Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC)
Formerly known as the Connaught Student Biotechnology Exhibition and the Sanofi Aventis BioTalent Challenge, the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC) is intended to encourage students in Canadian high schools, and CEGEP in Quebec, to pursue future studies and careers in the exciting field of biotechnology. SBCC programs are being held in 9 regions across Canada by local biotech and educational organizations in partnership with universities, colleges, government and industry. The cities that are hosting regional SBCC competitions this year include Vancouver, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Eastern Ontario, Toronto, Southwestern Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada.
The program’s national supporters include Sanofi and Sanofi Pasteur, the National Research Council of Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Genome Canada and the Government of Canada’s Youth Awareness Program. Local supporters include universities, colleges, school boards, biotech organizations and industry. More than 100 organizations are partnered with Sanofi in supporting this educational outreach initiative.
Greater Toronto Competition
Bioscience Education Canada is also the regional co-ordinating organization responsible for the SBCC program in the greater Toronto region, which began in 1994. Both Dr. William Mak and Rick Levick were founding members of the program, which has since expanded to 13 other sites across Canada.
The competition mirrors the real world of scientific research by:
- requiring students to submit research proposals that are evaluated by a scientific evaluation committee;
- students with approved projects are connected with possible mentors who can provide expert advice and access to equipment and supplies; and;
- students have their projects judged by fellow students (peer review) and by judges representing government, business, academia and the education community.
In Toronto, student teams compete for $9,500 in cash prizes that are awarded to seven winning teams and their schools. The Toronto competition is held in April at rotating venues in conjunction with a series of biotechnology lectures on a wide range of biotechnology topics by some of Toronto’s leading researchers.
The local sponsors of the Toronto program include Sanofi Pasteur Ltd, the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, MaRS, Life Sciences Ontario, the University of Toronto, the University of Toronto (Mississauga), the University of Toronto (Scarborough), York University, Ryerson University, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Centennial College, and the University Health Network.