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Genome Canada Announces Funding for Industry, Academic Research Partnerships

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Genome Canada announced today that it will contribute C$4.2 million ($3.1 million) in funding to support alliances between industry and academic groups that are applying genomic technologies to agriculture and healthcare.

"The federal government is pleased to support these applied genomics research projects where the science has potential to spur innovation and give Canadian companies a competitive edge in global markets, thereby creating jobs and economic growth," Canada's Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan said in a statement.

One project involves collaborators from the University of Alberta and Dow AgroSciences who will use genomic approaches to enhance the oil content and protein levels of canola seeds, while also reducing fiber and saturated fatty acid content. Genome Canada is providing C$300,000 for the project, with Dow AgroSciences providing an additional C$600,000.

Another project involves researchers from the University of Laval and diagnostics firm GenePOC. They will work together to develop point-of-care instrumentation that analyzes microbial genome sequences to diagnose streptococcal pharyngitis and staphylococci infections. Genome Canada is providing C$1.7 million in funding, with C$3.2 million coming from GenePOC and C$800,000 from the province of Quebec.

"We are thrilled to add these new projects to a growing roster of genomic application partnerships between scientists and organizations that have a clear use for genomics," Genome Canada President and CEO Marc LePage added in the statement. "It is fascinating to see how rapidly genomics is maturing to the point where it is being incorporated across such a diverse range of industries."

In July 2015, Genome Canada, provincial governments, and certain private sector and non-profit organizations committed C$93 million to fund genomic research related to Canadian agriculture, fisheries, and aquaculture.