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Canada invests over $5.6 million in genomics companies

Canada invests over $5.6 million in genomics companies

Government of Canada delivers investment of over $5.6 million for Ontario Genomics to deliver the BioCreate program.

By Andrew Joseph, Farms.com;

The Honourable Filomena Tassi, the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), has announced an investment of over $5.6 million for Ontario Genomics for further delivery of its BioCreate program.

This program will provide seed funding and support to help genomics SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises) in the health, food and agriculture, and cleantech sectors to bring new products and technologies to market. Research in genomics and engineering biology has led to the development of cutting-edge technologies and innovations in a number of important sectors, including public health, food, and the environment.

Genomics is the study of all the genetic information of an organism’s genes; engineering (or synthetic) biology is a convergence of genomics and molecular biosciences with computing, automation, miniaturization, artificial intelligence (AI), and the application of engineering principles to biological systems.

“Supporting Canadian innovators is a priority for the Government of Canada and today’s investment in Ontario Genomics and the BioCreate Program will provide Canadian genomics companies within the health, food and agriculture and cleantech sectors with access to the tools, mentorship and lab space they need for growth and success. This program will create 160 highly skilled jobs across Southern Ontario and help secure Canada’s place as a global leader in research and innovation,” stated Tassi.

Via the BioCreate program, Ontario Genomics—in partnership with Velocity (Waterloo), McMaster Innovation Park/Synapse Life Sciences Consortium (Hamilton), Toronto Metropolitan University Science Discovery Zone (Toronto), and Cleantech Commons (Peterborough)—will provide over 30 successful applicants with access to critical infrastructure including lab space, business support tools, mentoring, and tech development guidance.

Businesses participating in the BioCreate program are expected to create and maintain up to 160 highly skilled jobs, create eight new products, services, or processes, and develop over 30 new patents. As well, approximately 25 percent of the firms will be directed to an investment fund (The Firehood) that focuses on connecting women founders with mentors, partners, and/or customers to help develop their business.

Bettina Hamelin, President and Chief Executive Officer with Ontario Genomics said: “Ontario Genomics is helping to further develop a network in leading-edge innovation. This project will support the development of a healthy pipeline of high-potential start-up companies in health, agri-food and cleantech sectors, and create and maintain up to 160 highly skilled jobs across southern Ontario.”

Established in 2000, Ontario Genomics is a Toronto-based not-for-profit organization leading the application of genomics-based solutions across key sectors of the economy to drive economic growth, improved quality of life, and global leadership for Ontario. It has raised over $1.27 billion for genomics research in Ontario and directly supported more than 9,100 jobs since its inception.

Southern Ontario is recognized as a global leader in genomics and engineering biology research, but innovators often encounter challenges that prevent promising start-ups from scaling up and moving from research to commercialization.

The Government of Canada stated that it is committed to supporting innovation in this important sector to help SMEs grow and commercialize technologies and improve the well-being of Canadians, create quality jobs, and boost Canada’s economy.

Since November 2015, and throughout the pandemic, FedDev Ontario has invested over $2.2 billion to support over 3,000 projects across southern Ontario, helping to create or maintain more than 180,000 jobs, and leveraging over $3.1 billion in additional investment in the region.

For details and the application, visit: www.ontariogenomics.ca/funding-opportunities/open-competitions/biocreate.


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