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Canada to Fund New Genomic Data Technologies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Several Canadian science funding agencies are providing a total of C$7 million (US$7 million) to fund efforts to develop new tools and methods for studying and using large amounts of omics data.

Under the new funding call, Discovery Frontiers: Advancing Big Data Science in Genomics Research, Canada will award a total of C$1.5 million per year for four years and an additional C$1 million to cover infrastructure and operations costs.

To fund the projects, each year Genome Canada will provide up to C$500,000, the National Science and Engineering Research Council will award up to C$800,000, the Canadian Institute of Health Research will throw in C$250,000, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation will provide a one-time injection of up to C$1 million for infrastructure, maintenance, and operations costs.

The partners hope that the research they fund will fuel breakthroughs and new innovations in genomics, engineering, medicine, and in other disciplines.

These funding agencies see a need for better tools and methodologies for mining, accessing, and analyzing the vast amounts of genomic information that are being produced by genome sequencing and other studies.

They want researchers to develop new ways to integrate different types of omics data with each other, with phenotypic data collected from different organisms, and with data sets coming from other different disciplines and fields, such as imaging, ontology, semantics, biophysics, environmental science, and evolution.

The research projects will reflect this ambition by engaging interdisciplinary efforts that entail genomics, bioinformatics, statistics, engineering, computer science, and other research fields. The projects may aim to develop new algorithms, information systems, web technologies, artificial intelligence, software engineering, data mining, image processing, modeling, and simulation technologies.

Applicants for these Discovery Frontiers grants are eligible to receive up to a maximum of $200,000.