Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC), Celebrating 20 years

About the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada


Developing talent for the future

Begun in the Toronto area in 1994, these annual science competitions are intended to raise awareness among students, educators and the public about the emerging science of biotechnology and its applications in health care, agriculture and the environment. The supporting organizations hope to encourage more students to pursue studies and careers in biotechnology, which will be one of the major knowledge-based industries in the 21st Century. Each SBCC features the outstanding work of high school students who have conducted research projects and experiments of their own design in some area of biotechnology. Cash prizes are awarded to the top five or six student teams and their schools based on the recommendations of judges from the scientific and education communities as well as the biotechnology industry. In Saskatoon, the competition is open to senior elementary school students. In many regions, a lecture series on various aspects of biotechnology may be offered to local schools as part of class visits to the SBCC competition.

In 1996-97, the program expanded to Montreal and to London, Ontario. The Ottawa region became the newest site in the fall of 1997. The biotechnology associations in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, British Columbia and Saskatchewan launched SBCC events in the fall of 1998. In 2000, new programs were set up in Manitoba and Edmonton, Alberta. New Brunswick and Calgary, Alberta became SBCC sites in 2002. The 2005 competition marked the addition of Prince Edward Island as a participating region in the SBCC program.

The merger of Aventis with Sanofi Synthelab early in 2005 to form sanofi-aventis, the world’s 3rd largest pharmaceutical company, necessitated a change of name for the biotechnology competition formerly known as the Sanofi-Aventis Biotechnology Challenge (SABC).

In 2007, the name was changed to the Sanofi Aventis BioTalent Challenge Canada to reflect the support of BioTalent Canada as a major supporter.

In 2009, Northern Manitoba was added as the 14th SBCC region and in 2010, students from Quebec City competed in the Montreal competition.

In 2013 The Sanofi Group in Canada selected Partners In Research as the new national coordinator for the Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada (SBCC). Partners In Research (PIR) helps Canadians understand the significance, accomplishments and promise of biomedical research in advancing health and medicine, with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as fields of discovery and study for Canadian students.