Genome Prairie


Capturing the Value of Genomics Research

Genomics research is fundamental to all biosciences and plays a critical role in expanding the economic diversification and well-being of Canada and the Prairie provinces.  Research in this field is progressing at a rapid pace and is driving innovation in key areas such as enhanced crops and personalized health care.  This research takes place in a highly dynamic environment where innovation and commercialization must be balanced against a wide range of social and regulatory realities. 

Value Addition Through Genomics and GE3LS (VALGEN) comprises a diverse team of researchers from across Canada. This team is working to positively shape public policy and streamline regulation in order to move innovation from the laboratory towards practical applications. Key project areas include the role of regulation, knowledge management, intellectual property and technology transfer in moving discoveries into the marketplace.

Research ResultsResearch Results

VALGEN researchers have uncovered the need for innovative approaches to the management of intellectual property and that there is no one-size-fits all approach.  Research indicates that there is a need for Canadian university technology transfer offices to consider new models for the commercialization of innovative research.  The team now has a greater understanding of the complex Canadian regulatory system and the way the federal and provincial government interacts with the public during policy development.

Results indicate that policy makers should adopt a more holistic view of innovation and challenge the ways by which innovation is measured. Different transfer models will have different outputs and outcomes, ranging from the more conventional metrics of patents or spin-offs to less conventional but still important metrics related to extension services, market development and dissemination and uptake of new business models.

Notable OutcomesNotable Outcomes

  • VALGEN has become a valuable source of credible information for policymakers.
  • A new generation of science policy researchers is being trained through the project’s New Researcher Group and Researcher Mobility programs.
  • VALGEN brings scientists, GE3LS researchers, government and end users together at workshops and web seminars addressing important topics such as the coexistence of conventional and organic foods in the marketplace.
  • Provided testimony before the federal Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food on five occasions.

Quick Facts

Project Leaders:

Peter Phillips, University of Saskatchewan
David Castle, University of Edinburgh

Project Manager:

Kari Doerksen, Genome Prairie

Project Value:

$5.4 Million

Genome Canada Contribution:

$2.6 Million

Provincial Funding (SK):


Other Funding Partners:

$2.1 Million

Project Status:

Ongoing (2009-2014)


Genome Canada Applied Genomics Research in Bioproducts or Crops (2008–2009)