Genome Canada has launched the Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation Coordinating Hub funding opportunity (KMIC) planned as part of their Climate-Smart Agriculture and Food Systems initiative. The goal of this Initiative is to invest $30 million in cutting-edge genomic research and innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the carbon footprint of Canada’s food production systems to build their resiliency, environmental sustainability and economic viability.
The Initiative will fund a portfolio of Interdisciplinary Challenge Team (ICT) projects that will be supported, coordinated and connected through cross-cutting programs in knowledge mobilization, data coordination and implementation. This portfolio approach allows the benefits from one solution to be applied to other food production systems or supply chains such that the impacts can cascade throughout the broader food system.
Knowledge mobilization and implementation will be critical components of the Initiative. The projects within the portfolio will intentionally and regularly connect, convene and learn from each other to drive greater collective impact.
To that end, this Initiative will fund two cross-cutting coordination Hubs: the Data Coordination and Collaboration Hub (hereafter “the Data Hub”), which will focus on data, and the Knowledge Mobilization and Implementation Coordination Hub (hereafter “the KMIC Hub”), which will focus on knowledge mobilization and implementation. These Hubs will provide administrative, technical and coordination leadership to the project portfolio with a focus on:
- Intentionally connecting projects across the ICT portfolio.
- Supporting the coordination and alignment of portfolio activities across projects.
- Engaging stakeholders and end users at the portfolio level.
- Adding value to project outputs.
- Addressing gaps to create portfolio coherence in achieving impacts.
The KMIC Hub will possess broad and specific knowledge, skills and expertise in genomics in society (GIS)—a field that encompasses the environmental, economic, ethical, legal and social aspects of genomics (GE3LS) research—as well as skills in stakeholder relations, partnership development, project management, stakeholder and end-user engagement, policy and regulation, economics, and implementation science. These skills and knowledge areas will equip the KMIC Hub to lead and coordinate cross-cutting GE3LS research and activities at the portfolio level and to launch and manage other knowledge mobilization activities that will help drive the adoption of genomic solutions and mobilize knowledge to help the portfolio deliver net carbon reduction.
Notably, the KMIC Hub will focus initially on developing mechanisms and structures to enable the ICT teams to connect with the Hub. The Hub will work with ICTs to refine, co-create and harmonize project-specific knowledge mobilization and implementation plans into a single unified portfolio plan. This plan should describe an ambitious yet practical vision of what a Canadian KMIC Hub for climate genomics could be and how it will work across the portfolio of projects to support Canada’s goals to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce the carbon footprint of its agriculture and food production system.
It will be critically important for the KMIC and Data Hubs to work together to coordinate their activities across the portfolio, informing each other’s data and knowledge mobilization portfolio-level strategies. Both Hubs will require formal mechanisms and structures to ensure coordination and co-creation of work across the portfolio and with each other. Governance structures will support this. Genome Canada and the relevant Genome Centres will have ongoing, direct relationships with the Hubs to drive strategic objectives in knowledge mobilization and data coordination.