Founded in 2000, Genome Atlantic is a non-profit organization offering diverse and highly flexible services created to enable Atlantic Canada to reap the economic and social benefits of genomics and associated technologies. How do they do this? Genome Atlantic helps companies, government departments, and researchers pursue genomics-based solutions to real-world problems.
“Many people hear the words genetics or genomics and think only about human health applications,” explained Steven Armstrong, President and CEO, Genome Atlantic, “however, genomics can benefit almost every area of life and business. Genome Atlantic aims to advance applied genomics research and development in seven key sectors in Atlantic Canada – agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, energy, the environment, forestry, mining, and human health.”
An Example of Genomics in The Oil and Gas Industry
Oil and gas is a key industry in our economy. Genome Atlantic uses genomics to study the DNA of the living organisms at play in the energy sector – namely bacteria and other microbes. Some of these bacteria can cause corrosion, enhance recovery, de-risk exploration, and clean up oil spills. Deciding where to drill and explore for oil is a big decision, one that affects the bottom line and can keep a business leader awake at night worrying. Genomics data can help companies de-risk decisions on where to drill, and improve overall project outcomes.
The Evidence Network and Genome Atlantic
When Genome Atlantic came to The Evidence Network Inc. (TEN) in early 2016, they wanted to determine the impact of their work on companies, like those in the oil and gas industry example above, and on the researchers with whom their client companies collaborate. In order to produce an independent impact assessment, TEN developed a customized logic model, impact survey questionnaire, and created and conducted stakeholder interviews. These were the tools that allowed TEN to deliver a comprehensive impact assessment report and impact infographic outlining the impact of Genome Atlantic on industry and researcher partners in Atlantic Canada. The response rates for this assessment were exceptionally high, which speaks to the quality of the relationship between Genome Atlantic and its clients.
Genome Atlantic Drives Outcomes
Through the impact assessment TEN conducted, we learned that the support services provided by Genome Atlantic positively impact researchers’ and companies’ resources and capabilities. This impact in turn drives outcomes for:
- Researcher and company performance
- Enhanced innovativeness of researchers
- Improved competitiveness of companies
Overall, the impact assessment findings demonstrate that Genome Atlantic is achieving its mandate to help Atlantic Canada reap the economic and social benefits of genomics research and associated technologies. Genome Atlantic is using the results of this assessment in discussions with its funders as it seeks to expand its services in the Atlantic Provinces.
“Embarking on a fundraising campaign to support the business development efforts of our organization, we needed a third party to validate our impact on researchers and companies in Atlantic Canada. We needed a strategy to not only capture our impact, but also package it so that our stakeholders would easily understand our value. TEN’s experience and reputation working with other Genome Centres and innovation enabling organizations was perfect for this project – our relationship with TEN continues to deliver on our goal.”
Dr. Steven Armstrong President and CEO, Genome Atlantic
Working with TEN was painless,“ said Steven Armstrong, President and CEO, Genome Atlantic. “They were responsive and cooperative, while holding firm on the rigorous and unbiased approach required for them to produce an objective and evidence-based impact assessment. Their [TEN’s] report and impact infographics were tremendously useful in our fundraising campaign.”
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