U.K. and Canadian governments back bioinformatics, omics research projects

With the British economy now exiting its slump and forecast to grow faster than its peers, government funding groups are looking for startups that will sustain the resurgence. And that means more money for bioinformatics businesses, with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) accepting applications for new funding from next month.

TSB is working with its partners in Northern Ireland and Scotland to make £2.75 million ($4.6 million) available to small businesses involved with bioinformatics and other sectors. The cash will be divvied up into £50,000 to £150,000 awards to help startups run feasibility studies. TSB is particularly keen to fund ideas that are unproven in practice and as such have a high level of technical risk, the sort of work that can struggle to find private financing.

In bioinformatics, this means TSB will favor experimental ways of organizing, filtering, visualizing and interpreting biological data. Omics startups are also being sought, with TSB calling for companies that are trying to integrate collection and interpretation of metabolomic, proteomic, genomic and phenomic data to apply. The application window opens early next month and closes on June 25.

The Canadian government is also ponying up cash for omics research, with the Canada Foundation for Innovation backing several projects as part of a C$30.4 million ($27.6 million) investment in academic research. McGill University scooped the joint-biggest award for a project, C$400,000, to advance its single-cell genomics infrastructure.

- here's the U.K. funding details
- and the Canadian release