The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the power of genomics in many ways. Starting with sequencing the genome of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants, genomics enabled epidemiological tracking of the virus and its evolution. Genomics is also at the core of vaccines and therapeutics, both rapidly developed ensuring we did not have to wait years to develop these tools — critical for the fight against the pandemic.
This is just a glimpse of the tremendous capabilities that genomics and related technologies offer, not just for healthcare but also for environmental challenges such as biodiversity loss, climate change, and other natural resource crises.
If necessity is the mother of invention, then equally as important toward solving challenges has been collaboration. From the outset, this pandemic has prompted several collaborations between governments, companies, startups, entrepreneurs, and academic researchers to adapt existing products or invent new ones to help in the fight.
The power of working collectively cannot be underestimated. Genome BC, together with our partner organizations across Canada’s genomic enterprise, has been sowing the seeds of collaboration since early 2000. Through various programs and competitions, Canada’s genomic enterprise has facilitated many advancements of these transformational technologies by fostering collaborations and partnerships between academic researchers, governments, as well as companies and organizations across many industry sectors.
One such program is Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP), which funds downstream research and development (R&D) projects that address real world opportunities and challenges identified by industry, government and not-for-profit organizations. GAPP projects are active collaborations between these organizations (Canadian or international) and Canadian academic researchers and each provides a vital role in executing the project.
Genome Canada and Genome BC help extend the project funding provided by these organizations so that they can make the most of their investment. Organizations also bring the expertise and commitment necessary to commercialize or implement the project’s outcomes and leverage the outputs of genomics research toward significant social and/or economic benefits for Canada.
The program seeks to:
- Accelerate the application of made in Canada genomic solutions from academia to real world opportunities and challenges defined by governments as well as companies and organizations across many industry sectors
- Foster mutually beneficial collaboration and knowledge exchange between Canadian academic researchers and organizations in a way that leverages Canada’s genomics innovations and capacity into sustainable applications that benefit Canadians
- De-risk and incentivize follow-on investment from industry and other partners to enhance the value of Canadian genomics technologies
To be eligible for GAPP, projects must:
- Develop and apply a genomics-derived tool, product or process to an opportunity or need defined by government or companies and organizations across an industry sector;
- Focus on late-stage R&D that will position the innovation for near term implementation/commercialization;
- Be co-led by an academic researcher and a partner organization with active and vital roles for both; and
- Have the potential to generate significant social and/or economic benefits for Canada.
Project Duration: one year to three years
- Applicants can request up to 1/3 of the project budget from Genome Canada (minimum $100,000 to a maximum of $2 M)
- Genome BC provides up to $1 M as co-funding towards eligible cost for GAPP
- The remaining project funding must be secured from other eligible sources, with at least 1/3 provided by the partner organization(s)
GAPP is open to projects across all sectors. Genome BC and Genome Canada have co-funded several projects under GAPP (as well as other programs) that are shaping the future of Canadian bioeconomy in the health and non-health sectors such as agrifood, forestry, climate change and so on.
How to Apply
Genome BC is now accepting Expressions of Interest for GAPP. Contact Genome BC to determine if your project concept is suitable for GAPP or one of our other funding programs.
We will work with you to define goals, articulate the benefits and prepare applications. Genome BC has established a process to work with teams to increase competitiveness at each stage of Genome Canada’s application process and provide support every step of the way.
- Exploration of project ideas
- Invitation to submit Expression of Interest (EOI)
- Supplementary proposal
Your organization could be the next to leverage this funding opportunity toward meeting your organizational goals related to healthcare, sustainability, climate change, or circular bioeconomy among other challenges. Contact us at GAPP@genomebc.ca to discuss how we can help with your research initiative.