Climate Action Genomics Initiative: Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems

Published: May 12th 2022

Climate change poses a significant risk to our agriculture, aquaculture, and food production systems and will increasingly impact availability of food and other vital resources.   Innovative new technologies, products and approaches are required to reduce emissions, maintain productivity and competitiveness, and ensure food security at home and abroad. 

In response to this major challenge, Genome Canada is launching the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems genomics initiative which is investing $30M in interdisciplinary, collaborative, and cutting-edge genomic research and innovation to reduce the carbon footprint of Canada’s food production 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 coordination 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 ($24M) 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 reduction the footprint of Canada’s food systems.  The funding process will involve three stages: Registration, Letter of Intent, 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 footprints
  • 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.)
  • Controlled environment agriculture

Please see for more information on this funding opportunity. 

Interested researchers should contact Genome Atlantic as soon as possible for more information on deadlines and proposal development support.  

For more information or to apply, please contact Kristin Tweel ( and/or Andrew Yoshioka (  

*The acronym GE3LS stands for genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social aspects. However, it should be understood broadly as research into the implications of genomics in society from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities. Therefore, it is not strictly limited to the disciplines that comprise the acronym, but rather encompasses all those that rely on quantitative and qualitative methodologies to investigate the implications of genomics in society and to inform applications, practices and policies.