Genome Canada again.

Here is the official word from Genome Canada:

Federal Budget 2009

Key Messages from the Board of Directors of Genome Canada

  • Genome Canada is pleased with the federal government’s 2009 budget in which millions will be invested in research infrastructure over the next two years. This is good news for the scientific community across the country that needs to be at the cutting-edge of research infrastructure and new technologies in order to maintain Canada’s competitiveness at the national and international level.
  • Although Genome Canada did not receive funding in the 2009 federal budget to fund new genomics research projects, this will not impact Genome Canada’s current projects that received a full commitment of funding from previous federal government investments in 2007 and 2008.
  • Genome Canada has in place two five-year funding agreements with the Government of Canada for a total of $240M:
    $100 M (2008-2012)
    $140 M (2009- 2013)
  • These investments flow to Genome Canada on a cash requirement basis. Thus, a total of $107M has been invested in 2008-09; and a total of $106.5M will be invested in 2009-10, creating and maintaining over 2,350 HQP positions per year.
  • Over the same period of time, Genome Canada has raised over $225M from other strategic partners in the private, public and philanthropic sectors to support genomics research in Canada.
  • Since its inception in 2000, Genome Canada has provided operating funds to Canadian genomics researchers, while complementing other sources of funds for infrastructure coming from such agencies as Canada Foundation for Innovation, to allow them to be among world leaders in their respective fields such as human health, agriculture, environment, forestry, fisheries, new technology, and GE3LS (ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social issues).
  • Genome Canada is confident that the Government of Canada and its other financial strategic partners will do everything possible over the coming years to secure additional funding to support new initiatives in genomics research in Canada while increasing Canada’s productivity, wealth and well-being of all Canadians.

In a recent story in GenomeWeb Daily News, President of Genome Canada Martin Godbout said,

“Genome Canada is not in the federal budget this year, and there’s good reason for it,” Godbout explained.

“Genome Canada is not founding any infrastructure or equipment,” explained Godbout, who described this year’s federal budget as one focused on projects that will feed those objectives. “It is a decision that I respect,” he told GWDN. “It’s hard everywhere.”

This conflicts with his earlier reaction (here and here), but it does bear noting that no current projects will be cut and that there is significant funding for infrastructure through other agencies.

The problem is that this does not allow new initiatives to be developed or productive ones to be expanded. It’s still very bad news in that regard. More importantly, it is essential that the ministry realize that infrastructure alone can’t do anything. You also have to support people and research expenses if you desire results.


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