Update: Request for Applications (RFA) Announcement - Genome Canada’s Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition


Genome Canada


Disruptive Innovation in Genomics Competition (DIG)


Genome Canada launched a Request for Applications (RFA) on June 11, 2015, and is seeking proposals for research projects which focus on disruptive innovations in genomics.

This funding opportunity will be aimed at supporting projects focused on the development of disruptive innovation in the field of genomics, which for the purpose of this competition is defined as a new genomics-based technology or the application of an existing technology from another field, applied to the field of genomics, that is truly transformative in that it has the potential to either displace an existing technology, disrupt an existing market or create a new market. A disruptive innovation offers the capability to do things not previously possible and is not an incremental improvement of an existing technology.

To maximize the benefits for the genomics community, the DIG program will be delivered in two phases:

  • Phase 1 will support activities to prove the feasibility of an “idea” – does this technology work and what can it do?
  • Phase 2 will support the development of a prototype (process, product and/or method) advancing the “idea”.

All applicants will need to demonstrate, with supporting evidence, the potential for the innovation to be disruptive, have impact within the technology space, and eventually benefits for Canada. Phase 2 projects must have clear deliverables that will be realized by the end of the project and a plan which explains the next steps of how the deliverables from the research will be transferred, disseminated, used, and/or applied to realize the benefits. The intention is that true disruptive innovation is captured and transferred to those who have the ability to translate and use it, resulting in benefits for Canada.

Genome Canada acknowledges that some potentially disruptive innovations may already have passed the feasibility stage (Phase 1) but require support to develop a prototype to prepare for translation to users (Phase 2). Phase 1 and Phase 2 will, therefore, be run in parallel to support potential disruptive innovations both at the feasibility and development of prototype stages. A second round of Phase 2 funding, open only to eligible Phase 1 projects, will be held 18 months after successful Phase 1 projects are launched. This will allow Phase 1 projects approved for Phase 2 funding to continue to Phase 2 without a gap in funding and for projects not approved for Phase 2 funding to wind down.


To be confirmed at the time of the official funding announcement.

Funding Availability

Through this Competition, Genome Canada will provide up to $15 million in funding for multiple Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects as follows:


Phase 1

Phase 2

Genome Canada Funding Available

Approx. $5 M

Approx. $10 M


Not required

At least two thirds of project budget

Genome Canada Investment per Project (Maximum)


$1 M

Term of Project (Maximum)

Two years

Three years

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Two years for Phase 1 and three years for Phase 2.

Special Notes

Ontario applicants will be required to apply for funding to Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI). The application process will be comprised of two steps: Registration and Full Application.

How to Apply

The Request for Applications (RFA) and further information can be found here. Please note that draft registrations are due to Ontario Genomics Institute on August 5, 2015.

Internal Deadline

Please submit a copy of your registration (application), to research.services@uoguelph.ca. Note, you will work with OGI on the preparation of your registration beforehand, which is due in draft form to OGI by August 5, 2015.

Applicants who are invited to the Full Application stage should plan to submit an OR-5 Form two weeks prior to OGI's deadline.

Applicants who submit an OR-5 Form at the Registration stage will NOT be required to resubmit a new OR-5 Form at the Full Application stage.

External Deadline

to sponsor: The deadline for Registrations is due to Genome Canada on September 4, 2015.

Information for Co-applicants

If you need to meet a deadline set by the lead institution for this opportunity, please ensure that you provide the Office of Research with at least 10 days in advance of the lead institution’s deadline to review the application, or your proposed component of the project. Please be in touch with the Office of Research (contact information below) ahead of the deadline if it looks like it will be difficult for you to submit all the required documentation on time (i.e. budget, proposal, OR-5 Form).

For More Information

See OGI’s website: http://www.ontariogenomics.ca/media-centre/news/2015-4-30/1049
See the DIG Request for Applications: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=672a3e37ca0487527ce1bc8af&id=5e0fefa72d&e=2d1c2314f6

For Questions, please contact

Meredith McLaren
Manager, Research and Business Development
Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI)
t. 416-673-6562

Katie Meyer Beck, Contracts Manager
Office of Research, Research Support Services
519-824-4120 x54059