SEQUENCE # 9: De-risking investments through genomics R&D

Recently we visited the Research and Productivity Council (RPC) in New Brunswick to film how they use genomics in testing, developing and improving products and processes.  RPC is a global leader in material and environmental testing, work that puts them in daily contact with innovation at every stage of technology and market readiness. For many years, Genome Atlantic has collaborated with RPC – for example, working with RPC scientists like extractive metallurgist Neri Botha to improve the efficiency of bioleaching for mining clients. (See link to our story and video below.) 

RPC’s Executive Director Eric Cook believes that genomics is a critical biotechnology for driving innovation and he credits Genome Atlantic for helping to de-risk business investment in genomics projects.  Genome Atlantic does this by providing advice and guidance at every step – from assessing the feasibility of a genomic solution, to helping with proposal development, to securing funding, to project management – to ensure that projects deliver maximum benefit to our business and public-sector clients.  And because all our projects are industry-led, we’re committed to finding practical solutions and delivering maximum benefit for our business and public-sector clients – whether we’re using genomics to help de-risk offshore oil and gas exploration decisions, develop novel clinical aquaculture feeds, or find new treatments for Atlantic Canadians with genetic diseases. 

The fact that private sector investment makes up almost 30% of our portfolio speaks to the high level of confidence Atlantic Canadian businesses have in genomic technologies and in Genome Atlantic’s ability to maximize and de-risk their investment. 

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 In this issue of Sequence we zero in on three innovative examples of genomics applications relevant to Atlantic Canada. Three years ago, Genome Canada and Genome Atlantic launched a large-scale R&D project aimed at tackling Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC), which is a multi-million-dollar problem for our oil and gas energy sector.  We caught up with project co-lead Dr. Lisa Gieg to find out what she and her team have learned so far and how this information could be used to help predict and manage MIC.  At RPC, we met up with Neri Botha to see how using naturally occurring bacteria to extract metal could be a viable and environmentally friendly solution for the mining industry.  And we talk with two plant geneticists who are passionate about helping the region’s apple industry shine – Dr. Sean Myles dishes on apple breeding (and cannabis traceability) and Dr. Zoë Migicovsky tells us why her love of apples drew her to Nova Scotia (watch our video profile and story on Zoë.).