Government of Canada invests over $5.6 million to help early-stage genomics companies bring new products to market

News release

FedDev Ontario investment to support over 30 companies, create and maintain 160 jobs, and develop eight new products, services or processes, and over 32 new patents

October 21, 2022 – Toronto, Ontario                                                                   

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. By examining the genetic and environmental factors impacting the health of Canadians and understanding environmental changes, we can develop technologies and tools to address world challenges like disease and climate change, as well as to improve the health and well-being of Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment of over $5.6 million for Ontario Genomics to deliver the BioCreate program. The program will provide seed funding and support to help genomics SMEs in the health, food and agriculture, and cleantech sectors to bring new products and technologies to market.

Southern Ontario is recognized as a world 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. Through 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.

Participating businesses are expected to create and maintain up to 160 highly skilled jobs, as well as create eight new products, services, or processes and more than 30 new patents. As well, approximately 25 percent of the firms participating in the program 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.

Additional details related to BioCreate and the application process can be found here.  

The Government of Canada 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.

Quotes

“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.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

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.”
– Bettina Hamelin, President and CEO Ontario Genomics  

Quick facts

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ontario Genomics has raised more than $1.27 billion for genomics research in Ontario and directly supported more than 9,100 jobs since 2000. 

  • In 2021, the Government of Canada announced the development of at $400-million Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy

  • The Regional Innovation Ecosystem initiative, delivered by FedDev Ontario, aims to create, grow, and develop strong and inclusive regional ecosystems that support business growth and innovation, as well as the
    entrepreneurial environment necessary to foster more innovative regional economies and increase the competitiveness of SMEs. 

  • Since November 2015, and throughout the pandemic, FedDev Ontario has invested more than $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.

Associated links

Contacts

Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Edward.Hutchinson@feddevontario.gc.ca

FedDev Ontario
Media Relations
feddevontariomediarelations-relationsmedias@feddevontario.gc.ca

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Website: www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca

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