype stage (Phase 2) will be funded; three of those are BC-based. Ideas to be explored include: a new tool to visualize the thousands of genomes that exist in a single tumour, which could lead to effective therapies for treating cancer; proof-of-concept work that will transform methylation research; and, a novel graph model which will provide a robust new computational framework for the analysis of genetic variation.
Prototype projects include: a new technology to make mouse models more powerful and meaningful to inform the study of health and disease; a high-throughput single cell technology that allows for rapid and deep screening of natural immune responses to discover diverse panels of monoclonal antibodies as lead candidates for therapeutic development; and, a novel automated method to analyze cancer tumours making population cancer care more feasible. The outcome of many of these projects are good candidates for commercialization in Canada, promoting economic growth and creating new high-tech jobs.
All research proposals were peer-reviewed by an international panel and evaluated not only on the proposed science, but equally so on the related social and economic benefits for Canadians. Continued investment in this technology is helping to keep British Columbia on the international stage and cutting-edge of translational research.
About Genome British Columbia:
Genome British Columbia leads genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast and facilitates the integration of genomics into society. A recognized catalyst for government and industry, Genome BC invests in research, entrepreneurship and commercialization in life sciences to address challenges in key sectors such as health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agri-food, energy, mining and environment. Genome BC partners with many national and international public and private funding organizations to drive BC’s bioeconomy. In addition to research, entrepreneurship and commercialization programs, Genome BC is committed to fostering an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among teachers, students and the general public. www.genomebc.ca