Canadian Manufacturing

Genome BC’s Pilot Innovation Fund offers investment and mentorship

The PIF aims to fund a diverse set of innovation projects with a credible probability of success.

March 31, 2022   by CM Staff

Young business people working with colleagues. (CNW Group/Genome British Columbia)

VANCOUVER — Genome BC has funded several unique projects as part of a commitment to create more innovation. This means the practical translation of ideas and research outcomes into new or improved products, services, processes, systems, or social interactions.

The projects being announced on Mar. 31 include:

  • Isolatrix: An Innovative Method for Single Cell Isolation Using Inkjet Printing led by Karen Cheung (University of British Columbia (UBC)), Adi Steif (UBC) and Marco Marra (BC Cancer). New methods for profiling the genetic diversity of individual cells are transforming our understanding of diseases like cancer. Current single cell genomic platforms present deficiencies in throughput, accuracy, and customizability that will be addressed in this project. The development and validation of key features of this technology will progress it towards commercialization.

  • A DNA-based global positioning system led by Nozomu Yachie and Geoffrey Schiebinger both with UBC. This project will develop a scalable spatial gene expression technology, called GPS-seq. GPS-seq will have impacts in broad fields of research in the life sciences and will change the way we understand tissues. It will allow the development of numerous therapies and drugs and will trigger a shift in biology, similar to high-throughput deep sequencing and single-cell genomics technologies in the last decades.

  • Fiber‐based approach to scalable single‐protein analysis led by Reuven Gordon (University of Victoria). The objective of this project is to innovate an optical fiber based approach to laser tweezers that can hold a single protein. This provides the ability to track single proteins in real time without labels and deliver insights into protein structure, function and single molecule interactions. 

  • Tope-seq: A high-throughput platform to discover and characterize T-cell receptor reactivity for advancing safe and effective immunotherapies led by Govinda SharmaJames Round, and Rob Holt (BC Cancer). This project will demonstrate the commercial potential of Tope-seq, a high-throughput platform that allows therapeutic T-cell receptor development to be faster, safer, and more effective.

“We’re excited about the quality of these projects,” said Federica Di Palma, Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President, Sectors at Genome BC. “Our goal is to deliver innovation on the road to commercialization to ultimately deliver social and economic benefits to British Columbians. I am confident that these teams will do just that.”

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