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Genome Canada launches $30M Climate-Smart Ag and Food Systems initiative

June 9, 2022  By Fruit & Vegetable

Genome Canada has launched a new $30 million Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems genomics initiative to reduce the carbon footprint and support the economic growth of Canadian agriculture and food systems.

This large-scale initiative will fund a portfolio of interdisciplinary genomics research and innovation projects while connecting these efforts with cross-cutting programs to support knowledge mobilization, data co-ordination and solution implementation across Canada. This portfolio approach allows benefits from one solution to translate into other production systems or supply chains and cascade impact throughout the broader national food system.

The Interdisciplinary Challenge Team Funding Opportunity ($24 million) is the first of the programs to be launched under the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative. Projects should involve multidisciplinary teams including GE3LS researchers, must focus on the use of genomic approaches to develop tools and technologies, and demonstrate significant potential to achieve impact in reducing the footprint of Canada’s food systems. The funding process will involve three stages: registration, letter of intent (LOI), and full application. Co-funding will be required.


Eligible research themes include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing production efficiencies to existing food systems while reducing environmental footprint;
  • Carbon sequestration (cultivars, soil microbial communities etc.);
  • Sustainability in food production systems (e.g. with decreased use of water, fertilizers, and pesticides; improving fish feed);
  • Cellular agriculture (e.g. tissue engineering, precision fermentation techniques, etc.); and
  • Controlled environment agriculture (CEA).

“This initiative will help us turn genomics research and innovation into solutions that support and strengthen BC’s food producers, supply chains and the broader food system,” said Pascal Spothelfer, president and CEO at Genome British Columbia.

Researchers with an interest in this initiative are asked to submit a draft registration to their respective regional Genome Centre by the specified deadline:

Building on 20 years of impact, this major new initiative will mobilize the collective strengths of the Canadian Genomics Enterprise – comprised of Genome Canada and six independent regional Genome Centres across the country – and the Canadian genomics research and innovation ecosystem. With co-funding from partners, this will result in a $60 million genomics investment to help Canada strengthen climate change resilience and achieve a net-zero carbon future.

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