Genomics in Mining Program funding targets Atlantic Canada’s mining industry

5/22/2024 1:29:56 PM

Genome Atlantic, College of the North Atlantic (CNA), and the Atlantic hub of the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (MICA) are teaming up to launch a small-scale genomics funding program for Atlantic Canada’s mining industry.

Dr. Kristin Tweel, Director of Sector Innovation at Genome Atlantic, stated, “Critical minerals play a pivotal role for a clean energy future. Genomics offers a strategic avenue to mitigate risks and foster innovation and sustainability in mining practices.” She explained that the new Genomics in Mining research funding program aims to facilitate green alternatives and remove barriers for mining companies.

Janelle Skeard, CNA’s Director of Industry Innovation, said, “The new program provides an exciting opportunity for mining companies and stakeholders to explore how genomics can make their operations more efficient and sustainable. This collaboration between CNA, Genome Atlantic and MICA is an innovative approach to further integrate biotechnology and genomics in the mining industry. From environmental monitoring, to bioleaching and remediation, the role of genomics in the mining industry has tremendous potential for Newfoundland and Labrador and for Atlantic Canadian operators and we're thrilled to be a part of it.”

They cited Environmental DNA (eDNA) as just one of many examples of how genomics can help improve mining. It can be used to monitor aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, assess the impact of mining activities on biodiversity, and inform environmental management and remediation strategies. By identifying species at risk, eDNA monitoring can help mining companies comply with regulatory requirements, minimize ecological disturbances, and enhance sustainable resource management practices.

CNA will manage the program in partnership with Genome Atlantic, overseeing application assessment, funding recommendations and follow-up reports.

Preferably, applicants should be Atlantic Canadian companies or companies with a presence in the region, that are interested in exploring how genomics could benefit their organization’s operations or developing genomics-based products or services for the region’s mining industries. Candidates that meet some but not all of the criteria will be evaluated on an individual basis.

The program, which supports small-scale pursuits with the goal of enabling or de-risking much larger-scale initiatives, offers up to $10,000 for MICA members and up to $5,000 for non-members, with co-funding required for higher requests.  Projects can explore areas where genomics could provide value, connect a company or organization with genomics expertise, support the development of an R&D roadmap, or support proof of concept research or technology validation. Another funding category supports technical expertise, with grants of up to $5,000 for research strategy development, market research or partnership facilitation.

There is no fixed deadline for applications, and applications will be accepted until the fund is depleted. Further details on the program and application are available on both Genome Atlantic’s and College of the North Atlantic’s websites, at and

“Genome Atlantic thanks the College of the North Atlantic and MICA for their partnership in launching this timely program,” said Dr. Tweel. “Their extensive experience in the mining sector, combined with Genome Atlantic’s role as a regional innovation catalyst, will ensure this program’s success in driving impactful change.”

For more information on Genome Atlantic visit Genome Atlantic (

For more information about the Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator network, visit MICA - Mining Innovation Commercialization Accelerator (

For more information about the Genomics in Mining Program, visit Office of Applied Research and Innovation - College of the North Atlantic (


Charmaine Gaudet, Director of External Relations, Genome Atlantic

Ryan Crocker, Manager of Communications, CNA