The Genomics Research Entrepreneurship to Accelerate Translation (GREAT) project at the University of British Columbia has been chosen for funding through Genome Canada’s Entrepreneurship Education in Genomics (EEG) pilot program.
See www.genomics.entrepreneurship.ubc.ca for more details and program information.
Aimed at helping genomics researchers across Canada add value to their research and capitalize on viable applications and outputs, the EEG investment is supported by Genome Canada, Genome BC and UBC.
Sector-specific issues around natural resources and the environment are especially challenging for scientists, because impacts, such as forest health, take longer to be felt than with more traditional research projects. The project will create a receptive environment for genomics outputs by helping genomics scientists overcome barriers to implementing their research. The UBC program will be built on understanding the needs of researchers specifically with projects in natural resources, forestry and the environment.
“One of the unique elements of GREAT is that it will create a broad entrepreneurial network that involves a diverse range of stakeholders from multiple sectors and disciplines, many of whom may not have previously thought of their activities as being part of the entrepreneurial process,” says Angus Livingstone, Managing Director of UBC’s University-Industry Liaison Office (UILO).
The EEG program at UBC will provide genomics researchers with a more comprehensive approach to entrepreneurship, and deliver a wider complementary framework. This approach permeates the entire life cycle of discovery, from planning a research project to implementing the returns. The new system will leverage the existing entrepreneurship@UBC program to underpin much of the broader entrepreneurial education, while also leveraging UBC’s already strong research foundation, the recognized commercialization expertise of the UILO, and the knowledge and capacity of the Sauder School of Business.
Some of the GREAT project activities will include engaging with stakeholders and understanding stakeholder needs at the outset through public consultation with policy makers, legislators, land use planners and industry partners; internships and student learning exchanges with Sauder School of Business; and mentorships, as well as more traditional education activities.
“In order to fulfill our mandate of social and economic benefits, we work with these researchers to realize the full potential of the projects and their outcomes,” explains Alan Winter, President and CEO of Genome BC. “Importantly, the EEG project will increase the researchers’ knowledge base to help them directly promote implementation of their project outputs.”
“UBC’s innovative approach is part of a larger Canadian effort to foster entrepreneurial capacity within the genomics research community,” says Dr. Pierre Meulien, President, Genome Canada. “This program will help create a network of next-generation researchers with the skills to manage large, complex multidisciplinary science who are also equipped with entrepreneurial, networking, finance and other business skills to speed discovery to application.”