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Canada Awards $91M for Genomics Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genome Canada said today that it, along with national and international partners, has awarded C$112 million ($90.7 million) in new grants for genomics and proteomics studies of crop plants and bioproducts.

The Genome Canada Competition funding included C$53 million from the Canadian government and C$59 million from Canadian and international partners, and was awarded through the Genome Canada Applied Genomics Research in Bioproducts or Crops program, Genome Canada said today.

The nation's Minister of State (Science and Technology), Gary Goodyear, and Chairman of Genome Canada's Board, Calvin Stiller, said today that the funds were awarded to 12 researchers.

"These projects will promote job creation, strengthen the economy for future generations, and will also generate strong environmental benefits for Canada," Goodyear said in a statement.

"These remarkable grants will truly strengthen the work being done by these talented researchers which, in turn, will create groundbreaking solutions for serious environmental issues," Judith Woodsworth, who is Concordia University's President and Vice-Chancellor, in a statement about the funding the university was awarded under the program.

Marc Proulx, who is president and CEO of Génome Québec, said that the C$22 million for biofuel genomics studies conducted by Concodia investigators "confirm the critical importance of genomics in leading edge sectors and its contribution to solving problems linked to sustainable development."

The new awards from Genome Canada and its partners include:

• Genome Alberta and Genome Canada researchers have won C$13.6 million to study synthetic biosystems for plant metabolite production.

• The University of Calgary has won C$11.6 million to study metagenomics involved in hydrocarbon energy.

• The University of British Columbia was awarded C$10.5 million for studies of sunflower genomics; C$3.4 million to study grape and wine genomics, and C$7.8 million (along with the University of Alberta) to study lignocellulosic feedstock for bionergy studies.

• The University of Saskatchewan and University of Ottawa study won C$5.4 million to study Value Generation through Genomics.

• The University of Manitoba received C$10.5 million to study microbial genomics for biofuels and biorefining.

• The University of Saskatchewan won C$12 million along with Agriculture and Agrifood Canada for studies of the utilization of flax genomics.

• Concordia University won C$17.4 million for research into genozymes for bioproducts and bioprocesses development.

• McGill University won C$4.6 for population and functional genomics studies to identify and experimentally validate regions of genes for crop improvement.

• The University of Toronto and Geosyntec Consultants have won C$10.9 million for research into bioproducts and enzymes from environmental genomes.

• The University of Western Ontario won C$6.4 million to study genomics in agricultural pest management.