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Genome360’s SeekNET Initiative Launch

April 26, 2021

SeekNET: Genome Prairie’s new initiative advances Manitoba Agricultural Biotechnology.

The SeekNET Initiative offers Manitoba’s agriculture biotechnology community the options to select, adapt, adopt, and maintain genomics and technologies. Agriculture Biotechnology (ag-biotech) applies to all technologies used on the farm involving biological or chemical processes which can involve many types of technology and science, including breeding, genetics, microbiome research, and animal health and nutrition.

The Canadian agriculture and agri-food system is a key driver of Canada’s economy and feeding Canadians and other countries around the world. In 2018, the most recent report from the Government of Canada, the system generated $143 billion, accounted for 7.4% of GDP, and provided one in eight jobs in Canada. Manitoba ag-biotech development took a leap forward today with the official launch of Genome360’s SeekNET Initiative which is managed by Genome Prairie with significant funding of $720,000 from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) and Manitoba Agriculture. Genome Prairie acknowledges this significant contribution from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership and Manitoba Agriculture.

The new SeekNET Initiative will use the Genome360 program infrastructure to drive the expansion or adoption of genomic solutions in Manitoba ag-biotech. Genome Prairie launched the Genome360 program in Manitoba in 2018, and with its partners, it supports Prairie region adopters by enhancing awareness of genomics knowledge and application, providing access to the state-of-the-art sequencing equipment, and working with educators to nurture the skilled workforce needed to exploit the potential of this growing field.

A critical element of Genome360’s SeekNET Initiative is bringing together the research, and the end user community consisting of the public and private sector in several sectors such as agriculture, environment, and medicine.

“Genome Prairie is pleased to help bring Genome360’s SeekNET Initiative to life from the significant project funding received from the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP),” said Mike Cey, Genome Prairie, President and CEO.  “Our organization is very grateful to CAP, and to all our other SeekNET partners; the Myera Group, Université de Saint-Boniface, EKOSI Health, the Pest Surveillance Initiative, the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Genome360’s SeekNET Initiative will advance genomics in creating sustainable genomic solutions in MB ag-biotech that can address the global challenges humanity faces today, tomorrow, and in the future. To date, Genome Prairie has brought forward over $360 million in research activity in plant, animal and human genomics, bioinformatics, instrumentation development and bioethics since its establishment in 2000.”

The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion federal-provincial-territorial investment in the agriculture, agri-food and agri-based products sector that began in April 2018. In Manitoba, the Canadian Agricultural Partnership represents a federal – provincial investment of $176 million in Manitoba’s agriculture industry over the next five years.

Genome Prairie, a non-profit organization with offices in Saskatoon and Winnipeg, is one of six independent Genome Canada regional centres. Over the past two decades, Genome Prairie has been a driver of genomics and related bioscience research that addresses challenges and opportunities in key regional sectors including agriculture, human health, the environment, energy and mining. These efforts have significantly contributed to building the Prairie region’s reputation as a location of choice for innovation and commercialization.

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