eDNAtec advances environmental genomics standards with ISO certification
ST. JOHN’S – eDNAtec and its research centre, the Centre for Environmental Genomics Applications (CEGA), headquartered in Newfoundland, has been certified to the ISO 9001:2015 standard of Quality Management System (QMS).
“We have always adhered to the highest standards of quality control and assurance at eDNAtec,” said Dr. Mehrdad Hajibabaei, PhD, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at eDNAtec. “But we also recognized that our clients and partners expect complete transparency in how we do that, and the ISO 9001:2015 certification fulfills this goal.” “I am proud of our team who worked tirelessly to achieve this important milestone during this challenging pandemic time.”
The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide organization of member bodies that has developed QMS standards that are specific, measurable and consistent across international borders.
“Many of our clients have international profiles and the potential eDNA work scope – such as researching the impacts of climate change – could take us anywhere in the world,” said eDNAtec CEO, Steve Barrett. “ISO 9001:2015 is the universal language of quality management and assurance that bridges borders and opens doors to new relationships and opportunities.”
ISO 9001:2015 is built upon seven foundational principles that ensure stronger performance and better customer satisfaction, including engagement of people, customer focus, leadership, process approach, improvement, evidence-based decision making, and relationship management.
New Scientific Paradigm
eDNAtec and CEGA, its centre of excellence, work collaboratively with clients and partners to develop eDNA products and services that enable industries, regulators or scientific organizations that require support for environmental stewardship or research purposes. Environmental assessments (EA) have traditionally relied on the collection and identification of organisms, which can be physically cumbersome and time-consuming.
“Our technologies represent a new scientific paradigm, in that we determine entire biodiversity in an ecosystem solely by collecting DNA samples from bulk samples such as water, soil or sediments” said Dr. Hajibabaei. “The whole process of collection and analysis of eDNA samples can be completed in a matter of days, not months.”
To ensure repeatable and reliable quality results, eDNAtec has developed the EnviroSeq® Genomics Workflow at its CEGA facility. “EnviroSeq® is an end-to-end solution that has been hardened and tested through hundreds of genomics projects delivered around the world in harsh field conditions and remote locations. The EnviroSeq® workflow includes Biodiversity Assessment, Rare Target Detection and Bioindicator Species Detection. Every aspect is critical to ensure consistent quality and accurate results. This ISO 9001:2015 certification confirms that EnviroSeq® solutions are effective, reliable and robust,” said Dr. Hajibabaei.
ISO 9001:2015 certification is the latest accomplishment in what has been a breakout year for eDNAtec.
“We continue to break into new markets and advance new products and services for government and industry clients,” Barrett said. “We endured the uncertainty and challenges of operating during a pandemic, with no reduction in staff levels and all deliverables to customers and grant funders either achieved or surpassed. Our partners are happy and continue to work with us, which validates our service offering and bodes well for future growth.”