The mission of the Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) is to use world-class research to create strategic genomics resources and accelerate Ontarioâ€™s development of a globally-competitive life sciences sector.
OGI strategically cultivates, funds, and manages large-scale genomics projects and the genomics resources they create, as well as technology development and technology service platform provision associated with these projects.
We use the term 'genomics' as inclusive of proteomics and other 'omics' domains with high-throughput, holistic, and systematic methodologies in common. These projects usually involve international collaborators but are always led by one or more Ontario scientists. Funding comes from a number of sources; some flow funds through OGI, and some send it directly to the project participants, but all of this occurs within a single, tightly coordinated project and budget.
OGI came into being in 2000 as a stand-alone, not-for-profit corporation - one of six regional genome centres in Canada. We have also established a charitable subsidiary, Genomics Charitable Initiative (GCI), and a for-profit subsidiary, Genomics Ontario (GO, Inc.), and OGI is responsible for Ontarioâ€™s Genomics Sector Innovation Network portal (www.g-sin.com).
OGIâ€™s primary partners in developing genomics projects are Ontarioâ€™s public and private research institutions in the life sciences, which carry out the projects that OGI funds and manages. We receive support from and work closely with Ontarioâ€™s Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment/Ministry of Research and Innovation and, as with other regional genome centres, Genome Canada.
OGI has a three-pronged approach â€“ Research Program Management, Business Development, and Outreach â€“ through which we fulfill our mission:
- Through Research Program Management, we identify and cultivate emerging Ontario-led, pioneering research projects in genomics and related fields, and work with them to identify, attract, and support funding.
- Through Business Development, we catalyze access to and the impact of research outcomes, helping scientists market their discoveries and the resulting products, and also work to ensure that access to leading-edge technologies makes genomics research in Ontario more competitive.
- Through Outreach, we establish initiatives that increase awareness of genomics research and facilitate informed public dialogue about genomics and its impact on society.
Since 2000, OGI has developed a portfolio of nearly 50 genomics projects, some completed and some ongoing, covering a broad spectrum of applications and with budgets totaling over $700 million. These investments have led to genomics resources and outcomes that are in use in many countries. This has led the scientists and their teams in Ontario who generate these resources being seen, in many cases, as world leaders in expanding understanding of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of life on earth.