Genome Prairie

2015 Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition

Request for Applications: 2015 Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition

Request for Applications (PDF)

Guidelines for Funding Research Projects

Registration Form

Application Form (Phase 1)

Application Form (Phase 2)

Budget Template

 

Competition Timeline:

- June 11, 2015 - Launch of Request for Applications (RFA) 

- August 31, 2015 - Registrations due to Genome Prairie for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2  (Development of -Prototype)

- September 4, 2015 - Eligible registrations due to Genome Canada for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2 (Development of Prototype)

- September 30, 2015 - Full Applications due to Genome Prairie for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2 (Development of Prototype)

- October 29, 2015 - Full Applications due at Genome Canada for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2 (Development of Prototype)

- January 15, 2016 - Phase 2 applicants notified regarding interviews with reviewers.

- Mid-February, 2016 - Review committee meetings, including interviews with Phase 2 applicants

- Mid-March, 2016 - Decisions by Genome Canada

- Late March, 2016 - Notification of Decision


1.    Overview 

The development of new disruptive technologies is fundamental to Genome Canada’s ability to deliver on the goals set out in its Strategic Plan and is tightly coupled to the provision of access to leading-edge technologies as it relates to genomics[1]. Genome Canada believes that this can be achieved by supporting innovation from conception of an idea leading to transfer of knowledge and technologies from academia to users in ways that will maximize the impact of this initial investment and lead to economic and social benefits for Canada. The Disruptive Innovation in Genomics (DIG) initiative will ensure that true disruptive innovation is captured and transferred to those who have the ability to translate and use it. It is expected that this initiative will attract those who embrace strongly the notion of convergence of technologies from divergent fields.

2.    Objective

The major objective of this RFA is to support the development of disruptive innovation in the field of genomics, which for the purpose of this RFA is defined as a new genomics-based technology or the 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.

To ensure that the objective of the RFA is met, all applications must address the evaluation criteria established for the competition. Only those proposals demonstrating the highest degree of overall fit with the criteria will be funded.

3.    Program Model

To maximize the benefits for the genomics community, 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”.

4.    Deliverables and Benefits

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.

For phase 2 there must be 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. Proposals that make a strong case that those deliverables will/can be subsequently translated into significant benefits within as short a time-frame as possible after the end of the project are particularly encouraged, taking into consideration what is reasonable for different types of innovations. It is expected that the deliverables realized at the end of the project will in time lead to technologies that result in benefits such as, but not limited to, facilitation of scientific research, improved diagnostics, environmental monitoring, enhanced food production or food safety, sustainable energy production, etc. The intention is that true disruptive innovation is captured and transferred to those who have the ability to translate and use it, resulting in social and/or economic benefits for Canada.

5.    Funds Available, Term and Co-Funding

There is $15 million available from Genome Canada for Phases 1 and 2. The availability of funds, co-funding requirement and terms for Phases 1 and 2 will be as follows:

5.1.        Phase 1 – Feasibility

5.2.        Phase 2 – Development of Prototype

The Genome Centres, working with the applicants, are responsible for securing co-funding.Co-funding for this competition must be for research activities that are an integral part of the Genome Canada approved project and must be for eligible costs specifically requested in the Genome Canada budget form in order to be considered as an eligible co-funding source. See the Guidelines for Funding Research Projectsfor more details.

6.    Competition Design

Genome Canada acknowledges that some potentially disruptive innovations may already have passed the feasibility stage (Phase 1) but require support to develop a prototype to prepare for translation to users (Phase 2). Phase 1 and Phase 2 will, therefore, 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. 

7. Guidelines for Funding

Genome Canada’s Guidelines for Funding Research Projects must be adhered to throughout the competition and post-award management processes.

 7.1 Exceptions to the Guidelines

Exceptions to the Guidelines specific to this RFA include:

8. Societal Implications of Disruptive Innovation

It is widely acknowledged that so-called “disruptive” technologies or innovation can entail complex economic and social changes, and therefore represent a potentially rich topic for social scientists and humanities scholars. Rather than requiring applicants to include a GE3LS research component in their projects, it is expected that a more diverse exploration of the societal implications of genomic applications characterized as “disruptive” could be carried out through a parallel program directly targeted at social sciences and humanities researchers. In this regard, Genome Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) have signed a joint initiative agreement to jointly support social sciences and humanities research and related activities pertaining to genomics, with one of the first initiatives focusing on societal implications of disruptive innovation in genomics.  This initiative, led by SSHRC, will be available during a period concurrent to the Disruptive Innovation in Genomics program.

 9. Application and Review Process

Applicants are required to apply for funding through a regional Genome Centre.

 9.1 Phase 1 - Feasibility

9.1.1. Registration

A brief Registration form will be used to provide early guidance on elements such as who is applying, what they are planning to do, expected deliverables, approximate budgets and appropriate reviewers. This will allow for screening for eligibility by the Genome Centres and facilitate the early selection of reviewers for the review process.

9.1.2. Full Application

Applicants submit a brief document (including a high level budget), which will present their idea, describe how they will demonstrate its feasibility and justify its potential to be disruptive. A final check for eligibility will be carried out.

9.1.3. Review Process

An international panel of experts from a wide range of relevant backgrounds who are known for their ability to innovate and/or have experience with high-risk high-reward ventures will review the applications based on the evaluation criteria in Appendix 1. Only those proposals demonstrating the highest degree of overall fit with the review criteria will be funded.

Please note, if the application pressure is high, a streamlining process may be used to assist in reducing the number of applications to those deemed to be of the highest merit.

9.2 Phase 2 - Development of Prototype

9.2.1. Registration

A brief Registration form will be used to provide early guidance on elements such as who is applying, what they are planning to do, expected deliverables, approximate budgets and appropriate reviewers. This will allow for screening for eligibility by the Genome Centres and facilitate the early selection of reviewers for the review process.

9.2.2. Full Application.

Applicants submit a document describing the plans for development of the product, the potential for disruption and eventual plans for uptake by users.

9.2.3. Review Process

An international panel of experts from a wide range of relevant backgrounds (for example, subject matter experts, venture capitalists, industry business development experts, etc.) will review the applications based on the evaluation criteria in Appendix 1.

Applicants may be invited for an interview, via videoconference, with the Review Committee. Only those proposals demonstrating the highest degree of overall fit with the review criteria will be funded.

Please note, if the application pressure is high, a streamlining process may be used to assist in reducing the number of applications to those deemed to be of the highest merit before proceeding to the Review Committee meeting.

Genome Canada may adjust its evaluation processes where warranted by the number or complexity of proposals received or other relevant factors. Any changes will be rapidly communicated through Genome Canada’s website and through the Genome Centres.

10. Competition Timeline

Requests for support of projects must be submitted to Genome Canada through a Genome Centre. The competition timeline outlined below includes both Genome Canada and Genome Centre deadlines. Please contact your regional Genome Centre for further information on their process and internal deadline dates.

Date

Activity

June 11, 2015

Launch of Request for Applications (RFA)

*Contact your regional Genome Centre

Registrations due to Genome Centres for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2  (Development of Prototype)

*Centre deadline dates will be earlier than Genome Canada deadline

Sep 4, 2015

Eligible registrations due to Genome Canada for

Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2 (Development of Prototype)

*Contact your regional Genome Centre

Full Applications due to Genome Centres for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2 (Development of Prototype)

*Centre deadline dates could be several weeks earlier than Genome Canada deadline

Oct 29, 2015

Full Applications due at Genome Canada for Phase 1 (Feasibility) and Phase 2 (Development of Prototype)

Jan 15, 2016

Phase 2 applicants notified regarding interviews with reviewers.

Mid-Feb, 2016

Review committee meetings, including interviews with Phase 2 applicants

Mid-March, 2016

Decisions by Genome Canada

Late March, 2016

Notification of Decision


11. Contacts

Lorna Jackson

Genome
Canada

(613) 751-4460
ext 226

ljackson@genomecanada.ca

Andy Stone

Genome
Atlantic

(902) 421-5646

astone@genomeatlantic.ca

Catalina Lopez

-Correa

Genome
Québec

(514) 398-0668

clopez@genomequebec.com

Meredith McLaren

Ontario
Genomics

Institute

(416) 673-6562

 

mmclaren@ontariogenomics.ca

 

Chris Barker

Genome
Prairie

(306) 668-3587

cbarker@genomeprairie.ca

Gijs van Rooijen

Genome
Alberta

(403) 210-5253 

vanrooijen@genomealberta.ca

Gabe Kalmar

Genome
British

Columbia

(604) 637-4374

gkalmar@genomebc.ca

 

Appendix 1 – Evaluation of Applications

Proposals submitted to Genome Canada are evaluated via a rigorous peer review process to assess their research merit and potential for social and/or economic benefits for Canada, as well as to ensure that sound management and financial practices are implemented. Excellence and innovation at the very highest of international standards must be demonstrated for funding to be awarded.

1. Eligibility of the Proposal

To be eligible for this competition, a proposal must:                                                                                                                                                 

If considered eligible, the proposal will be reviewed using the criteria described below.

2. Review Criteria

2.1. Phase 1 - Feasibility

2.2. Phase 2 - Development of Prototype

The review criteria fall into three categories:

  1. Research Proposal
  2. Benefits
  3. Management and Finance

2.2.1. Research Proposal

2.3.1.1. Research Context

2.2.1.2. Research Plans

2.2.1.3. Research Expertise

2.2.1.4. Research Environment

2.2.2. Social and/or Economic Benefits

2.2.2.1. Deliverables

2.2.2.2. Expected Benefits

2.2.2.3. Strategy for Realizing Benefits

2.2.2.4. Expertise for Realizing Benefits

2.2.3. Management and Finance

2.2.3.1. Management Plans and Expertise

2.2.3.2. Budget and Expenditure Controls

2.2.3.3. Financing from Co-Funders



[1] The term genomics is defined here as the comprehensive study, using high throughput technologies, of the genetic information of a cell or organism, including the function of specific genes, their interactions with each other and the activation and suppression of genes. For purposes of describing Genome Canada’s mandate it also includes related disciplines such as bioinformatics, epigenomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, nutrigenomics, pharmacogenomics, proteomics and transcriptomics.