Genome Canada has launched the 2014 Large-Scale Applied Research Competition (2014 LSARP): “Genomics and Feeding the Future
This competition aims to support projects that use genomic approaches within the agri-food sectors (crops and livestock) to address challenges and opportunities related to global food safety, security and sustainable production. The agri-food sector plays an important role in federal and provincial economies, contributing significantly to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employment, directly providing one in eight jobs, employing 2.1 million people and accounting for 8.0% of Canada’s total GDP.
Increasing consumer demand and an ever-expanding population necessitate the development of sustainable agricultural practices. Genomics provides the toolkit necessary to foster practical innovations in the agri-food sector. For example, genomics-based approaches will revolutionize the agri-food industry by advancing our knowledge of animal husbandry (improved meat quality and quantity), or generating disease and stress-resistant crops. Other potential examples of agri-food issues that could be resolved using genomics-based approaches include:
- Meeting the demands of population growth
- Improving the health of crops and livestock including increased resilience to disease, drought, temperature extremes and climate change, and pests and invasive species
- Production systems able that can lessen the footprint of agri-food production on the environment
- Achieving the safety and quality attributes identified by market demand (i.e., production of food with enhanced safety, nutrition and functional attributes)
- Exploring translational challenges and addressing social, political, regulatory, policy or economic barriers hindering the uptake of genomics-based applications in agri-food
- Identifying strategies that can foster receptivity of genomics-based approaches in agri-food
Approximately $90 million will be invested over 4 years in large-scale research projects across Canada, each worth from $2 million to $10 million. Genome Canada will invest $30 million, the Western Grains Research Foundation $5 million, and the balance of investment will be obtained through co-funding of projects from other sources, such as industry, governments and not-for-profits. Projects will be selected through a rigorous international peer review process.
There is a three-stage application process for the LSARP 2014:
- Full Application
Each stage will be subject to a review to assess a project’s eligibility, with invitations give to projects to proceed to subsequent stages.
Projects for the 2014 LSARP must meet certain requirements in order to be considered eligible. Projects must include:
- GE3LS component to address potential barriers to the adoption of the outcomes of the research
- Results that can be readily translated into significant social and/or economic benefits a realistic time frame
- End-user engagement that ensure the project has a practical application
Projects are encouraged to incorporate collaboration and/or coordination with international partners, multiple academic institutions, multiple departments, and Genome Canada’s Science and Technology Innovation Centres.
The complete Request for Applications (RFA) is available for download
. You can also read the complete media release
on our blog pages.
Gijs van Rooijen
Chief Scientific Officer