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Canada's Budget Seeks C$165M for Genome Canada

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genome Canada is poised to receive C$165 million (US$161 million) over the next three years to fund its genomics and life sciences research programs and to execute its long-term strategies, under the Department of Finance's new budget plan.

The new funding from the 2013 Economic Action Plan, which Finance Minister Jim Flaherty provided to the House of Commons late last week, would support Genome Canada's operations in fiscal years 2014 and 2015, but also would allow some funds to be spent earlier or later, based on the strategic plan.

The funding proposal would increase Genome Canada's federal support, which was C$65 million in 2011 and C$60 million in 2012, although how much of an increase will depend on how the money will be spread out between 2013 and 2015.

The 2013 budget also will award C$225 million to fund advanced research infrastructure projects and long-term operations at the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

It also provides C$60 million over five years for a Venture Capital Action Plan, which funds business incubators and accelerators and will establish a new awards program to recognize entrepreneurial excellence.

In addition, the funding plan marks C$37 million for the government granting councils to use to fund research partnerships with industry to help move new technologies toward commercialization, C$20 million over three years to help small and medium-sized enterprises access research and development services, and C$325 million over eight years to a program called Sustainable Development Technology Canada that will develop and demonstrate new clean technologies.

The funding for Genome Canada will fuel the launch of new large-scale research competitions, support the participation of Canadian genomics researchers in national and international partnership programs, and maintain the operations of Genome Canada and regional Genome Centres and Science and Technology Innovation Centres into 2017.

Genome Canada has now received over C$1 billion in government funding, and it has raised an additional C$1 billion from other partners, according to the Department of Finance.

The department also estimated that when Genome Canada's budget is combined with an additional C$280 million in matching contributions from its research partners, the amount it will have spent on genomics research will total C$2.5 billion by the end of 2017.