ClosedAgriculture & Agri-food

Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems (CSAFS) – Data Coordination and Collaboration (DCC) Hub


Genome Canada launched the challenge-driven Climate Action Genomics Initiative funding opportunity in May 2022.

The opportunity, called the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative (hereafter “the Initiative”), invested $30 million from Genome Canada into cutting-edge genomic research and innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of Canada’s food production systems and to build their resiliency, environmental sustainability and economic viability.

Data is a central component of the Initiative, as it acts as a bridge and connector between projects and as an output that supports the ability to achieve and measure impact across a diverse portfolio of projects. To that end, this Initiative is funding two cross-cutting coordination Hubs: the Data Coordination and Collaboration Hub (hereafter “the Data Hub”), which focuses on data, and the Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation Coordination Hub (hereafter “the KMIC Hub”), which focuses on knowledge mobilization and implementation. 

These Hubs provide administrative, technical and coordination leadership to the project portfolio, with a focus on:

  • Intentionally connecting projects across the ICT portfolio.
  • Supporting the coordination and alignment of portfolio activities across projects.
  • Engaging stakeholders and end users at the portfolio level.
  • Adding value to project outputs.
  • Addressing gaps to create portfolio coherence in achieving impacts.

A single pan-Canadian team will be selected to provide data coordination and technical expertise for the portfolio of projects. The team were required to work with the ICTs and other partners to develop and implement a portfolio data plan.

The Data Hub is responsible for coordinating the scientific data within the portfolio that was required to validate and replicate research findings, regardless of whether the data was used to support scholarly publications. Beyond genomic datasets, relevant scientific findings include information about how the data was generated (e.g., software, workflows and protocols) and the context in which the data should have been interpreted (e.g., metadata, policy, socio-economic measures, etc.). Collectively, scientific data outputs from the Initiative are referred to as “data assets.”

The Data Hub intends to leverage existing digital research infrastructure and software platforms and focuses on adding value to these, as opposed to engineering new software. Moreover, the intent is to support the success of individual projects by providing data resources and broader connections to stakeholders. To facilitate climate impact, the Data Hub will generate a common framework for portfolio outputs. It is not linking disparate projects under one overarching research question.

The Data Hub is responsible for data governance, research data management, and data analytics:

Data governance ensures that the appropriate data stewardship and data-sharing policies were implemented for access, security and privacy.

Research data management focuses on the infrastructure for data storage, processing and data-sharing. This involves advancing data interoperability standards to optimize data flow and linkages. Data analytics provides value to the portfolio through expertise in statistics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Analytics included developing tools and workflows that support ICTs and/or that made the data more useful to external partners.

A crucial part of the project’s success is ensuring the Data Hub and KMIC Hubs collaborate effectively to coordinate their activities across the portfolio, consistently informing each other’s data and knowledge mobilization portfolio-level strategies. Both Hubs require formal mechanisms and structures to ensure coordination and co-creation of work across the portfolio and with each other. Governance structures support this. Genome Canada and the relevant Genome Centres will have strong communication skills and close-knit relationships with the Hubs to help drive strategic objectives in knowledge mobilization and data coordination.

Funding Highlights

Registration deadline: CLOSED
Project Value: $4,000,000
Total Funding Available: $4,000,000

Complete List of Project Timelines
Launch of Funding Opportunity  August 23, 2022
Registration Form Available November 9, 2022
Genome Canada Virtual Information Session November 23, 2022
Final Registration due to Genome Alberta December 7, 2022
Full Application Form Available  December 16, 2022
 Draft Full Application due to Genome Alberta February 2023
Final Full Application due to Genome Alberta April 2023
Application review  May 2023
Notification of decision to teams Early July 2023
ICT and Hub teams convened Mid-late July 2023


This funding opportunity aims to support a single pan-Canadian team that will develop and implement a data plan for Genome Canada’s Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative. First, the team will internally coordinate data-related activities across the interdisciplinary research teams to add value and consistency to the genomic data assets that are being generated. Second, the team will help the projects leverage these data assets to externally advance genomic technologies and policies that have the potential to measurably mitigate climate change, such as by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and/or increasing carbon sequestration.  

The broader vision is to co-develop the foundation of a collaborative Canadian climate genomic data hub.


Applicant teams will describe a proposed portfolio data plan that is ambitious and achievable. The activities should focus on the development phase. There will be three main sections in the application form:

  • Vision for the Data Hub (i.e., data governance, data management, data analysis).
  • A development phase plan (i.e., mechanisms and structures needed to coordinate across the portfolio, understand the gaps and use cases, and develop portfolio data plan).
  • Management and finance (i.e., team, decision-making processes, and resourcing to achieve the project objectives).

Hubs must have a dedicated project manager with sufficient administrative support to coordinate Hub-specific activities. In addition, each Hub will contribute the budgetary equivalent of 0.5 of a full-time employee to pay for a portfolio-level project manager responsible for coordinating shared activities.

Project Eligibility

  1. The team must be pan-Canadian with representation from at least three provinces.
  2. The team must include relevant expertise in:
    • Data governance (i.e., data-sharing, access, security and privacy policy).
    • Data management (i.e., standards, metadata, data portals and cloud computing).
    • Data analytics (i.e., bioinformatics, statistics, and AI).
    • Agriculture science (e.g., crops and livestock).
    • Climate science (e.g., carbon accounting, climate modelling, geographic information systems).
  3. The project must include public or private sector partner(s) to:
    • Support computational infrastructure and longer-term sustainability.
    • Facilitate the downstream use and/or impact of the data resources.
  4. Project leaders from the ICT teams cannot be Project Leaders of the Hubs. However, members of the ICT teams can be involved in the Hub team as co-applicants.

Funding Available and Term

  • Only one pan-Canadian team will be funded.
  • Up to $4 million of Genome Canada funding will be available for the Data Hub project. This includes up to $1.5 million for the first phase and up to $2.5 million for the second and third phases.
  • A detailed budget is required for the first phase. A high-level budget is required for the second and third phases.
  • Co-funding that is at least equal to the Genome Canada contribution is required.
  • There is a 100 per cent co-funding commitment required for the first phase at the time of the release of funds.
  • The term is five years.

Documents & Resources

Link to Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems Funding Overview
Link to Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems ICTs
Link to Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems KMIC
Link to Guidelines for Funding PDF

Funding Contact

Georgia Balsevich

Other Funding Opportunities

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