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
Office of the Honourable David L. Emerson
Minister of Industry
(613) 751-4460 ext. 113