Table 4: Horizontal Initiatives

 

General Information

Name of horizontal initiative Genomics R&D Initiative (GRDI)
Lead department(s) National Research Council Canada (NRC)
Federal partner organization(s) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Environment Canada (EC), Health Canada (HC), National Research Council Canada (NRC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) received a onetime allocation in 1999‑2000.
Non-federal and non-governmental partner(s) Not applicable
Start date of the horizontal initiative April 1999, renewed in 2002‑03, 2005‑06, 2011‑12, and 2014‑15
End date of the horizontal initiative March 2019
Total federal funding allocated (start to end date) $393.30M
Funding contributed by non-federal and non-governmental partners Not applicable
Description of the horizontal initiative The Genomics R&D Initiative (GRDI) supports genomics research inside federal government laboratories. It focuses on mandates and priorities of participating departments and agencies. Research supported by the GRDI covers areas such as health care, food safety and global food security, sound management of natural resources, a sustainable and competitive agriculture sector, and environmental protection, with collaboration with university and private sectors. Since the implementation of the GRDI in 1999, participating departments and agencies have built a solid genomics research capacity and have gone a long way to deliver on the Initiative's stated objectives, as confirmed by two independent evaluations (2006 and 2011) and an audit by the Office of the Comptroller General (2012). Additional information may be found on the GRDI web site.
Shared outcome(s) The GRDI Horizontal Performance Measurement Strategy was updated for Phase VI. The updated version covers fiscal years 2014‑2015 to 2018‑2019 and formalizes the roles and responsibilities of the eight departments and agencies involved in the Initiative to support effective monitoring and evaluation activities. It presents three intermediate outcomes: 1) Federal science departments and agencies are positioned as genomics research leaders; 2) Research results are used to inform government regulatory, policy, and/or resource management decisions; and 3) Research results are used by stakeholders to support innovation in Canada; contributing to the Government of Canada Outcomes: Healthy Canadians; Strong economic growth; An innovative and knowledge-based economy; and A clean and healthy environment.
Governance structures

An interdepartmental Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) Coordinating Committee (CC) has been established to oversee collective management and coordination of the federal GRDI. It is chaired by the lead agency (NRC) with membership at the ADM‑level from each of the organizations receiving funding and guest representatives from Industry Canada and Genome Canada. It is responsible for the overall strategic direction for the GRDI and approval of investment priorities. It ensures that effective priority setting mechanisms are established within departments and agencies, and that government objectives and priorities are addressed. The Committee also ensures that common management principles are implemented and collaborations between organizations are pursued wherever relevant and possible. It typically meets three times a year at the call of the Chair, more often when warranted by specific needs for decision-making.

An Interdepartmental Working Group (WG) supports the work of the committee. It is chaired by the lead agency (NRC) with membership at the Director level from all participating departments/agencies, and Industry Canada. The mandate of the WG is to provide recommendations and strategic advice to the ADM CC regarding strategic priority setting and overall management of the GRDI. The WG is responsible for providing direction to GRDI program activities related to operational delivery, implementation planning and investment priority setting. The WG also supports evaluation and reporting requirements related to the Initiative. It meets about every two months, more often when warranted by specific needs for recommendations and advice, as well as to develop and approve the GRDI Annual Performance Report.

A Coordination Function, housed at NRC, provides GRDI-wide program coordination, communication, networking and outreach support. This includes support to the ADM CC and the GRDI WG, transparent and effective communication to departments of the planning cycle, process requirements, financial administration and other project management requirements, and support for interdepartmental shared project planning and implementation. This function is also responsible for conducting studies and analyses to serve as input to determination of GRDI-wide research priorities, and providing management and administration support, as well as support for performance management, reporting, evaluation, and communications.

Planning highlights

Fiscal year 2016‑17 is the third year of GRDI Phase VI. Phase VI seeks to: 1) address shared priorities through horizontal integration and effective collaborations around interdepartmental projects; and 2) support the priorities, policies and mandates of government through concerted high calibre genomics research in areas where federal laboratories have distinct roles and competencies. The development of interdepartmental projects, while continuing to invest in mandated research, was initiated under Phase V and proved to be an effective mechanism to ensure continued relevance and impact of the GRDI for Canadians. The overall risk related to the funding and delivery of the GRDI program was evaluated during the planning stages of the 2010 GRDI evaluation, and was found to be medium-low.

Results to be achieved by non-federal and non-governmental partners Not applicable
Contact information

Roman Szumski
Vice-President, Life Sciences
National Research Council Canada
613-993-9244
Roman.Szumski@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

Planning Information

Federal organizations Link to departmental Program Alignment Architectures Contributing programs and activities Total allocation (from start to end date) ($ millions) 2016‑17 Planned spending ($ millions) 2016‑17 Expected results 2016–17 Performance indicators 2016‑17 Targets
AAFC Science, Innovation, Adoption and Sustainability Canadian Crop Genomics Initiative (CCGI) 108.50 4.44

Table 4a note ER1

Table 4a note ER2

Table 4a note PI1

Table 4a note T1

Table 4a note T2

CFIA Food Safety Program, Animal Health and Zoonotics Program, Plant Resources Program GRDI 3.60 0.72

Table 4a note ER3

Table 4a note PI3.1

Table 4a note PI3.2

Table 4a note T3

DFO Biotechnology and Genomics National Aquatic Biotechnology and Genomics R&D Strategy 16.50 0.72

Table 4a note ER4

Table 4a note PI4

Table 4a note T4

EC Climate Change and Clean Air Strategic Technology Applications of Genomics in the Environment (STAGE) 18.55 0.80

Table 4a note ER5

Table 4a note PI5

Table 4a note T5

HC

Canadian Health System Policy

  • Health System Priorities
GRDI 53.12 0.11

Table 4a note ER6

Table 4a note PI6

Table 4a note T6

Health Products

  • Biologics & Radiopharmaceuticals
GRDI 2.14 0.44

Table 4a note ER6

Table 4a note PI6

Table 4a note T6

Food Safety and Nutrition

  • Food Safety
GRDI 0.93 0.24

Table 4a note ER6

Table 4a note PI6

Table 4a note T6

Environmental Risks to Health

  • Health Impacts of Chemicals
GRDI 2.91 0.82

Table 4a note ER6

Table 4a note PI6

Table 4a note T6

Total for all Program Alignment Architecture GRDI 59.10 1.60

Table 4a note ER6

Table 4a note PI6

Table 4a note T6

NRC Technology Development and Advancement GRDI 108.50 4.44

Table 4a note ER1

Table 4a note ER7

Table 4a note PI7.1

Table 4a note PI7.2

Table 4a note T1

Table 4a note T7

Shared Priorities 28.86 3.98

Table 4a note ER8

Table 4a note PI7.1

Table 4a note PI7.2

Table 4a note T8

NRCan Innovation for New Products and Processes GRDI 36.10 1.60

Table 4a note ER9

Table 4a note PI9.1

Table 4a note PI9.2

Table 4a note T9

PHAC Public Health Infrastructure GRDI 13.10 1.60

Table 4a note ER10

Table 4a note PI10.1

Table 4a note PI10.2

Table 4a note T10

CIHR N/A N/A 0.50 0 N/A N/A N/A
Total for all federal organizations 393.30 19.90 Not applicable

Table notes

Table 4a note ER1

Using genomics to significantly increase Canada's share of global wheat production

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Table 4a note PI1

Number of scientific outputs generated in the form of scientific papers

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Table 4a note T1

NRC will continue to support the Canadian Wheat Improvement Program in the areas of tolerance to disease and abiotic stress, genomics-assisted breeding, and seed development. This program is NRC's contribution to the Canadian Wheat Alliance, a large-scale research alliance to improve the yield, sustainability, and profitability of Canadian wheat for the benefit of Canadian farmers and the economy. AAFC supports the objectives of the Alliance through its Canadian Crop Genomics Initiative. The Alliance also includes major contributions by the University of Saskatchewan, and the Province of Saskatchewan. The target for the number of scientific outputs generated in the form of scientific papers is set at 45.

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Table 4a note ER2

Using genomics to improve the value of Canadian crops and agri-products

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Table 4a note T2

GRDI investments at AAFC will focus on the priorities outlined in the Canadian Crop Genomics Initiative, and will be leveraged to enable industry to take advantage of new innovative opportunities. Activities will fall under three broad themes: 1) Biodiversity, gene mining and functional analysis: to develop value-added traits (e.g. seed quality) for the highly competitive marketplace, enhancing the resiliency of Canada's crop production in the face of potentially catastrophic abiotic and biotic stresses and to maximize profitability for the sector. 2) Bioinformatics and physical tools: ensuring that scientists can maximize the opportunities presented by genomics-based research (e.g. identification and characterization of genes coding for desirable traits related to seed quality or disease resistance). 3) Improved access to biological materials and data sets: to enhance the efficiency of plant breeding to lay the scientific foundation for major advances in the development and delivery of priority traits identified by industry (e.g. disease resistance).

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Table 4a note ER3

Using genomics for food safety, animal health and plant protection

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Table 4a note PI3.1

Number of standard operating procedures/tools developed and/or transferred to end users to support risk management strategies

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Table 4a note PI3.2

Number of scientific outputs generated in the form of publications, presentations and contributions to databases to support evidence-based regulatory, policy or resource management decisions

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Table 4a note T3

Funds from GRDI will be targeted to increase the genomics capability within CFIA to support on-site diagnostic tools and surveillance capabilities. Specifically, GRDI activities will focus on three areas: 1) Food Safety: to better support CFIA in the areas of compliance testing, source attribution and risk profiling, enabling enforcement of Health Canada standards. 2) Plant Resources: to enable early detection and rapid response, and inform regulatory decision-making for regulated plant pests and plant commodities within the agricultural and forestry sectors. 3) Animal Health: to support management of public health risks associated with the transmission of zoonotic diseases and reportable and emerging animal diseases.

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Table 4a note ER4

Genomics knowledge and advice for the management of fisheries and oceans

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Table 4a note PI4

Percentage of GRDI projects that provided genomics knowledge and advice to decision makers

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Table 4a note T4

Genomics-enabled research within DFO will continue to be aligned within the following themes: 1) Protecting fish species and enabling sustainable harvesting: to develop and apply leading-edge genomics tools to accurately identify species, farmed/wild interactions, populations and stocks for fisheries management and the conservation of vulnerable stocks, species at risk and aquatic biodiversity. 2) Safeguarding Canadian fish and seafood products: to develop innovative genomics techniques to detect, monitor and minimize the impact of pathogens (e.g. Infectious Salmon Anemia virus) in order to safeguard the health of Canada's aquatic resources and our export markets for fish and seafood products. 3) Maintaining healthy and productive aquatic ecosystems: to develop and apply new genomics tools to monitor, mitigate and restore aquatic ecosystems.

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Table 4a note ER5

Genomics-based tools and technologies for responsible decision-making

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Table 4a note PI5

Increased awareness and understanding of the five Strategic Technology Applications of Genomics in the Environment (STAGE) research priorities

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Table 4a note T5

EC will continue to deliver its GRDI funding under the STAGE program, in the following areas: 1) Chemical and biological risk assessment: to establish toxicology end points for microorganisms, chemicals of concern, and emerging stressor; and to predict the mode of action of chemicals of concern and their effects on organisms;  2) Wildlife conservation: to understand how genes are interacting in flora and fauna in response to environmental conditions and to track disease in wildlife; 3) Environmental monitoring: to develop indicators (e.g., gene expression profiles for key species) of ecosystem health in priority ecosystems (e.g., Great Lakes and St. Lawrence) and to track pathogen sources; and 4) Compliance and Enforcement: to analyze flora and fauna for individual species identification, parentage determination and ascertaining geographic origin. This work will enable the delivery of EC's obligation under the Fisheries Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, and programs including the Chemicals Management Plan.

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Table 4a note ER6

Genomic knowledge for the Canadian health regulatory system

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Table 4a note PI6

Percentage of targeted knowledge transfer activities accomplished related to genomic research (e.g., client meetings, poster/conference presentations, and peer-reviewed publications)

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Table 4a note T6

Genomics research will continue to focus on four priority investment areas to strengthen HC's regulatory role: 1) Supporting regulatory knowledge on therapeutics and biologics: to inform and support regulatory decisions throughout the biotherapeutic product life-cycle. Specifically, HC will continue with research projects on vaccines and emerging stem cell based projects. During the 2016‑17 fiscal year, HC stem cell research will identify molecules that can be used to monitor the safety and effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cell based products. In addition, vaccine research projects will be developing a list of immune cell markers that can be used to improve current methods for monitoring the efficacy of Respiratory Syncytial Virus vaccines. 2) Supporting regulatory knowledge on food safety and nutrition: enabling detection and characterization of food-borne micro-organisms; characterization of health effects of food contaminants, allergens, nutrients, novel foods/food ingredients, and pre- and pro-biotics; and development of markers of health status and disease (e.g. cancer, diabetes, obesity, allergies and cardiovascular disease) in the context of nutrition, micro-organisms, allergens and food contaminant exposure. 3) Protecting human health from potential adverse effects of environmental contaminants, radiation, consumer products and pesticides. 4) Research on socio-ethical impacts of genomics technologies, outputs and products: approaches for responsible integration of genomics for societal benefit, taking into account ethical, legal and socio-economic considerations.

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Table 4a note ER7

Commercially-relevant advances in genomics R&D related to human health

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Table 4a note PI7.1

Technology deployment (client commitments to exploit NRC innovations)

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Table 4a note PI7.2

Client/stakeholder feedback on benefits: jobs, sales, R&D

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Table 4a note T7

GRDI investments in NRC will be made in program areas that require genomics to help industry and government tackle strategic national priorities (e.g. strong economic growth, healthy Canadians, innovative and knowledge-based economy) through mission-oriented research and technology deployment. GRDI's human health-related focus will support NRC's Biologics and Subsequent Entry Biologics program. This program was approved for implementation by NRC's Senior Executive Committee after undergoing a rigorous program approval and implementation process.

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Table 4a note ER8

Concerted interdepartmental research along shared priorities and common goals on issues that are beyond the mandates of single departments

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Table 4a note T8

Two new shared priority projects will be launched in 2016-2017. The Antimicrobial Resistance project will develop a greater understanding of the critical activities that contribute to the development of antimicrobial resistance and critical exposure pathways by which antimicrobial bacteria reach humans, which could then be used to help validate economically sustainable technologies, practices, and policies to mitigate the development of antimicrobial resistance; it is a key component of the Federal Action Plan for Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada. The Metagenomic-Based Ecosystem Biomonitoring (EcoBiomics) project will develop advanced genomics tools to monitor drinking and recreational water quality, assess the biodiversity of freshwater invertebrates and microorganisms, evaluate the health of soil essential to the productivity of agricultural and forestry systems across Canada, and investigate land remediation for the oil and mining sectors. The main impact of this project will be to support environmental responsibility, secure market access for resource products and improve social license for economic development in Canada.

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Table 4a note ER9

Genomic knowledge for forest generation and protection

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Table 4a note PI9.1

Number of new products and processes resulting from NRCan information

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Table 4a note PI9.2

R&D expenditures in natural resource sectors, specifically total intramural R&D expenditures in energy, mining and forest sectors

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Table 4a note T9

The Canadian Forest Service of NRCan will focus on accelerating the translation of accumulated genomics knowledge into applications in support of Canada's forest sector competitiveness, including: 1) Forest generation: the development of innovative genomic applications will result in accelerated production of higher quality fibre, translating into economic and environmental benefits for Canada. 2) Forest protection: the development of innovative genomic diagnostic tools will enable rapid detection and management of invasive insects and diseases which threaten the health and ecological integrity of Canadian forests, the forest sector and forest communities.

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Table 4a note ER10

Genomics knowledge to strengthen public health programs and activities related to infectious and chronic disease

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Table 4a note PI10.1

Percent of clients indicating overall satisfaction with laboratory reference services as "satisfied" or "very satisfied"

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Table 4a note PI10.2

Number of citations to agency laboratory research publication to demonstrate knowledge transfer uptake

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Table 4a note T10

The genomic study of pathogens and their traits associated with infectious diseases generate rapid and cost effective new approaches to disease surveillance, prevention, and control (e.g. molecular tools to better identify organisms associated with disease outbreaks). GRDI research activities at PHAC apply "-omics" technologies to generate new knowledge to support public health decision making, and to create new tools to enhance disease prevention and control. These technologies are providing methods to enhance: 1) the prevention and control of priority pathogens; 2) the response to antimicrobial resistant pathogens; 3) infectious disease surveillance; and 4) public health security measures. The knowledge generated from genomic approaches is supporting more detailed risk analyses, as well as the identification and development of new intervention points for the control and prevention of infectious diseases. The targets for PI10.1 and 10.2 are set at 90% and 1800 respectively.

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