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We help Atlantic Canada companies, industries and researchers use genomic insights and innovations to solve real-world problems.

Impactful Investments

Genome Atlantic has consistently strived to drive meaningful impact through all our activities. Realizing the importance of quantifying this impact, we recently enlisted The Evidence Network to conduct a comprehensive Impact Assessment spanning the five-year period from 2018 to 2023. Their findings pointed to a remarkable return on investment and tangible outcomes:

  • Every public sector dollar invested in Genome Atlantic yielded $23 in applied R&D investment and $59 to GDP.
  • Genome Atlantic’s efforts enabled $60 million in new impact-driven genomics R&D – of which $21 million or roughly 30%, was private sector investment.
  • Total funds attracted by and invested in Genome Atlantic during the last five years resulted in an estimated $178.7 million of output, $122.2 million contributions to GDP, $8.9 million in provincial and federal tax revenues, and 927 jobs.

Please take a few minutes to read our Impact Assessment. Though concise, the report is packed with compelling data highlighting Genome Atlantic’s crucial role as a key driver of innovation and impact within Atlantic Canada.

Genome Atlantic is proud of our contributions to the region’s prosperity and well-being.  Our accomplishments are made possible by the support and dedication of our project partners and government funders at both federal and provincial levels, whose collaboration has been pivotal in driving our shared success.

Steve Armstrong, PhD
President & CEO
Genome Atlantic

Impacts At A Glance:

Newfoundland and Labrador

Genome Atlantic, College of the North Atlantic (CNA), and the Atlantic hub of the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) are teaming up to launch a small-scale genomics funding program for Atlantic Canada’s mining industry.

Learn More Here

Genome Atlantic’s recent Impact Assessment 2018-2023 spotlights case studies from around Atlantic Canada that shed light on the power of genomics to boost our natural resource industries. One such example relates to Genome Atlantic’s work with a regional tree improvement council with a mandate to advance and share tree improvement advances to benefit producers in the four Atlantic provinces.

The forest product industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is valued at approximately $400 million annually. Selective breeding has long been a valuable tree improvement tool for the forestry industry. Through conventional breeding, it takes 20-30 years to complete a cycle of selective breeding. Enter genomics, a game-changing suite of tools, methods and technologies that requires only five years to select the best traits. Recognizing the need for a coordinated approach to genomics research in tree improvement, Genome Atlantic helped to set up the Atlantic Tree Improvement Council (AtlanTIC) (See Case Study 3). Through AtlanTIC, industry, government, and researchers in all four Atlantic provinces can coordinate large-scale research initiatives with test sites across the region –- sharing the latest advances in tree improvement to benefit the industry across Atlantic Canada.

Exploring the intersection of genomics and mining reveals a realm rich with potential applications poised to transform industry practices. Recently, Genome Atlantic collaborated with the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) and the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland and Labrador to host a webinar on “Sustainable Solutions: Genomics in Mining”. The event was well attended by a diverse audience from around the region, eager to learn about the practical applications of genomics for bioleaching, bioremediation, and environmental monitoring. Notable experts Ross Orr of BacTech, Cassy Appelt of Koonie, and Mehrdad Hajibabei of eDNAtec, shared valuable insights. Their contributions shed light on the promising avenues genomics offers for enhancing production, sustainability, and biodiversity management within mining operations.

Genome Atlantic’s Impact Assessment referenced examples of our work with aquaculture companies and researchers to address industry challenges and provide more environmentally sustainable solutions.  We have many examples of this work in Newfoundland and Labrador including our current project in partnership with Memorial University scientists to develop a breeding and vaccination program for cleaner fish. Cleaner fish are special types of fish that help other fish – including farmed salmon – to stay healthy by eating tiny parasites that can damage their health. This will enable healthy stock to be bred on an industrial scale to support the province’s emerging cleaner fish industry.  We  featured our cleaner fish initiative in an earlier issue of Impacts at a Glance but we are reposting a story and video on this project for those of you who may be new to the project. (The video is one of our most-watched!)

Genomics is a green technology that is helping Atlantic Canadian companies and industries to grow more sustainably and to reduce their carbon footprint. Please watch our new video Genomics and Sustainability, to find out how Genome Atlantic’s work across the region is helping to strengthen our natural resource industries and shape a greener, better future.

Aquaculture is crucial to Atlantic Canada’s Blue Economy and food security. Viral diseases threaten fish health and the industry’s sustainable growth – a threat that can be reduced by formulating fish feeds that are sustainably sourced and that help keep fish healthy. Genome Atlantic, in partnership with the Ocean Frontier Institute in Halifax, is providing seed funding to scientists at Memorial and Dalhousie universities who will explore the use of microbial oils in fish feed. Microbial oils have a low carbon footprint and high nutritional value due to their high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. The research will focus on their effects on fish immunity, an important next step in determining their viability for widespread adoption in aquaculture practices.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an important emerging tool for monitoring biodiversity. It is fast, accurate, cost-effective, and doesn’t damage the ecosystem like some other methods of sampling. To support the use of eDNA in an increasingly broad range of applications, Genome Atlantic, in collaboration with Research Nova Scotia, launched a new Environmental DNA Innovation Fund in January. The fund is aimed at supporting short-term projects with long-term impact in Atlantic Canada, with research grants from $30,000-$50,000 per project. Proposals were received in mid-February showing stakeholder interest in refining and implementing eDNA across a wide range of applications in the waters and soil that support the economies of the Atlantic Canadian provinces. Winners will be announced in late March or early April 2024. Genome Atlantic thanks all those who submitted applications to the new fund!

Genomics training capacity is crucial because it empowers individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to harness genomics technologies to drive innovations that benefit health, the economy, and the environment. Yet, training opportunities in genomics are limited in Atlantic Canada and across the country. To address the gap, Genome Atlantic is partnering with the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) to conduct a needs assessment for genomics capacity in the region. This needs assessment is an important first step towards the goal of developing genomics training components to the NBCC program.

A key pathway to the growth of a sustainable farmed salmon industry in Atlantic Canada is genomic selection. This advanced breeding technique uses comprehensive genetic information to bolster salmon health and growth, while making the industry more environmentally sustainable. Genome Atlantic, The Huntsman Martine Science Centre and Mowi Canada East have partnered on a $4.6 million R&D initiative to map the genetic markers of Atlantic Salmon (See Case Study 2) that positively influence general fish performance, resistance to sea lice, and tolerance to changing water temperatures. By harnessing the power of genomic selection, the industry can achieve its breeding objectives faster, researchers can gain early insights into the genetic drivers of crucial traits, and the overall welfare of the salmon can be improved sooner.

Selective breeding has long been a valuable tree improvement tool for the forestry industry. Through conventional breeding, it takes 20-30 years to complete a cycle of selective breeding. Enter genomics, a game-changing suite of tools, methods and technologies that requires only five years to select the best traits. Recognizing the need for a coordinated approach to genomics research in tree improvement, Genome Atlantic helped to set up the Atlantic Tree Improvement Council (AtlanTIC).(See Case Study 3). Through AtlanTIC, industry, government, and researchers in all four Atlantic provinces can coordinate large-scale research initiatives with test sites across the region –- sharing the latest advances in tree improvement to benefit the industry across Atlantic Canada.

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We will deliver SEQUENCE to your inbox. SEQUENCE highlights the latest genomics applications and research initiatives in Atlantic Canada. Subscribe to stay informed.

Read recent issues here.

What Our Clients Say?

“From an institutional standpoint and as a researcher, being able to take a product and move it to commercialization in partnership with Genome Atlantic and Cold Ocean Salmon, is a win-win.”

Danny Boyce

Facilities and Business Manager of JBARB, Memorial University, N.L.

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