Today, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) announced an investment of over C$5.6 million to fund the BioCreate program, delivered by Toronto-based non-profit Ontario Genomics. The program seeks to help small to medium-sized genomics businesses (SMEs) in the health, food, agriculture, and cleantech sectors innovate and scale.
Genomics, the study of all genetic information of an organism’s genes, has led to the development of cutting-edge technologies in a number of sectors, including public health, food, and the environment.
Since 2000, Ontario Genomics has worked to support the application of many such genomics-based solutions, while raising over C$1.27 billion for genomics research in Ontario and supporting over 9100 jobs.
“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.” said the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario.
This investment also seeks to bolster the Government of Canada’s C$400 million Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy, announced in 2021 to further commercialization and adoption of genomic technologies in Canada.
Ontario Genomics will be partnering with a number of companies, including Velocity (Waterloo), McMaster Innovation Park, Toronto Metropolitan University, and Cleantech Commons to deliver BioCreate and provide over 30 successful applicants with access to critical infrastructure, mentoring, and tech training.
Successful applicants are expected to create and maintain up to 160 highly skilled jobs, create eight new products, services or processes and generate more than 30 new patents.
Furthermore, about 25 per cent of applicants will be redirected to an investment fund, called the Firehood, designed to connect women founders with mentors, partners, and customers to help scale their businesses.