Supporting a data ecosystem serving agri-food sustainability

Agri-food Data Canada is supporting a data ecosystem serving agri-food sustainability. Through investments in technology, infrastructure and culture, we are helping researchers and the research community get more value from the data researchers are already collecting.

Agri-food data ecosystem

The Agri-food research data ecosystem is made of researchers working at Universities, government institutions, producer and commodity organizations, agri-food businesses and citizen scientists.

Each participant in this data ecosystem has ownership or stewardship over data related to the sector. To address the big questions it is important that participants are able to exchange collaborate and share data in order to create knowledge that is relevant and address the challenging, cross-domain issues such as the impact of agriculture on climate-change.

Diverse data in agri-food research

The data ecosystem of agri-food has a huge variety of the types of data available. Data sharing is difficult and data reuse is not optimal.

The integration and reuse of data makes the data much more valuable. A single giant platform of data might be the first thought for someone who wanted to create a place to find, share and use data. Governance of such a system is a huge challenge with so many different parties and different requirements. It would be like saying we need to create a giant single type of store for everyone in Canada to shop at!

Connecting the data ecosystem

The reality of Agri-food research data is that there are many platforms, many standards, and many approaches to answering important sector questions.

Agri-food Data Canada seeks to make it easier for all participants to improve all components of the data ecosystem through the creation of training, tools and protocols that help researchers and other data ecosystem participants connect existing resources.

Where we are

Agri-food Data Canada is currently being incubated within Food from Thought, a research program led by the University of Guelph and funded by a $76.6-million grant from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. The program is intended to increase the sustainability and productivity of global food production by leveraging the power of leading-edge data science, agri-food research, and biodiversity science. Food from Thought will position Canada as a global leader in the development of innovative solutions that improve both the sustainability and the productivity of food systems at global, landscape, and micro levels.

Mission and vision

Our mission is to support researchers in developing knowledge from their data. We will help researchers understand and improve the complex relationship between agriculture and ecosystems through data management infrastructure, data governance and analytics solutions.

Our vision is to be researcher-centered, providing reliable data management and analytics ecosystems that fuel innovation and enable broad access to world-leading, curated research data that promotes opportunities for innovation and partnerships.