Industry Canada

Industry Canada

February 06, 2015 13:42 ET

Minister Ambrose Announces New Glycomics Research Network to Prevent and Treat Diseases

Edmonton-based network will improve the quality of life of Canadians

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Feb. 6, 2015) - Industry Canada

The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, on behalf of her colleague, the Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today announced that GlycoNet, a new national research network, is receiving $27.3 million over five years to develop new drugs and vaccines for conditions such as influenza, genetic diseases and diabetes.

GlycoNet will build on Canada's international leadership in glycomics during the last 50 years. GlycoNet researchers will analyze the function of glycomes (or carbohydrates) in the body and find ways to take advantage of their biological role to fight various diseases. Bringing together more than 60 researchers from across Canada who work in such disciplines as chemistry, biochemistry, biology and immunology, the network will help develop new drugs and vaccines to improve the health and well-being of Canadians.

Today's investment is the result of the most recent competition in the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program. The competition resulted in four new networks receiving funding, which includes GlycoNet, and one existing network being renewed for a second five-year term.

NCEs mobilize a critical mass of expertise from across the country, bringing together health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Partners from industry, government and the not-for-profit sector contribute additional expertise and support.

Quick facts

  • On December 15, 2014, the Government of Canada named five research networks to conduct groundbreaking research that is focused on addressing major social, economic, or health- and life sciences-related issues:

    New
    • Aging Gracefully across Environments using Technology to Support Wellness, Engagement, and Long Life-AGE-WELL (Toronto, Ontario)
    • Biotherapeutics for Cancer Treatment-BioCanRX (Ottawa, Ontario)
    • Canadian Glycomics Network-GlycoNet (Edmonton, Alberta)
    • Canadian Arrhythmia Network-CANet (London, Ontario)

      Renewed

    • NeuroDevNet (Vancouver, British Columbia)
  • With these new grants, the Networks of Centres of Excellence program currently funds 14 networks.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered on the government's commitment to provide an updated science, technology and innovation strategy. The strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment, is a vision and a road map for strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in scientific research while looking to harness greater Canadian innovations that create jobs, increase prosperity and improve the quality of life of Canadians.

Quotes

"Through our updated science, technology and innovation strategy, our government is making the necessary investments to push the boundaries of knowledge, create jobs and prosperity, and improve the quality of life of Canadians. The newest Networks of Centres of Excellence will undertake research in the important areas of biochemistry, cancer, arrhythmia, aging and brain development, leveraging nationwide talent and resources to tackle social and economic challenges that are important to Canadians."

- Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology)

"Our government is committed to investing in world-class research networks such as GlycoNet, which will develop new drugs and vaccines to fight diseases that affect millions of Canadians. These investments will improve our quality of life and contribute to the creation of a stronger, more innovative economy and a more prosperous Canada."

- Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health

"GlycoNet will bring together the top researchers in glycomics to develop treatments for illnesses ranging from diabetes to tuberculosis. On behalf of the federal research funding agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research is delighted to support this promising collaboration between researchers from different disciplines and partners from different sectors. GlycoNet will join the impressive lineup of NCEs that are already helping drive innovation in Canada."

- Dr. Alain Beaudet, President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research

"The network will build on the activities of the Alberta Glycomics Centre and the tremendous jurisdictional strength Canada has in this important and rapidly evolving field. GlycoNet will become an international research and translation hub in glycomics and a crucial driver for novel solutions to unmet medical needs, including vaccines, drugs and devices."

- Dr. Todd Lowary, Scientific Director, GlycoNet

Related product

  • Backgrounder

Associated links

GlycoNet

NCE competition results

NCE program information

Currently funded NCEs

Science, technology and innovation strategy, Seizing Canada's Moment

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Backgrounder

Announcement of NCE Competition Results

Since its creation in 1989, the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program has successfully brought together the best minds from many disciplines and sectors in efforts to solve major social, economic or health issues for Canadians.

The program supports large-scale, collaborative research networks that harness the creativity and inventiveness of Canadian health, natural and social scientists as well as engineers. Funded networks integrate expertise from academia, industry, government and not-for-profit organizations in a shared effort to generate and implement solutions to problems. In 2013-14, partner organizations of the networks added $63.4 million of financial and in-kind support to the funding from the NCE.

International acclaim has led other countries, including Australia, South Africa and some in the European Union, to incorporate the NCE model into their programs.

The NCE program currently supports 14 research networks.

NEW NETWORK

GylcoNet ($27.3 million), headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta

The Canadian Glycomics Network (GlycoNet) will build on Canada's international leadership in glycomics over the last 50 years. Glycomics researchers (working in such disciplines as chemistry, biochemistry, biology and immunology) analyze the many and varied roles of carbohydrates in biological processes, including the carbohydrate structures on blood cells that determine blood type. Glycomics-based research has the potential to lead to the development of new drugs and vaccines for conditions such as influenza, genetic diseases or diabetes. By bringing together all key Canadian glycomics researchers, GlycoNet will deliver solutions to important health issues. In this rapidly growing field, the network aims to become a global destination for researchers and industry seeking solutions to problems through applied glycomics research

GlycoNet collaborates with the following partners:

Industry Partners
Alberta Chicken Producers
Alectos Therapeutics
Cubist Pharmaceuticals
Mombretin Therapeutics
PlantForm
QOL Medical
SenebBioSciences
Univalor
Academic Partners
Alberta Glycomics Centre
Centre de Recherche sur les Macromolécules Végétales
Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education
Drexel University College of medicine
The Hospital for Sick Children
IBCarb
Institute for Glycomics
Japan Consortium for Glycobiology and Glycotechnology
Leiden Institute of Chemistry - Glycomimetics Lead Factory
Mac Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces
McGill University
McMaster University
National Center for Functional Glycomics
Simon Fraser University
Structural Genomics Consortium
Taiwan GlycoForum
University of Alberta
University of Guelph
University of Toronto
Wilfrid Laurier University
Ferrier Research Institute
Provincial Partners
Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures
Federal Partners
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Canadian National Transplant Research Program
Centre for Drug Research and Development
Mitacs
National Research Council
TRIUMF

Contact Information

  • Scott French
    Director of Communications and Parliamentary Affairs
    Office of the Minister of State (Science and Technology)
    343-291-2700

    Media Relations
    Industry Canada
    343-291-1777
    media-relations@ic.gc.ca