The announcement of the winners of the highly competitive billon-dollar innovation Superclusters Initiative (ISI) will be made on February 15 in Ottawa. But other groups not successful in getting shortlisted for a share of the $950 million in federal funding are moving on, confident that the partnerships they have forged and projects they have envisioned can continue and flourish.
Organization: Genome Canada
It’s been a promising start to the New Year with several substantive announcements that are hopefully an indication of more to come with forthcoming federal and provincial budgets.
Up to $165 million is going to 15 large-scale projects in applied research in precision health. Another $93 million is going to support 10 technology platforms to support focus areas in genomics research.
Canada’s forest ministers have produced A Forest Bioeconomy Framework for Canada to leverage the country’s vast biomass reserves and extend their production and deployment far beyond current usage. The report was released in September and unanimously endorsed by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM), which co-authored the document along with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
Sustainable living. Clean transportation. Infrastructure. These strategic areas form the basis for a proposed BioDesign Supercluster being pitched by the forestry, green chemistry and genomics sectors as they attempt to take the bioeconomy beyond immediate innovation and environmental challenges.
Canadian funding for the Toronto-based Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) has been renewed, injecting $33 million into the ground breaking open innovation organization that determines the three-dimensional structure of proteins related to human diseases. The fourth phase of the public-private SGC will see an expansion its collaborative network to include disease and patient foundations while partnering with clinicians and research hospitals to validate new targets for drug discovery by testing its chemical probes on patients.
Genome Canada may expand its successful Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) and award funds directly to companies with the in-house capacity to develop potentially disruptive technologies. The current GAPP program — which announced the results of its latest competition May 26 — only funds university researchers with industry partners, usually small firms that lack the in-house expertise to undertake research projects.
The MEOPAR Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) has been renewed for another five years, including additional funding to implement a research plan that directly responds to the needs of partners and end-users. The Marine Environmental Observation Prediction and Response Network (MEOPAR) received $28.5 million from the ‘classic’ NCE program that will leverage an equal amount in cash and in-kind from an array of academic, non-profit, industry and government partners who also have a stake in better understanding and mitigate marine risks and hazards.
Energy fusion research is back on the political radar with the release of a roadmap that calls for a national program and $250 million over five years to build capacity and position Canada as a global competitor.
The Alberta-Ontario Innovation Program (AOP) is being re-vamped to allow companies to use both cash and in-kind to match public contributions. The Ontario Centres of Excellence and Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures introduced the flexible funding model allowing in-kind contributions for matching OCE and AITF funding which ranges between $100,000 and $250,000 per project. Projects can also…