The Ontario Genomics Institute is now accepting applications for its Pre-Commercialization Business Development Fund (PBDF), a unique investment fund that provides early-stage funding to researchers as they move towards commercial applications of their genomics and proteomics research projects.

Through an investment of $100,000, the PBDF helps researchers, entrepreneurs or organizations in the life sciences move their technologies towards follow-on financing and commercialization. Last year, the PBDF invested in a test to help predict the outcomes of bone marrow transplants, a research effort to develop a set of genetic markers that can be used to produce pigs that are free of boar taint (an undesirable taste or odour that is sometimes present in pork products) and the development of novel cytogenic, single-copy DNA probes that can specifically detect individual chromosomal abnormalities.

This application deadline for the next round of investment is January 29, 2010.

Areas of consideration for the PBDF include, but are not restricted to:

  • biofuels
  • cell, macromolecular or small-molecule strategies for disease therapeutics
  • crop or livestock trait improvements
  • diagnostics
  • environmental management
  • laboratory and medical devices
  • nutraceuticals
  • associated technologies such as analysis and organization of data resources (informatics, databases), high-throughput robotics and information technology

The PBDF ranks opportunities in terms of the extent to which they meet the following criteria:

  • The investment increases the likelihood of a near-term (i.e., within 24 months), ‘next-step’ event by offering concrete, definitive milestone(s) and uniquely enables rapid progress towards the marketplace for the outcome(s) of genomics-related technologies.
  • The opportunity forges a partnership between academe and industry.
  • The proposal demonstrates that the PBDF represents a unique funding opportunity for the project.
  • The applicant provides a matching investment in cash or in kind, whether from internal resources or other investors or from granting institutions.
  • The opportunity is of interest to an entity capable of and committed to further commercializing the outcome.

For more information, details of previous investments or to apply for the PBDF, visit the Ontario Genomics Institute’s website.

Vanessa Caldwell

Vanessa is a writer at MaRS. She writes all kinds of things, like posts for the MaRS blog, articles for Convergence (the MaRS magazine) and the weekly MaRS eNewsletters. See more…