2017-2018 Annual Report

Genomics for
a healthier
British Columbia

Genomics Now!

The genomics revolution is happening all around us. Scientists are unlocking the code of all living things, (humans, animals, plants, microbes), to improve our understanding of biological systems at a molecular level. Genomics is not science fiction – this transformative technology is changing how we see and interact with the living world in meaningful ways.

The knowledge and innovations emerging from genomics are unearthing solutions to complex biological challenges including applications in health, forestry, fisheries, aquaculture, agrifood, energy, mining and the environment. These new approaches give rise to the need for dialogue regarding societal, economic, and ethical implications as new and powerful genomic solutions are applied to benefit society.

The Legacy of Dr. Michael Smith

It’s been a quarter century since Dr. Michael Smith became BC’s first Nobel laureate. Smith (with Dr. Kary Mullis), won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for discovering how to make a genetic mutation precisely at any spot in a DNA molecule. This foundational discovery paved the way for new diagnostic tests and treatments for genetic diseases.

Forever a champion of genomics research, the influence and legacy of Michael Smith are still felt today. He pushed for federal funding to establish a new funding council for genomics research, which led to the creation of Genome Canada and regional centres across the nation to administer research contracts. He created Canada’s first genomic research centre for cancer research and he was one of the strongest voices for science education – a value Genome BC continues to uphold.

Genomics for a healthier British Columbia

The technologies supporting the Internet may be commonplace today; however, they were borne out of a period of discovery. Concepts had to be developed and proven, technologies refined and applied, spawning commercialization across many fronts. The web has evolved through several innovations to become an interconnected platform where information is democratized, and users are connected. The Internet we use today is the result of transformative technologies that have changed how we connect to the world, forever.

With continued and remarkable advancements in next generation sequencing, a similar story could be told to describe the evolution of genomics. Having moved well beyond a period of pure discovery at the laboratory bench, a new era is moving genomics into the mainstream. The unprecedented pace of technological change and information is leading to incredible opportunities to understand and solve problems.

Genomics is not only driving positive change in health care delivery and outcomes, but this cutting-edge science and related technologies are improving our understanding of the natural world. This is enabling us to adapt to climate change, increase our food safety and security, and develop cleaner energy while driving economic growth.

As a catalyst for building a strong life sciences ecosystem, Genome British Columbia (Genome BC), has helped build the bridge between academia where genomics knowledge is discovered, and the industrial sectors where applications are applied to solve complex biological challenges, helping British Columbia move toward a healthier future – in health, forestry, agrifood, fisheries and aquaculture, energy, mining, and the environment.

Review and highlights

2017/18 Year in Review Highlights

Since 2000, Genome BC has led genomics innovation on Canada’s West Coast, and facilitated the integration of genomics into society.

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2017/18 Societal Engagement Highlights

Genome BC’s outreach activities are helping BC’s life sciences community to thrive.

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Projects and Funding

Health $491.1 Million

Tech Development and Platforms $159.4 Million

Agrifood $56.9 Million

Forestry $107.7 Million

Environment $16.6 Million

Fisheries and Aquaculture $66.3 Million

Mining and Energy $37.4 Million

These figures are cumulative as of March 31, 2018

Message from the President and CEO

Pascal Spothelfer

Genome BC is an extraordinary organization with an outstanding team. My predecessor, leaves the organization with a sound strategy, an excellent reputation, and very strong relationships with stakeholders and funders...

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Message from the Board Chair

ida goodreau

In genomics, we talk about disruptive innovation. A powerful way of thinking about challenging the ideas of the status quo, introducing new ways of "thinking and doing" that change the world around us...

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Independent Auditors’ Report

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Notes to Financials

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Corporate Information

Corporate Information

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