Socioeconomic Benefits

Genomics in Québec is at a turning point in its history. This is particularly true for the human health sector, where innovative solutions and technology are already generating promising outcomes. Genomics is now on the cusp of achieving its socioeconomic potential through applications that are expected to come into being over the coming years.

 

Building a sector with the ability to create economic wealth for a nation is a time-consuming process. In 2001, Québec was the first Canadian province to show its interest for genomics by funding the launch of Génome Québec. Since then, over $500 million has been invested locally in genomics. After a decade of investing capital, time and energy, we are already witnessing successful outcomes and we hope to see this trend continue and grow in the future.

Our challenge now is to apply genomics results to society as a whole. This can be achieved through new programs and activities developed and implemented to translate research findings into tangible benefits  for all.

Our approach is consistent with the conclusions of the Jenkins report, published in October 2011, in which the federal government recognizes that, despite its high level of R&D support, Canada continues to lag behind other countries in rates of commercialization of new products and services and productivity growth. The gap is cause for concern, since innovation is the very driver of competitive advantage. The report sets out a series of recommendations to close this gap.

As such, we will see a growing number of funding programs give considerable importance to projects set to deliver useful outcomes and practical applications that will create social and economic advantages for Québec and Canada in the short or medium term.

We also ask researchers to detail how they plan on transferring, disseminating, using or applying their research findings and describe the socioeconomic benefits that can be expected. These gains are to be observable in the shortest possible time after the end of the funding period.

The efforts devoted to making sure that genomics research produces timely benefits for society are meant to secure ongoing major funding, along the whole research chain, including, of course, basic research.

 

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