December 15, 2020
December 15, 2020 — This year marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of Genome BC, the genomics research organization that has put British Columbia at the forefront of global life sciences innovation and the efforts to positively impact life, every day.
“Leadership in health research improves the lives of British Columbians, ensures the safety and sustainability of our health-care system,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix. “In fact, B.C.’s COVID-19 response relies strongly on a policy approach anchored in science, assisted through long-time partnerships with Genome BC and other research institutions. Congratulations to Genome BC for reaching today’s milestone, with many more to come.”
Genome BC has spent two decades helping scientists and innovators map and understand the genetic traits of all living organisms – from people and plants to animals and viruses – and generate social, environmental and economic benefits for all British Columbians. The work is also preparing British Columbia to be a leader for the next 20 years, with biotechnology to have an influence on the scale of information technology’s impact over the past two decades.
“Partnerships have been essential to our success in our first 20 years and we enjoy an extraordinary spirit of collaboration in British Columbia,” said Dr. Pascal Spothelfer, Genome BC’s President and CEO. “With our partners, we look to build upon our achievements combining continuity in research with an explicit mandate to deliberately advance genomics innovation.”
Genome BC has been the at the heart of growing BC’s life sciences ecosystem, and has acted as the catalyst connecting academic researchers, industry partners, and public sector priorities. Its work has been as varied as enabling a personalized approach to health care that allows people to live longer and healthier lives, to supporting increased productivity in BC’s agrifood and natural resource sectors while increasing environmental sustainability and fighting the effects of climate change.
Helping to mobilize people and teams across the province’s research community to tackle a variety of crises and emerging issues in real time, such as COVID-19, is a critical part of Genome BC’s mandate. The organization’s investment in health research enabled the gathering of information needed to inform public health policy and accelerate mitigation strategies. Genome BC’s Rapid Response Funding Program funded over a dozen projects in under a week based on their ability to address the most pressing challenges in the fight against COVID-19.
Over its history, Genome BC has generated more than $1.1 billion of investment in more than 425 genomics research and innovation projects, including nearly 1,000 collaborations with partners across BC and in 42 countries. Genome BC has brought over $850 million in co-funding to BC, advanced 102 BC-based companies, and created and enabled over 32,000 jobs. By advancing key sectors like health care, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture, agrifoods and agriculture, mining and energy, and environmental stewardship, the organization generates social, environmental and economic benefits and improves the lives of people throughout BC and Canada.
Genome BC is a not-for-profit organization supporting world-class genomics research and innovation to grow globally competitive life sciences sectors and deliver sustainable benefits for British Columbia, Canada and beyond. The organization’s initiatives are improving the lives of British Columbians by advancing health care in addition to addressing environmental and natural resource challenges. In addition to scientific programming, Genome BC works to integrate genomics into society by supporting responsible research and innovation and foster an understanding and appreciation of the life sciences among educators, students and the public.
Contact: Jennifer Boon, Communications Manger, Public and Media Relations