Genome Canada

Genome Canada

October 17, 2012 10:30 ET

Life Sciences Industry Fuels Intangible Assets for Canada's Economy: New Policy Paper Explores Social and Economic Impact of Genomics Research

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 17, 2012) - The value of genomics research extends beyond commercial success into an overlooked realm of intangible capital that is critical to Canada's economic and social development, says a new policy paper published by Genome Canada.

Entitled Moving Beyond Commercialization, the paper was written by leading Canadian experts in intellectual property, technology transfer and public policy who examined the strengths related to innovation within the life sciences industry.

Success is frequently defined by growth, sales, and profit. But emerging life science companies are considered high-risk because of the long lead time - up to 10 years or more - to develop a product and show a profit after expensive multi-year investments.

The analysis concluded that commercial success alone is inadequate to measure intangible assets such as scientific knowledge, entrepreneurial experience and industry collaboration that are necessary ingredients to economic and social growth. The authors recommended that other methods be used to assess prosperity and social benefits.

"Policymakers need a thorough understanding of what kind of framework is important to help understand the value of research investment," said Yann Joly, a Quebec lawyer, researcher and assistant professor of medicine at McGill University. "This is as critical to Canada's economic well-being as it is to helping formulate new research and innovation policies."

The document, written by Joly along with Edward S. Dove both of McGill University and Angus Livingstone of the University of British Columbia, is the latest in a series of briefs on genomics policy and society published by Genome Canada.

These papers explore public issues and provide informed debate on topics of social importance and national interest ranging from discrimination to privacy to intellectual property. Researchers will next examine future regulatory options for the genome sciences.

This and other issues will be open for discussion at the Canadian Science Policy Conference, held in Calgary, Nov. 5-7, 2012. See for further information.

The collection of policy papers can be viewed on the Genome Canada web site at

Genome Canada is a catalyst for developing and applying genome science that creates economic wealth and social benefit for Canadians. We work in partnership to invest in and manage large-scale research and translate discoveries into commercial opportunities, new technologies, applications and solutions. We build bridges between government, academia and industry to forge a genomics-based public-private innovation focused on key life science sectors. For more information, visit

Contact Information

  • Marlene Orton
    Director, Media and Communications
    Genome Canada
    613-751-4460 x219
    Cell: 613-295-1476