Genomics research that will aid in identifying threats to our forests and to the safety of our food and help to develop new treatments for livestock diseases, are among several projects which will receive funding by the Government of Canada through Genome Canada.
These investments demonstrate how genomics can be applied for the benefit of Canadians, while creating jobs, strengthening Canada's reputation as a global leader in science and innovation, and yielding important economic returns for these sectors of the economy.
The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for Science and Technology, made the announcement of a $60 million investment in sixteen new Genome Canada applied research projects that will use genomics research to improve key sectors of the Canadian economy.
"Our government is investing in forestry, the environment, and health for the benefit of all Canadians," said Minister of State Goodyear. "Today's investment in 16 projects will help generate benefits in areas of strategic importance to Canada."
Each of the sixteen research projects will focus on important questions and challenges faced in their respective sector and involve end-users of the technology. In the forestry sector, for example, researchers will explore the many ways to make Canada's forests more sustainable, including identifying common tree diseases; using genomics to develop short-rotation, fast-growing trees for use in biofuel production; and, studying the use of phytoremediation, a process that uses plants to clean up pollutants.
In the agriculture sector, researchers will seek to improve the health of our livestock and crops, including conducting research into cattle and pig populations as well as creating the next generation of wheat.
Within in the health sector, researchers will study potential new treatments for cancer and rare diseases, while one project will see researchers participate in an ambitious international partnership that is working to understand the function of each one of the 20,000 genes found in the human genome.
"This competition is part of Genome Canada's mandate to fund a wide range of large-scale genomics research projects through a competitive process", said Dr. Pierre Meulien, President and CEO of Genome Canada. "We are proud of the process and the results which are a testament to the high level of excellent applied research being carried out in this country".