The Genomics Research Entrepreneurship to Accelerate Translation (GREAT) project at the University of British Columbia has been chosen for funding through Genome Canada’s Entrepreneurship Education in Genomics (EEG) pilot program.
Aimed at helping genomics researchers across Canada add value to their research and capitalize on viable applications and outputs, the EEG investment is supported by Genome Canada, Genome BC and UBC.
Sector-specific issues around natural resources and the environment are especially challenging for scientists, because impacts, such as forest health, take longer to be felt than with more traditional research projects. The project will create a receptive environment for genomics outputs by helping genomics scientists overcome barriers to implementing their research. The UBC program will be built on understanding the needs of researchers specifically with projects in natural resources, forestry and the environment.
“One of the unique elements of GREAT is that it will create a broad entrepreneurial network that involves a diverse range of stakeholders from multiple sectors and disciplines, many of whom may not have previously thought of their activities as being part of the entrepreneurial process,” says Angus Livingstone, Managing Director of UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO).
The EEG program at UBC will provide genomics researchers with a more comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship, and deliver a wider complementary framework. This approach permeates the entire life cycle of discovery, from planning a research project to implementing the returns. The new system will leverage the existing entrepreneurship@UBC program to underpin much of the broader entrepreneurial education, while also leveraging UBC’s already strong research foundation, the recognized commercialization expertise of the UILO, and the knowledge and capacity of the Sauder School of Business.
Some of the GREAT project activities will include engaging with stakeholders and understanding stakeholder needs at the outset through public consultation with policy makers, legislators, land use planners and industry partners; internships and student learning exchanges with Sauder School of Business; and mentorships, as well as more traditional education activities.
“In order to fulfill our mandate of social and economic benefits, we work with these researchers to realize the full potential of the projects and their outcomes,” explains Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC. “Importantly, the EEG project will increase the researchers’ knowledge base to help them directly promote implementation of their project outputs.”
“UBC’s innovative approach is part of a larger Canadian effort to foster entrepreneurial capacity within the genomics research community,” says Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada. “This program will help create a network of next-generation researchers with the skills to manage large, complex multidisciplinary science who are also equipped with entrepreneurial, networking, finance and other business skills to speed discovery to application.”
About Genome British Columbia
Genome British Columbia is a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $450M in technology platforms and research projects. Working with governments, academia and industry across sectors such as forestry, fisheries, agriculture, environment, bioenergy, mining and human health, the goal of the organization is to generate social and economic benefits for British Columbia and Canada. www.genomebc.ca
About Genome Canada
Genome Canada is a non-profit corporation employing an innovative business model based on funding and managing large-scale, multidisciplinary, internationally peer-reviewed genomics research projects in sectors such as agriculture, energy, environment, fisheries, forestry, human health and mining. For more information, visit www.genomecanada.ca
About the University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia (UBC) is one of North America’s largest public research and teaching institutions, and one of only two Canadian institutions consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. Surrounded by the beauty of the Canadian West, it is a place that inspires bold, new ways of thinking that have helped make it a national leader in areas as diverse as community service learning, sustainability and research commercialization. UBC offers more than 55,000 students a range of innovative programs and attracts $550 million per year in research funding from government, non-profit organizations and industry through 7,000 grants.
entrepreneurship@UBC is a campus-wide initiative led by the Sauder School of Business, the Faculty of Applied Science, the Faculty of Science and the University Industry Liaison Office. Supporting entrepreneurship in its many forms at UBC, the program provides access to resources, learning, mentorship, capital and space for students, faculty, staff and recent alumni. www.entrepreneurship.ubc.ca