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First 12 GAPP Projects Selected

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The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology) and Dr. Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada, have announced the first 12 projects selected for funding under Genome Canada’s Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP). The announcement was made at Wallenstein’s Feed & Supply Ltd., where the Minister toured the company’s animal feed production facilities.

GAPP projects partner academic researchers with “users” of genomics (e.g. industry, provincial governments, non-profits, or other organizations) to translate innovations that are expected to have considerable economic and social impacts within the near term.

Minister Holder highlighted a GAPP project between Elanco Animal Health (a division of Eli Lilly & Co) and Concordia University. Dr. Paul Matzat from Elanco and Dr. Adrian Tsang from Concordia will develop and commercialize new enzyme products for pork and poultry to improve digestion of animal feed. As a result, less animal feed will be wasted, providing for healthier chickens and pigs, reduced costs to farmers and a more competitive pork and poultry industry responsible for thousands of on-farm jobs in Ontario and over 20,000 across Canada.

Further, GAPP projects will support training the next generation of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows, thanks to a new partnership between Genome Canada and Mitacs, which will create research internships for future projects.

Quick Facts

 The 12 projects announced today involve a total investment of $56 million. The Government of Canada is contributing $15 million through Genome Canada with the balance (about $41 million) invested by co-funding partners including the genomics “user”. These projects comprise the first two rounds of multiple rounds of projects that will be funded under GAPP.

The projects selected for funding hail from Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and include industries as diverse as aquaculture, cheese-making, horticulture, animal feed, crops, forestry and healthcare.

GAPP is designed to move genomics-based solutions to the marketplace through academic partnerships with industry and other “users” of genomics. It is also intended to stimulate investment from private and public partners to fund projects that address real world challenges and opportunities in the field of genomics.

The new Genome Canada – Mitacs partnership will enable funding and training for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows as they are placed within industry through GAPP projects. It will prepare Canada’s next entrepreneurs through hands-on experience. Interns transfer their skills from theory to real-world application, while the companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise.

GAPP was launched in 2013 as a $90 million program, with $30 million of federal funding through Genome Canada and the balance from partner investment (i.e. from industry, government, non-profit and others), leveraged by Genome Canada in collaboration with regional Genome Centres.