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Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP)

Overview

The Genomic Applications Partnership Program (GAPP) funds downstream research and development (R&D) projects driven by challenges and opportunities identified by Receptor organizations. A Receptor is defined as an organization that intends to put the resulting innovation into practice (in internal operations, by commercialization, or otherwise making it available to its ultimate users). GAPP projects are collaborations between academic researchers and Receptor organizations, such as industrial companies, industry consortia, government departments or other not-for-profit organizations. 

GAPP projects are co-funded by Receptors and other stakeholders and have the potential to generate significant social and/or economic benefits for Canada. Past examples of funded GAPP projects and partnerships can be found in Genome Canada’s database of previously funded projects.

Funding Highlights

Registration deadline: Spring, 2024
Project Envelope Range: $100,000 – $2,000,000
Total Funding Available: $6,000,000

Target Timelines

Expression of Interest/Project Pitch Video Submission: Spring, 2024
Q&A Session; Decisions on invitations to 2nd Stage of Application: 8 weeks after submission
Full Application Submission: 8 weeks after notice of invitations
Funding Decisions/Notice of Award: 8-10 weeks after full application submission
Release of Funds: 8-12 weeks after notice of award

Objectives

The goal of GAPP is to increase and accelerate the positive social and economic impact of Canada’s genomics R&D capacity. Working towards this goal, the objectives of GAPP are to:

  • Accelerate the application of Canadian genomics–derived and genomics-enabling solutions to real-world opportunities and challenges defined by industry, not-for-profit and public sector receptors. 
  • Channel Canada’s genomics capacity into sustainable innovations that benefit Canadians. 
  • Enhance the value of Canadian genomics technologies, de-risking and incentivizing follow-on investment from industry and other partners. 
  • Foster mutually beneficial collaboration and knowledge exchange between Canadian academia and technology receptors.

Parameters

In GAPP projects, both the Academic and the Receptor must play integral roles in planning, leading and executing the project, and be jointly responsible for major project decisions. The Academic is expected to jointly develop the project plan (with the Receptor), provide critical scientific/technical expertise and direction, and administer project funds. The Receptor is expected to co-develop the project plan (with the Academic), provide technical expertise and direction for technology implementation, manage regulatory issues, and lead commercialization efforts (if applicable). 

Each Receptor representative is responsible for administering any project activities and associated costs taking place within their organizations. The Receptor(s) must have access to the expertise and resources to contribute substantially to the project from both a technical and commercial perspective, and to exploit the project outputs for the social and/or economic benefit of Canada. In projects with more than one Receptor, the group must appoint one Receptor Project Leader to represent all Receptors. 

Project Eligibility

To be eligible for GAPP funding, projects must: 

  • develop and apply a genomics-derived or genomics-enabling solution (i.e., tool, product or process) to an opportunity or challenge clearly defined by the Receptor(s); 
  • focus on late stage R&D that will position the innovation for near term implementation/commercialization; 
  • be co-led by an Academic and a Receptor organization in partnership, with active and necessary roles for both (see Section 5 for GAPP project partner definitions); and, 
  • have the potential to generate significant social and/or economic benefits for Canadian stakeholders (see Section 6 for description of benefits to Canada). 

Typically, a GAPP project involves either advancing a genomics technology that is emerging from Academic research or applying a solution (genomic or otherwise) derived from Academic research and expertise to add value to a Receptor product, tool or process. In the latter case, either the solution or the Receptor technology (but not necessarily both) must have a clear basis in genomics. 

GAPP is not intended to fund

  • discovery research; 
  • commercial launches; 
  • projects led by industry with an academic in a supporting or service role; or, 
  • projects or project components (e.g., certain types of clinical trials) that would normally be funded solely by the Receptor.

Funding Available and Term

Applicants can request up to 1/3 of the project budget from Genome Canada, from a minimum contribution of $100,000 to a maximum of $2 million. The remaining project funding must be secured from other eligible sources, with total co-funding of at least 1:2 (Genome Canada: all co-funding sources) and the Receptor(s) providing funding that is equal to or greater than Genome Canada’s contribution.

The duration of GAPP projects should be a minimum of two years to a maximum of three years but may be shorter or longer if justified.

Application Process

Applicants are required to apply for funding through their regional Genome Centre. GAPP project proposals are reviewed in two stages, as follows:

Expression of Interest (EOI) / Project Pitch

The EOI is a summary of the proposed project and its value proposition. EOIs are screened by an internal Genome Canada committee to determine eligibility for GAPP. Applicants will normally be informed within two weeks whether or not their application is eligible to advance to the first review stage – EOI / Project Pitch. 

Project leaders with eligible EOIs will be invited to “pitch” their project via teleconference to a panel of external industry and technical experts convened by Genome Canada. The Pitch consists of a presentation, with accompanying slides, that describes in further detail the scientific rationale, commercialization/implementation plan, and potential social and/or economic value of the proposed innovation. The presentation is followed by a question and answer period between the reviewers and the project leaders. 

The expert panel reviews the information obtained through the EOI and accompanying Pitch and recommends to Genome Canada whether or not the proposal should advance to the Supplementary Proposal stage. A conditional decision may also be rendered, whereby a proposal may advance if certain follow-up questions are answered to the satisfaction of the review panel and Genome Canada. Genome Canada notifies the Regional Genome Centres of the decision, normally within one week after the Pitch, and provides feedback from the external reviewers. 

Supplementary Proposal

The Supplementary Proposal provides a more thorough description of several sections of the EOI, including a detailed explanation of the technical aspects, project plan and budget. Applicants are also expected to address any concerns about the project pointed out in the EOI / Pitch feedback. Supplementary Proposals are reviewed by the same external experts that reviewed the EOI / Pitch, plus additional experts if deemed necessary, and by the Genome Canada Core Evaluation Team (CET). The CET is also provided with the EOI and EOI / Pitch reviews. 

The CET consists of external professionals with extensive experience in industrial R&D, technology implementation and commercialization, public policy, IP, investment and other relevant areas. The CET assesses all GAPP projects and expert reviews to provide additional viewpoints and consistency across project reviews and is involved in the ongoing oversight of GAPP funded projects. The CET provides recommendations on project funding (new and ongoing) to Genome Canada’s Board of Directors, who have final authority for funding decisions. 

All reviewers and CET members engaged by Genome Canada are signatories to confidentiality and conflict of interest agreements with Genome Canada to ensure that information is kept in strict confidence and that reviewers are not biased by conflicting professional obligations or financial considerations.

Documents & Resources

Link to Full GAPP Funding Opportunity
Link to GC website on previously funded projects
Link to Guidelines for Funding

Funding Contact

Georgia Balsevich
Email 

Other Funding Opportunities

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