In 2013, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) partnered on a 2013 Discovery Frontiers call for proposals, focused on advancing big data science in genomics research. This initiative was designed to support the development of tools and methodologies to integrate currently available complex data sets in the fields of ‘omics sciences with each other, as well as with phenotypic data and data from other related fields of biological sciences. It was aimed at building on past and ongoing investments in this area, the most recent being the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Request for Applications launched in June 2012 by Genome Canada and CIHR.
The result of the Competition was announced April 30, 2014. Federal funding totaling $5.6 million was awarded to the Ontario-led project to support an unprecedented collaboration – both in Canada and internationally – to develop tools that can effectively manipulate vast amounts of data to help find cures for cancer.