August 25, 2005 16:30 ET
Canadian Genomics Researchers Receive $346 Million for New Projects In Health, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(CCNMatthews - Aug. 25, 2005) -
Genome Canada Makes $167 Million Investment
The Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for Genome Canada, and Dr. Cal Stiller, Chairman of the Board of Genome Canada, today announced 33 new genomics and proteomics research projects totalling $346 million. Of this, $167.2 million is provided by Genome Canada and $179.3 million by Canadian and international partners.
"These large-scale projects have tremendous potential to improve the health of Canadians and build the competitiveness and prosperity of the agricultural, forestry and fisheries sectors of our economy," said Minister Emerson. "Today's funding announcement reinforces the important scientific advances that can be achieved for all Canadians and indeed the world through Genome Canada's funding model. Stretching government dollars through collaborations with other governments and partners maximizes our research capacity."
The projects announced today will ensure Canada's leadership in aquaculture and forestry research, bolstering the economic strength of these sectors. They will also provide Canada with new ways to fight against infectious diseases, including a nanotechnology-based system to diagnose infectious agents within minutes and at the location of the health care provider.
"All 33 projects were reviewed by an international panel of scientific experts and all of them were rigorously evaluated for scientific excellence," said Dr. Stiller. "The willingness of international experts to devote considerable time to reviewing the proposals speaks to the high regard in which Canadian genomics and proteomics researchers are held throughout the world."
With up to 50 per cent of project funding being provided by the Government of Canada, the remaining funds are leveraged from various sectors. More than 80 per cent of leveraged funds are raised from the public sector in Canada, while another nine per cent comes from international public and private sector partners. Overall private-sector contributions amount to 11 per cent in this competition. Given the scale of the projects being funded, Genome Canada has put in place a set of rigorous principles governing the accountability of funds provided by the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Sound management practices are built into each project team.
All projects will take place at research institutions across Canada. Manitoba's first funded project, conducted by Dr. Geoff Hicks, Senior Investigator at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, a joint institute between CancerCare Manitoba and the University of Manitoba, together with Dr. Janet Rossant of The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, will allow researchers throughout the world to address the exact role of genetic changes in the development of specific diseases.
"We congratulate the team at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology who conduct cutting-edge research that has the potential to save the lives of people throughout the world," said Dave Chomiak, Minister of Energy Science and Technology for the province of Manitoba. "We applaud Genome Canada for recognizing the excellence of this work by investing in made-in-Manitoba research and will provide additional support to this project and additional initiatives by providing $960,000 in provincial funding to the Manitoba Centre for Mammalian Functional Genomics."
Researchers John Mackay and Jean Bousquet of Universite Laval will identify genes linked to the growth and yield of spruce trees in order to generate tools and protocols to select high-performance trees with better-quality wood, resulting in social, ecological and economic benefits for the Canadian forest product industry.
Today's announcement also highlighted other projects being funded across Canada that will bring benefits to various sectors, including:
- efforts to improve cod aquaculture in the Atlantic provinces;
- an examination of the socio-ethical and legal aspects of
genomics and public health;
- identifying novel traits in spruce trees to enhance their pest
resistance and ability to adapt to changing climate.
A complete list of the 33 projects funded in this competition, as well as a short description of each, is available on the Genome Canada website at www.genomecanada.ca
Genome Canada is the primary funding and information resource relating to genomics and proteomics in Canada. Dedicated to developing and implementing a national strategy in genomics and proteomics research for the benefit of all Canadians, it has received $600 million from the Government of Canada to date.
Since 2000, Genome Canada has committed more than $560 million in genomics and proteomics research across Canada, which, when combined with funding from other partners, totals $1.2 billion in 112 innovative research projects and sophisticated science and technology platforms.
The results of Competition III are available on CCNMatthews' website at the following address: http://www2.ccnmatthews.com/database/fax/2000/gena0825.pdf