Government of Canada supports scientific research to improve food production and soil quality

Genomics Research and Development Initiative continues research
in agriculture, environment, fisheries, forestry, and health

OTTAWA, Nov. 17, 2016 /CNW/ - Science plays a central role in the Government of Canada's commitment to producing health, environmental and economic outcomes that improve the lives of Canadians and build a healthy middle class. That's why David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, on behalf of The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, announced $4 million in funding for two new research projects under the Genomics Research and Development Initiative (GRDI).

GRDI is a unique federal initiative that fosters integrated research cooperation among eight federal science departments and agencies. The results of these research endeavours provide the evidence needed to inform the public policy, regulatory, and operational mandates of government.

Of the two new projects funded, the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) project will make food production safer by developing strategies that reduce bacterial and microbial resistance, the result of bacteria and microbes becoming immune to drugs. This project aims to gain a greater understanding of the contributing factors to AMR, and to discover how resistant bacteria reach humans through the food production systems.

The second project funded, EcoBiomics, will explore how genomics can be used to sustain and enhance the health of soil and water systems. Unlike harmful microbes that develop resistance to antibiotics, microbes found in soil and water are essential to providing crops and wild vegetation with the building blocks they need to grow. This work will study how genomics research tools can be used to enhance soil and water monitoring, assessment, and rehabilitation.

Through investments like these, the Government of Canada continues to support the full spectrum of fundamental and applied sciences in ways that will improve food production safety and enhance soil and water quality for all Canadians. The results from these scientific studies will contribute to new technologies to protect human health and the environment, and to support key industry sectors like agriculture, fisheries and forestry. These projects will also play a key role in positioning Canada's public sector scientists as leaders in genomics innovation.

Quick Facts

  • Each year, the Genomics Research and Development Initiative provides $19.9 million dollars to Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Health Canada, the National Research Council of Canada, Natural Resources Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
  • GRDI provides a solid foundation for public sector scientists to position themselves as important participants in genomics research in Canada and internationally, for example in academic projects funded by Genome Canada.
  • Budget 2016 committed more than $237 million for projects funded by Genome Canada which will translate discoveries into solutions across key sectors of national importance such as health, agriculture, fisheries, the environment and energy.


"A scientific approach is essential in our effort to overcome some of the greatest challenges we face, such as antimicrobial resistance and issue related to food security. Our government is committed to investing in research initiatives that provide scientists with the support they need to continue collecting the vital evidence necessary to inform decisions that lead to vibrant society, a sustainable environment and a strong middle class."

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

"The Genomics Research and Development Initiative is a strong vehicle to deliver genomic-related research and I am confident that it will have positive impacts on the work being done at the Central Experimental Farm, in Ottawa. The research conducted here will enable scientists in different departments to combine their expertise to address Canadian concerns in agriculture and the environment in addition to providing the evidence our government needs to create sound policy to improve the lives of Canadians."

David McGuinty, Member of Parliament for Ottawa South

"By supporting world-class research excellence, our Government is demonstrating the value it places on science and our scientists. Promising scientific breakthroughs by leading Canadian genomics researchers will create jobs and opportunities to grow Canada's middle class."

The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

"Innovation is one of the Government of Canada's main priorities. Today's announcement is great news for farmers and Canadians, as this cutting-edge genomic research will help ensure food is safe and continues to be produced in the most economically and environmentally sustainable way."

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Related product

  • Backgrounder – Genomics Research and Development Initiative

Additional Link


SOURCE National Research Council Canada

For further information: Media Relations Team, National Research Council of Canada, 613-991-1431, 1-855-282-1637 (24/7),; Twitter: @nrc_cnrc


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