Genome Canada has officially launched the Request for Applications for a new program: the 2015 Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition (DIG). This program aims to support the development of disruptive innovation in the field of genomics. For the purpose of this call, disruptive innovation is defined as a new genomics-based technology or application of an existing technology from another field, applied to the field of genomics, that is truly transformative in that it has the potential to either displace an existing technology, disrupt an existing market or create a new market. A disruptive innovation offers the capability to do things not previously possible and is not an incremental improvement of an existing technology.
The DIG program will be delivered in two phases:
- Phase 1 will support activities to prove the feasibility of an “idea” – does this technology work and what can it do? This phase is intended to attract ideas for potential disruptive innovations from either individuals with a need (i.e. users), technology developers or others with great ideas.
- Phase 2 will support the development of a prototype (process, product and/or method) advancing the “idea”.
All applications must describe, with supporting evidence, the potential for the innovation to be disruptive, have impact within the technology space, and eventually social and/or economic benefits for Canada. Phase 2 projects must have clear deliverables that will be realized by the end of the project and a plan which explains the next steps of how the deliverables from the research will be transferred, disseminated, used, and/or applied to realize the benefits. The intention is that true disruptive innovation is captured and transferred to those who have the ability to translate and use it, resulting in benefits for Canada.
Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be run in parallel to support potential disruptive innovations both at the feasibility and development of prototype stages. A second round of Phase 2 funding, open only to eligible Phase 1 projects, will be held 18 months after successful Phase 1 projects are launched. This will allow Phase 1 projects approved for Phase 2 funding to continue to Phase 2 without a gap in funding and for projects not approved for Phase 2 funding to wind down.
There is $15 million available from Genome Canada for this program: approximately $5M for Phase 1 projects and approximately $10M for Phase 2.
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