CANARIE Call for Proposals targets public and private sector partners to address gap in research software.

Innovative Research Middleware program will fund the development of research software tools that power collaborative, data-intensive research.

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced a call for proposals to create software platforms and services to support cutting-edge Canadian research.

These software tools will substantially increase the speed with which researchers can move from data to discovery and – ultimately – to breakthrough and innovation. The software developed through this Research Middleware program will contribute to an ever-growing pool of resources that can be reused to accelerate development of new research software over the long term. Middleware is software that manages the interaction between an application program and digital infrastructure.

The software developed through this program helps researchers use all the information that travels over the ultra-high-speed CANARIE network. To grasp the value of this program, imagine the Internet without a browser or an e-mail program. Data and information could still be transmitted, but there would be no interface to make it usable. That is the function that these Research Middleware developments serve on the CANARIE network: they make it much easier for researchers to access, use, view, share, and work with the data that is growing by leaps and bounds every year.


Today’s global, collaborative, data-intensive research requires ultra-high-speed networks like CANARIE, advanced computing services like those offered by Compute Canada/Calcul Canada, and the software tools that leverage both these assets and enable scientists to mine rich data sources worldwide.

There is no umbrella organization responsible for the development of research software. Typically software tools and platforms are developed for a specific research project. The CANARIE program is designed to change this paradigm by developing a powerful suite of research software tools and services that can be used and reused.

This call for proposals invites researchers and developers from the private and public sectors to submit proposals to create either a complete research platform – a Network-Enabled Platform (NEP) – which would incorporate all the services and tools required to perform research within a specific domain, and/or the reusable software services that can be incorporated into a Network-Enabled Platform to extend the platform’s functionality. These reusable services, Research Platform Interfaces (RPI), are discrete sections of code that perform specific functions, like authentication, data reconciliation, or visualization.

To gain the maximum value from the investment in this program, the Network-Enabled Platforms developed under this round of funding will be designed to contribute further software services (the Research Platform Interfaces) to the pool of available services, in a “take some, give back” approach. The intent is to drive a powerful cycle of software innovation and efficiency in which disparate research groups benefit from a toolkit of proven software services that can be used across a range of research domains.


“CANARIE has spearheaded a revolutionary approach to the development of research software,” says Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “This program not only addresses the needs of specific research domains to be able to access a global repository of data and tools, but also ensures the efficiency of ongoing software development through the use and reuse of powerful software services.”

“As research is a global endeavour, software that makes it easy for researchers to collaborate and share data is key to accelerating discovery,” says Benoît Pirenne, Associate Director, Digital Infrastructure at Ocean Networks Canada. “The Oceans 2.0 data platform, created under CANARIE’s previous Network-Enabled Platforms program, enables Canadians to collaborate with international peers and fully leverage the rich data that is being generated by Canada’s only networked undersea observatories to more fully understand and protect our oceans.”


During its previous mandate, the NEP Program awarded almost $28 million in funding to 20 exciting IT research projects across the country. From deep sea to deep space exploration, these research platforms enabled researchers to easily access and leverage valuable national and global resources to further their research objectives and increase Canada’s contribution to knowledge and discovery.

  • Active Network Interchange for Scientific Experimentation (ANISE)
  • Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR)
  • Canadian Bioinformatics Resources as Semantic Services (CBRASS)
  • Canadian Brain Imaging Research Network (CBRAIN)
  • Canadian Space Science Data Portal (CSSDP)
  • Cloud-Enabled Space Weather Modeling & Data Assimilation Program (CESWP)
  • CyberSKA Canada
  • Data from the Deep, Judgments from the Crowds
  • Disaster Response Network Enabled Platform (DR-NEP)
  • GeoChronos
  • Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing (GeoCENS)
  • Global Brain Imaging Research Network (GBRAIN)
  • Health Services Virtual Organisation (HSVO)
  • HEP Legacy Data Project
  • Oceans 2.0: A Platform to Create and Support Ocean Science Virtual Organizations
  • Online Network-Enabled Intelligent Transportation System (ONE-ITS)
  • Open Orchestra
  • Platform for Ocean Knowledge Management (POKM)
  • Science Studio
  • Service-Oriented Scientific Grid Computing (SOSGC)


Fact sheets and links for previous NEPs, including links to their websites.

The NEPTUNE Canada Oceans 2.0 data search page.

A snapshot of the GBRAIN research platform.


For more information, please contact:

Wynn Anne Sibbald, Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432


CANARIE designs, delivers, and drives the adoption of digital infrastructure for Canada’s research and education communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra- high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100
Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud-computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

CANARIE, together with twelve provincial and territorial network partners, forms Canada’s advanced network alliance. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canada’s researchers and innovators provincially, nationally, and globally to the data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that are at the heart of prosperity in the digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.