The incredible amount of data generated by genomics research offers enormous opportunities to solving challenges around health and wellness, food security, sustainable resource development and climate change, to name just a few. However, extracting value from this vast amount of information is also a critical challenge.

With a limited number of tools available, Canada’s genomics research community is faced with a major bottleneck in the analysis of data, amplifying the need for new computational tools to support modern biological research. Thankfully, British Columbian researchers are recognized as leaders in this area as evidenced by the federal government’s announcement earlier today.

In all, 25 projects were selected across Canada for a total of $23.1 million in funding from Genome Canada’s most recent competition in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. BC researchers will lead seven projects and co-lead two others.

The investment in these projects will allow scientists to use next-generation tools such as artificial intelligence and other advanced computational techniques to analyze enormous data sets produced by modern genomics technologies.

“Data analysis and open and accessible data are critical challenges for the research community.” said Catalina Lopez-Correa, Genome BC’s Chief Scientific Officer and VP, Sectors. “The ongoing development and enhancement of these tools are essential to maximize the impact and application of genomics.”

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology is specifically recognized as a shared priority among Canada’s research funders, as it will be the key to extracting meaningful insights from increasingly complex large data sets.