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Canadian Genomics Translational Program Provides C$56M in Total Funding to First Dozen Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The Canadian government today announced C$56 million ($49.6 million) in total funding to the first 12 projects under Genome Canada's Genomic Applications Partnership Program.

The projects cover a wide swath of genomics applications that include diagnostics and tools development, as well as agriculture and forestry.

The funding includes C$15 million in investments from the government through Genome Canada, with the remaining C$41 million coming from co-funding partners, including the users of the genomics methods being funded.

GAPP was launched a year ago to partner academic researchers with genomics users to accelerate the commercialization of genomics technologies, while also stimulating investment from private and public partners "to fund projects that address real-world challenges and opportunities in the field of genomics," Genome Canada said in a statement.

Genome Canada also today announced a partnership with Mitacs, a non-profit that develops research and training programs, to provide training to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows who will be placed within industry through GAPP projects.

"Through the GAPP projects, we are bringing genomic solutions to industry challenges in health, agriculture, and forestry industries, supporting the innovations necessary for Canadian business to compete in the global economy and keep jobs here in Canada," Ed Holder, Minister of State for Science and Technology, said in a statement.

The funding was divided into two rounds, with five projects receiving funding in the first round and seven projects being funded in the second round. The round one winners are the initial recipients of the GAPP program funding, followed by the round two recipients, although the winners of both rounds were announced today.

The first round projects include "Salmon and chips — commercial application of genomics to maximize genetic improvement of farmed Atlantic salmon," which is getting a total of C$3.8 million in funding of which Genome Canada is providing C$1.3 million. Another project titled "A metagenomic approach to evaluate the impact of cheese-making technologies and ripening conditions on the microbial ecosystem of premium washed rind cheeses," is being funded with C$700,000, including C$200,000 from Genome Canada.

A project entitled "Development of low-cost diagnostic platform for infectious disease testing" is receiving C$6 million in total funding, of which Genome Canada is contributing C$2 million, while "Genomics for a competitive greenhouse vegetable industry" will receive C$2.4 million in funding, including C$800,000 from Genome Canada. "Augmenting the plant microbiome to improve crop yield and stress resilience," is being funded C$16.1 million, including C$1.9 million from Genome Canada.

In round two, the project "Better feed for better fish: Biomarker platform for commercial aquaculture feed development" will be funded at C$3.8 million. Genome Canada is contributing C$1.1 million to that amount. The total funding for "Making feed go further: Development and commercialization of next-generation enzymes supplement for pork and poultry" is C$6 million, of which Genome Canada is providing C$2 million.

"Matching the drug to the patient: Safer and more effective drug therapy for mental health patients," is getting C$6 million in funding, including C$2 million from Genome Canada, while "Healthy veins, healthy kidneys: Developing vasculotide, a genomic/proteomic-derived treatment to target vascular inflammation and destabilization" will receive C$1.5 million, including C$500,000 from Genome Canada.

Meanwhile, the total funding for "Fighting heart failure: Cardiovascular biomarker translation program," is C$5.9 million, of which Genome Canada will provide C$2 million, and the total funding for "Delving into mouse proteins: Development of disease biomarker assessment assays and kits for targeted quantitative proteomics of mouse plasma by mass spectrometry," is C$1.2 million; Genome Canada will provide C$400,000.

A project titled "Getting at pests early: Protecting Canada's forests against invasive alien species by next-generation biosurveillance" is being funded at C$2.4 million, of which Genome Canada will provide $800,000.

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