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NEWS RELEASE · 23rd August 2010
Ministry of Tech & Eco Dvlp.
More than $5 million in federal and provincial funding will help Genome BC support commercialization of genomics discoveries and technology.

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and Joan McIntyre, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky, announced the joint funding for Genome BC's new proof-of-concept program that will help to commercialize genomics based applications.

"We are proud to support an initiative that will help build stronger linkages between scientific discovery and commercialization," said Minister Yelich. "With this investment, B.C. will further advance its important role in developing the life sciences cluster."

Genomics is the study of genes and their function in humans, animals, plants and micro-organisms. The program will help commercialize innovative genomic-related technologies, which will stimulate productivity, competitiveness and growth in Western Canada.

"British Columbia is world-renowned for its genomics research, and this funding will help our scientists take their discoveries from the lab to the marketplace," McIntyre said on behalf of Iain Black, Minister of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development. "Their creativity and focus will lead to spinoff companies with new solutions to current problems, with benefits for individuals and industry here in B.C., and further afield."

Local organizations will apply to Genome BC for funding to help advance their discoveries and bridge the gap between technology development and commercialization. Over the next three-and-a half years, Genome BC will accept and review the applications and fund an anticipated 30 projects, several of which are expected to lead to spinoff companies and technology licensing deals. For information on how to apply for funding, please visit www.genomebc.ca.

"We recognize that converting cutting-edge, genomics-based discoveries into useful, clinic-ready and market-ready applications is challenging," said Alan Winter, president and CEO of Genome BC. "Through this exciting and unique funding program we will be able to support projects that have demonstrated proof-of-concept, but require additional funding for development before they can be licensed or commercialized."

The Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia are delivering the investment through the Western Economic Partnership Agreement, a joint, multi-million-dollar agreement designed to encourage economic development in the West. The provincial funding is part of the B.C. government's $50-million commitment to Genome BC's 2010-to-2015 strategic plan, announced in 2008.

Both governments are contributing $25 million each to WEPA, over four years, to strengthen economic activity and improve quality of life in B.C. communities.