OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 25, 2013) - New Canadian bioinformatics and computational biology research projects will help manage, analyze and interpret vast amounts of genomics data to accelerate advances in personalized medicine, public health and other areas of importance to Canadians and the economy.
"Our government is investing in the technological solutions needed to advance genomics to its full potential for the benefit of Canadians and their families," said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). "These leading-edge research projects will put Canada at the forefront of innovation globally in the specialized fields of bioinformatics and computational biology."
Through Genome Canada's 2012 Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Competition, a partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), 17 projects across the country will receive funding.
The mix of large-scale applied and small-scale innovative projects will produce new tools and methodologies to enhance genomics data management and analysis, contributing to improving cancer treatments, quicker responses to infectious disease outbreaks, improved food production, and more. Bioinformatics expands the use of genomics data through the research, development or application of computational tools and approaches. It enables better ways to acquire, store, organize, archive, analyze and visualize data. Computational biology helps make sense of genomics data through computational analysis, modelling, and prediction.
"Managing and analyzing the huge amounts of data generated by genomics technologies is a major challenge. These new projects will offer much-needed innovations that will address this dilemma so that the data can translate into useful genomics applications such as disease treatments, breeding strategies for agriculture, forestry management, bioenergy and aquaculture," said Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada.
"Technological advances in genomics and in high-resolution imaging promise to drastically improve the precision and efficacy of Canadian health care. However, the development of strategies to handle the enormous amounts of data generated from these technologies is essential for us to achieve their full potential. We are proud to be working together with our partners at Genome Canada and the regional Genome Centres in this new initiative in bioinformatics and computational biology that will facilitate research in this critical area," said Paul Lasko, Scientific Director for CIHR's Institute of Genetics.
The Harper Government's investment in these projects is approximately $6.4 million ($5 million from Genome Canada and another $1.4 million from CIHR). The balance of funding is secured by regional Genome Centres from provincial governments, the private sector and other partners, bringing the total value of these projects to almost $11 million.
To build on Genome Canada's achievements to date, Economic Action Plan 2013 proposes to provide $165 million in 2014-15 to support Genome Canada's multi-year strategic plan.
Since 2006, the Harper Government has provided more than $9 billion in new funding for initiatives to support science, technology and the growth of innovative firms, helping to foster a world-class research and innovation system. Economic Action Plan 2013 builds on this strong foundation, helping to position Canada for sustainable, long-term economic prosperity and a higher quality of life for Canadians.
A complete list of the successful projects is available on Genome Canada's website at www.genomecanada.ca.
Genome Canada is a not-for-profit organization that invests in genomics research to generate economic and social benefits for Canadians. Genome Canada builds bridges between government, academia and industry to forge a genomics-based public-private innovation enterprise focused on key life science sectors. It develops these partnerships to invest in and manage large-scale research and translate discoveries into commercial opportunities, new technologies, applications and solutions. For more information, visit www.genomecanada.ca.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada. www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca.