March 13, 2023
The following Executive Summary is from Genome BC’s 2023-2026 Strategic plan.
A copy of the complete plan is available here on our website.
Since its inception in 2000, Genome British Columbia (Genome BC) has invested nearly $1.3B in over 500 genomics research projects. It is estimated that by the end of 2026, Genome BC will have contributed $5B to BC’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and enabled 51K jobs1 to what is already a globally recognized life sciences cluster in British Columbia. As genomics2 has progressed, Genome BC’s focus has evolved as well, moving from supporting predominantly discovery research to including application and translation3 with an additional focus on innovation – the practical translation of ideas and research outcomes into new and improved products, services, processes, systems or social interactions. In addition to discovery-based research, Genome BC’s programs advance products, services and companies with an emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurial support. Education, genomics and society4, communications and public outreach are also key to enhancing Genome BC’s portfolio of activities and continue to drive its credibility, visibility and ability to deliver impacts.
Genome BC will invest at least $246M in this three-year plan to support BC-based researchers and innovators and global leadership in genomics. We expect the $78M from the Province will attract $168M in co-funding. Genome BC will continue to apply the power of genomics to better the lives of British Columbians and all Canadians through a high performing health care system and sustainable and competitive agrifood and resource based economic sectors, which will enable us to grow, attract and retain research talent in BC. Through complex research and innovation, and the mobilization of partner investments, we will mitigate risk in the translation and commercialization processes.
Genomics is enabling and driving new solutions, new business and the economy – from health care to agriculture and sustainable food systems to mining and clean energy, forests and fisheries. Genome BC is applying the power of this transformational technology to the most pressing societal, environmental and economic challenges. We are bridging the gap between research and clinical application by applying new research, developing and utilizing data and building capacity resulting in the deployment of new tools with a deliberate focus on access, equity and education. Genomics is helping to move precision medicine to personalized health – from diagnostics and treatment to prevention.
The utility of genomics goes well beyond human health and Genome BC will continue to advance sustainable and competitive agrifood and natural resource-based economic sectors. Genomics research and application will help BC transition to a more sustainable low carbon economy, protect natural capital and biodiversity and promote equitable development while respecting social and environmental boundaries. By focusing on food security, renewable resources and resilient ecosystems, Genome BC will promote growth and productivity while prioritizing ecosystem health and yielding creative solutions for an equitable, greener economy.
Equally important is Genome BC’s role in transforming social systems – the legal, ethical, environmental, economic and social challenges essential to realize the responsible uptake of genomic benefits. Our strategy builds assets such as increased resource capacity, infrastructure and public and private investment and actively contributes to the development of associated public policy. The introduction of a new interdisciplinary research and policy centre5 will join experts from multiple disciplines to accelerate responses to current challenges and effectively and simultaneously contribute to policy making and implementation. With an inaugural focus on biodiversity, this approach will help drive the responsible adoption of genomics.
Through a lens of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) and accessibility to all, Genome BC is committed to securing equitable access to and participation in relevant genomic activities and technologies across BC’s economy. Genome BC will create opportunities to understand the needs of Indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities and increase access to, and reduce barriers for, Indigenous-led innovators, researchers, businesses and entrepreneurs to work with Genome BC.
Genome BC’s explicit innovation mandate, introduced in our 2020 plan, will be enhanced through additional funding and innovation specific and capacity building programs with an aim to enhance access to and utility of genomic technology. Through our Entrepreneurship and Commercialization programs, Genome BC will continue to bridge gaps in today’s innovation ecosystem.
Scientific literacy is essential to empower people and communities to make more informed decisions about their healthcare, manage their resources and inform societal issues. To meet the rapid advancements of all transformational technology, including supporting career development, Genome BC will continue to grow its robust outreach programming, including the expansion of Geneskool™, the continuation of Genome BC’s podcast,Nice Genes! and targeted opportunities for public engagement and dialogue. We are committed to supporting the development of critical thinkers, problem solvers and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs.
This plan builds upon the organization’s achievements to deliver a future where genomics positively impacts our daily lives, transforms our health care and offers practical solutions for humanity’s biggest challenges, such as climate change, food security and environmental protection. The result is the effective translation of genomics to benefit the people of British Columbia, Canada and beyond.
 Economic Impact Analysis Executive Summary, MNP LLP, 2023. https://www.genomebc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/0118_MNP-Economic-Impact-Executive-Summary_Feb2023.pdf
 Genomics is the science that aims to decipher and understand the entire genetic information of an organism (i.e., plants, animals, humans, viruses and microorganisms) encoded in DNA and corresponding complements such as RNA, proteins and metabolites. For the purpose of this plan genomics is defined broadly and includes genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, transcriptomics and other related disciplines.
 Genome BC defines stages of research as the following: discovery emphasizes the analysis of large volumes of experimental data with the goal of determining new knowledge; applied research is a methodology used to solve a defined, specific application; and, translational research applies findings from basic science towards defined end-user results.
 Social science and humanities research that addresses the societal implications of genomic applications.
 The name of the interdisciplinary research and policy centre is yet to be determined.
Genome BC’s complete 2023-2026 Strategic Plan is available on our website.