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Canada Marks $58M for Genomics Initiative

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Canada will invest C$59.7 million ($58.1 million) over the next three years to fund genomics research through several government science departments and agencies under the Genomics Research and Development Initiative (GRDI), Canada's Minister of State, Science, and Technology, Gary Goodyear, said today.

The new funding will support the GRDI initiative, which began in 1999 and is now in its fifth three-year funding cycle, through 2014. The program investments allow public sector researchers to pursue genomics-based research in a wide range of areas, including health, food safety, agricultural sustainability, natural resource management, and environmental protection. At the start of each funding phase, the departments funded by GRDI review their research priorities and hold peer-reviewed competitions to find the projects they will support.

These agencies include: the National Research Council of Canada; Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; Health Canada; the Public Health Agency of Canada; Natural Resources Canada; Environment Canada; and Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"Our government is proud to make this investment in scientific research, which is helping to build bridges between academia, policy makers and the private sector in the emerging field of genomics," Goodyear said at the Canadian Science Policy Conference today in Ottawa."Our exceptional support for innovation is making Canada a premier destination for the world's top researchers, keeping our economy strong and creating high-quality jobs."

In Phase V GRDI funding will be used to support highly coordinated interdepartmental projects that run along shared priorities and common goals, according to the GRDI's website.

This phase will prioritize two areas, science that improves the ability to detect, diagnose, and monitor organisms to ensure a sustainable supply of safe and healthy food and water for human consumption, and the improved ability to detect, identify, and understand biodiversity in Canada to prepare the nation's resources and markets for global changes.

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