The U.S. Public Sector
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) started the Human Genome Project (HGP), and involved the private sector and academia by licensing technologies to private companies and awarding grants to universities for innovative research. This project helped launch today's multi-billion dollar U.S. biotechnology industry.
The Private Sector
In 1998 Celera Genomics founder, J. Craig Venter, announced that his company would sequence the human genome by using the largest civilian supercomputer ever made. As Celera made progress on sequencing the human genome many people believed a race between the public and private sectors would happen. But after Venter met with Francis Collins, HGP director, it was decided that a collaboration between the two sectors would be more beneficial than a competition.
Venter (Celera Genomics), Patrinos (DOE), Collins (NIH).
Source: Human Genome Program, U.S. Department of Energy,
Human Genome News (v11n1-2), November 2000.
The International Community
At least eighteen countries were involved in the HGP, making this international collaboration the largest partnership ever initiated in the biological sciences.
"Every so often in the history of human endeavour, there comes a breakthrough that takes humankind across a frontier into a new era. ... today's announcement is such a breakthrough, a breakthrough that opens the way for massive advancement in the treatment of cancer and hereditary diseases. And that is only the beginning."
— Anthony Charles Lynton (Tony) Blair
Source: White House press conference broadcast on the day of the publication of the first draft of the human genome. Blair spoke by video link from London., transcript, 'President Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair Deliver Remarks on Human Genome Milestone' (26 Jun 2000).