Deadline: 2019-10-18 Award: $150,000 CAD Open to: Canadian Corporations*
Micro-organisms and microbial mixtures have the capacity to perform novel and complex tasks in a diverse array of biotechnology applications, many of which support the goals of sustainability. The testing required under the regulations for assessment can be expensive. When multiple micro-organisms are used together in a mixture, the cost of testing becomes prohibitive to the small-medium enterprises that represent the majority of notifiers. Companies have requested the option to conduct testing on the microbial mixture, but it is unknown how interactions between micro-organisms in the mixture during testing could affect prediction of an adverse effect subsequent to environmental release. Lack of suitable test methodologies and novel approaches to determine the adverse effects of microbial mixtures also puts pressure on the program to provide timely guidance to notifiers to meet the regulatory requirements or to assess the notifications within regulated timelines, which prevents Canadian companies from bringing products to the market. The solution will equip HC with complete information needed to conduct the risk assessment of biotechnology-derived products containing microbial mixtures, and meet its operational and regulatory responsibility. It would enable HC to provide informed guidance to notifiers on cost-effective, reliable test methods required to fulfill the regulatory requirements prior to the manufacture or import of microbial mixtures into Canada.