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$400k fund launched to spark new genomics research ideas


Toronto, ON The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) has launched a new $400,000 fund for high-impact, high-risk technology development research projects in genomics.

The SPARK program will provide four awards of up to $50,000 annually over the next two-years to be used for short duration research projects of six – twelve months, with a focus on projects that are unique and result in transformative technology development.

“With SPARK, we want to catalyze new research directions and increase the competitiveness of Ontario researchers,” commented Dr Mark Poznansky, president and CEO. “Our intention with the launch of this program is to fund projects that may not be readily funded by other mechanisms as they would be viewed as too risky or lacking in preliminary results. SPARK is another example of our drive to support new ideas, fresh approaches and pioneering thinking.”

Available to researchers who will perform their research in Ontario, the program will target projects that focus on developing technologies such as instrumentation, software, experimental approaches or reagents, with potential for significant impact in the genomics sciences.

Applications are being accepted from April 15 to June 15, 2011. Information and application forms are available here. Results will be announced by August 15, 2011.

“Ontario is home to some of the smartest, brightest and most creative thinkers and doers, but all too often they face barriers to obtaining initial funds to help them develop new ideas into ones that are more solid and tangible,” commented Dr. Mark Poznansky. “There is an urgent need in our province and country to foster such talent, encourage it and cultivate it if we are to remain competitive in the life sciences and be a successful hub for research globally.”