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Genome Canada unveils Canada’s new Genomics Innovation Network

Mar. 31, 2015 - A $15.5 million investment being made to Canada's new Genomics Innovation Network will allow innovation centres across Canada to collaborate and harness their collective power for the advancement of genomics research.

The Genomics Innovation Network is comprised of 10 "Nodes," each receiving core operational funding from Genome Canada, with matching funds from various public and private sector partners.

According to a news release from Genome Canada, each Node provides Canadian and international researchers with access to the leading-edge technologies required for research in genomics, metabolomics, proteomics and related areas. These Nodes are also well positioned to push the boundaries in terms of developing new technologies in genomics and related sciences.

"Breakthroughs across all sectors that form part of Canada's growing bioeconomy – health, agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, forestry, energy and mining – rely on researchers across Canada having access to leading-edge 'omics technologies, which are rapidly evolving," says Dr. Pierre Meulien, president and CEO, Genome Canada. "Moreover, we want to build on past successes where we've seen new genomics technology development become the foundation for Canadian business growth."

Personnel within each Node will provide the Canadian research community with advice and expertise on use and selection of appropriate technologies, study design, data analysis and bioinformatics, ensuring that Canadian research remains world-class and highly competitive on a global scale.

The Genomics Innovation Network is a new model, replacing Genome Canada's former investments in five Science and Technology Innovation Centres. The new Network model places greater emphasis on collaboration and sharing of expertise among Nodes.

The $15.5 million in federal funding through Genome Canada is the initial investment being made in core operations funding for the 10 Nodes, with each receiving from $800,000 to $2 million in federal funds over two years beginning, April 1, 2015.

Co-funding investments in the Nodes from other partners, including provincial governments, academic institutions and the private sector at a required minimum 1:1 ratio, bring the total initial investment in the Genomics Innovation Network to approximately $31 million.

In addition, approximately $15 million will be invested in the Nodes over the coming two years. Most of this funding is dedicated towards technology development and collaborative projects. This further investment will also attract at least an equal amount in co-funding from partners in the public and private sector.