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Genome Prairie Announces Launch of $30 Million Pan-Canadian Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative

May 12, 2022

The newly announced initiative aims to leverage the power of genomic technology to reduce carbon emissions in agriculture and other food production systems.

(May 12, 2022 – Saskatoon, SK) Genome Prairie announced today the launch of the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative. Led by Genome Canada, the initiative will earmark $30 million in matching funding to support cutting-edge genomic research to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Canada’s food production system.

“We are excited about the possibilities of this initiative and how it supports genomics research that could impact serious global challenges,” said Lester Young, Genome Prairie’s Director of Scientific Affairs.

“The potential of this funding from Genome Canada could be profound in that it will support the development of genomic-based solutions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from food production without reducing productivity,” said Young. “The initiative will also support finding ways to build a more resilient and sustainable food system, which could also mitigate climate impacts and support healthy ecosystems.”

Today’s announcement follows a recent announcement by the Government of Canada in its 2021 budget of $400 million in funding for a Pan-Canadian Genomics Strategy. The announcement also included more than $136M for Genome Canada to kickstart the strategy.

“The development of new technologies, products, and approaches will be critical for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and maintaining the competitiveness of our producers,” said Mike Cey, CEO of Genome Prairie.

“The prairie region is a huge player in Canada’s food production, be it crops or livestock. The Climate-Smart initiative offers a huge opportunity for industry and researchers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba to advance the environmental sustainability and economic viability of our agri-food sector.”


The Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative will take a first-of-its-kind strategy by mobilizing the collective research knowledge in Canada, including the academic, public, private, industry, and non-profit communities.

“Over the coming weeks, we’ll be on the ground talking closely to the research and industry sectors that we hope will lead to significant projects for the Prairie region,” said Cey.

The initiative is part of Genome Canada’s recently formulated challenge-driven approach to genomic research. The approach brings focus and urgency toward finding alternative pathways and new tools for significant challenges facing Canada and beyond.

The Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative has several key milestones that include submitting letters of intent by the early fall of 2022. The final project application deadline is estimated to be January of next year. Successful project applicants will be notified by March of 2023.

Genome Prairie Climate-Smart Timeline
May 12, 2022     Launch of Competition

May 19, (SK) May 26, 2022 – (MB)     Information sessions – In person/virtual

July 5, 2022      Deadline for submitting Registration to Genome Prairie

mid-July 2022      Virtual information session(s) with members of the registered ICTs

August 15, 2022      Deadline to submit draft Letter of Intent (LOI) due to Genome Prairie

August 26, 2022      Friendly review feedback to teams

September 16, 2022      Deadline for submitting final version of the LOI to Genome Prairie.

Early November 2022      Applicants notified of results of the LOI submissions after peer review organized by Genome Canada

December 12, 2022      Deadline to submit draft full application including budget and appendices.

December 13, 2022      Internal and external review

January 3, 2023      Friendly review feedback to teams

January 19, 2023     Deadline for submitting final version of the signed Full Application (complete package: proposal, budget, supporting documents) to Genome Prairie

Mid-February 2023     Interview with Genome Canada’s review committee

End of March 2023      Notification of Funding Decision

Genome Prairie is a non-profit organization that supports stakeholders across Manitoba and Saskatchewan in capturing and maximizing the benefits of advanced research in genomics and related biosciences. With offices in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg, Manitoba, Genome Prairie represents one of six pan-Canadian regional genomic centres. Genome Canada is an independent, federally funded not-for-profit organization coordinating with the six genomic centres to reflect regional and provincial priorities.

For more information about the Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative, please contact Genome Prairie’s communications office.

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