Interdisciplinary Challenge Teams 2023 (ICT) Funding Opportunity


Genome Canada


Agriculture & Food

Ontario Genomics is pleased to announce Genome Canada’s new Climate Action Genomics Initiative – Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems funding opportunity, launched in May 2022. Interdisciplinary Challenge Teams (ICTs) represent the largest, key component of the initiative. ICTs are integrated teams of researchers from different disciplines and users who work together to address specific questions, achieve relevant deliverables and, ultimately, reduce the carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of Canada’s agriculture and food systems. As part of the Initiative portfolio, the teams will work toward broader national impacts that manifest value beyond each individual project. The ICTs will provide genomic solutions to help implement agriculture and food production systems that are climate-resilient, socially responsible, economically viable and environmentally sustainable, and that contribute to the mitigation of climate change impacts.


The ICT funding opportunity aims to support teams that use genomic approaches to achieve the overall objective of the Initiative, which is to develop and apply genomic tools and technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the carbon footprint of Canada’s food systems to ensure they are resilient, economically viable and environmentally sustainable.

The scope of this funding opportunity will include areas where genomic technologies are used to help achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and reduce the carbon footprint of Canada’s agriculture and food production system. Projects should seek solutions that will increase the value created by production systems without increasing greenhouse gas emissions or amplifying negative impacts on the natural environment. Furthermore, projects should demonstrate how their outputs could be translated into reduced emissions by taking into account the various dimensions of the food system value chain, including production, processing, distribution and consumption.

Applicants must demonstrate how their proposal has significant potential to achieve concrete deliverables by the end of the funding period. Proposals that make a strong case that their deliverables will translate into significant social and/or economic benefits that align with the Initiative’s overall intended impact (i.e., the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to lessen the carbon footprint of Canada’s agriculture and food production systems) within the shortest time frame possible after the end of the project are particularly encouraged. Consideration will be given to what is reasonable for different research areas.

See example projects here.

To ensure that the objectives of the funding opportunity are met, all applications must address the evaluation criteria established for the competition (see Appendix 1 of funding opportunity).

Available funding and term

  • There is approximately $24 million available for the ICTs from Genome Canada.
  • Genome Canada’s maximum contribution to an approved project will be $3 million.
  • There must be a minimum contribution of $1 million from Genome Canada to each approved project.
  • A project’s eligible costs must be co-funded from eligible sources such that the co-funding is at least equal to the Genome Canada contribution. See the Genome Canada Guidelines for Funding for more details.
  • Successful teams will be awarded funding for a term of up to four years.

It is anticipated that eight to ten ICTs will be funded as part of this Initiative portfolio. The portfolio will also include a Data Coordinating Centre (DCC) as well as a Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation Coordinating Centre (KMICC).


Genome Canada funds can only be awarded to individuals affiliated with one or more of the following types of organizations:

  • Canadian universities, colleges and affiliated institutions including research hospitals and research institutes
  • Not-for-profit organizations (including community or charitable organizations) with an explicit research mandate
  • Canadian non-federal government departments or agencies

See ICT Funding Opportunity and Guidelines for Funding Research Projects for complete eligibility requirements.


Laura Riley

Director, Sector Innovation and Programs, Ontario Genomics

Key Dates

*Dates to be finalized and subject to change.

Informational Webinar Recording

May 30, 2022

Draft registrations due to OG (optional)

June 20, 2022

Deadline for submitting registration to OG

June 30, 2022, 12:00 PM

Virtual information session(s) with members of registered ICTs (GC)

July 20, 2022, 1:00-2:30 PM

Draft LOIs due to OG (to be sent to external “friendly” reviewers)

August 8, 2022

LOI strategy sessions

August 22-26, 2022

Interim LOI draft

September 6, 2022

Deadline for submitting Letter of Intent (LOI) to OG

September 15, 2022, 10:00 AM

LOI results notification

Early November 2022

Full application strategy sessions 1

November 16-18, 2022

Full Application draft to OG (to be sent to external “friendly” reviewers)

December 6, 2022, 10:00 AM

Budget, appendices to OG

December 8, 2022

Full application strategy sessions 2

December 13-15, 2022

Interim full application draft, inc. budget & appendices

January 5, 2023

Deadline for submitting full application to OG

January 16, 2023, 10:00 AM

Practice interviews

February 6-8, 2023

Team interviews with Genome Canada’s review committee

February 22-23, 2023

Notification of decision

End of March 2023

Awarded projects