Genome Canada investments target climate-smart agriculture and food systems solutions

Fisherman putting the fishing net into the water. He is standing on his boat. Sun in back.

Genome Canada’s $30 million Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative will translate genomics research and innovation into solutions supporting producers, resilient supply chains and Canada’s food system.

A young female farmer is holding a digital tablet in a farm field. Smart farming.

Climate change poses a significant risk to our agricultural systems, impacting the availability of food and other vital resources, from fuels to the raw materials used to develop everyday food products.

In response to this challenge, Genome Canada has designed and deployed an innovative national  genomics initiative that will support climate change mitigation and adaptation with a laser focus on impact. Its unique portfolio approach to investment will unlock the value of genomic technologies and data for the benefit of all Canadians and the environment propelled by:


The Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative includes:

Investment in a portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects connected by cross-cutting programs driving knowledge mobilization, data coordination and implementation of genomic solutions.

$24M investment
Teams of researchers and receptors addressing specific questions that will deliver innovative genomics solutions that support climate change mitigation and action.
$4M investment
Cross-cutting funding to develop and implement a portfolio-level plan to coordinate data assets, standards and analytics across Interdisciplinary Challenge Teams.
$2M investment
Cross-cutting funding to develop and implement a plan to coordinate knowledge mobilization strategies across the ICTs and support portfolio-level GE3LS research (genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social aspects) and genomics in society activities for knowledge mobilization and implementation.

What does a portfolio approach to genomics investment in climate smart agriculture and food systems look like in action?

  • Impact-focused project deliverables supporting Canadian food systems,the economy and society at large.
  • Engagement with users and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the uptake and practical application of solutions generated.
  • GE3LS (genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social aspects) research highlighting key enablers of, and barriers to, the uptake of genomics-based solutions.
  • Data generation and coordination to develop national data assets and ensure sound data management.
  • Alignment and collaboration across Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems research projects enabled by the Data and Knowledge Mobilization Hubs.


Tackling complex challenges like climate change, food security and supply chain sustainability requires solutions shaped and delivered by diverse and engaged stakeholders. The portfolio approach we are taking with the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative will maximize the impact of Genome Canada’s strategic investments in climate-smart agriculture and food systems by coordinating the efforts of a broad range of researchers, institutions and communities.

– Dr. Catalina Lopez-Correa, Chief Scientific Officer, Genome Canada

Intertwined strands of DNA with arrows pointing out at the end


Generating, sharing, analyzing and coordinating the use of quality genomic data will be key to the next phase of climate change mitigation and adaptation—and the future of Canada’s food systems.

A climate change genomics Data Hub is one of two innovative mechanisms driving the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems Challenge and enabling research teams to deliver maximum impact.


Connection and integration are essential to unlocking the value of genomic data. Genome Canada is working to build Canada’s first climate change genomics Data Hub to act as a bridge between projects funded through the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative—helping us drive and measure impact across a diverse portfolio of research projects.

– Daryl Waggott, Director, Data Strategy and Technology Programs

All research teams in the portfolio will carefully consider how they will manage, preserve and share the scientific data and resources generated by their project, creating valuable cross-portfolio datasets that can be leveraged by each team and other initiatives in academia, government and industry. Each team will commit to working with the Data Hub to maximize the impact of data generated.

Multiple multi-coloured arrows inside a circle all pointing in different directions


Mobilizing the vast knowledge generated by genomics research and innovation—and deep engagement with the communities, producers, companies, consumers and government agencies who will take up, implement and commercialize these solutions—are core pillars of the initiative.


Getting genomics into the hands of those who will use it is a key goal of the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems. With support and leadership from the Knowledge Mobilization and Data Hubs, the projects within the portfolio we are funding will intentionally and regularly connect, convene and learn from each other—and they will have a significant focus on mobilizing the research and innovation coming from the projects to drive greater collective impact.

– Sapna Mahajan, Director, Genomics in Society

Quick facts

  • $30M in federal investment through Genome Canada to launch the initiative
  • $24M for interdisciplinary research teams delivering genomics solutions for climate change mitigation and action
  • $4M to launch Canada’s first climate change genomics Data Hub
  • $2M to launch a new Knowledge Mobilization Hub
  • $3M maximum contribution by Genome Canada to any single research project, and $1M minimum
  • At least 1:1 co-funding ration for each Genome Canada-led project, doubling investment
  • $136.7M announced in Budget 2021 for Genome Canada to kickstart a new $400M Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy.

Media contact

Nicola Katz, Director,
Communications Genome
Canada Cell: 613-297-0267