The ETP Symposium was initiated as part of a Genome Canada project sponsored by MDS Sciex, Genome Alberta and Genome Prairie. Its major theme was to have world-renown scientists present papers on their experiences with novel technologies that have, or will have a major influence on research in the life sciences. The popularity of the original two symposia led to the creation of a not-for-profit entity, ETP Symposium Inc., who now is responsible for organizing the symposium on a biennial basis. The theme remains the same: alerting scientists in the life sciences to advances in new technology that could have a significant impact on their research activities.

The original founders of ETP are Dr. William (Bill) Davidson and Janette Champ.