Canada has a vast wealth of natural resources, which contributes significantly to both national and regional economic well-being. Resource industries play a critical role in delivering jobs, growth, and prosperity for Canadians: in 2018, they, directly and indirectly, accounted for 17% of nominal GDP and around 1.7 million jobs. In addition, natural resources account for more than half of Canada’s merchandise exports and were valued at $264 billion[1]. However, these sectors are facing increasing pressure as a result of climate change and other threats such as the rapid increase in the world’s population impacting land use and natural habitat.

The natural resource and environment sectors have a history of using research to assess challenges and develop various solutions. Knowledge and innovation emerging from genomics[2] have the potential to help address the challenges in these sectors and thereby drive sustainability, growth, productivity, commercialization and global competitiveness. Previous investments from Genome Canada in these sectors have led to the development of genomic tools, resources and policies for biomonitoring and ecotoxicological risk assessment, bioremediation, and increased efficiency of hydrocarbon extraction. In addition, tools have been developed to increase forest sustainability for present and future climates and changing economic markets, e.g., tools to identify trees with the desired qualities for reforestation programs including identification of populations at higher risk from climate change, as well as tools to screen for invasive species.

Genome Canada, together with Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is seeking proposals for large-scale research projects which focus on the application of genomics in Canada’s natural resources and environment sectors and address challenges and opportunities of importance to Canada. This funding opportunity builds on the complementary mandates of Genome Canada and NRCan and provides an opportunity to bring together and maximize the effectiveness of the research communities, infrastructure, and resources supported by both organizations. This funding opportunity makes it possible to collaboratively carry out joint projects with NRCan researchers, where Genome Canada funds will support the Genome Canada eligible researchers and NRCan funds will support the NRCan researchers.

Large-Scale Applied Research Projects require a team-based approach that is collaborative, integrative and applied. Researchers with different disciplinary expertise, using a variety of research strategies and methodologies, contribute to a broader understanding of the research problem to be addressed. Research questions should be informed by intended users of the research who can help identify opportunities, barriers and define knowledge gaps that need to be addressed.