Smarter cities, better vaccines, greener buildings: CANARIE invests in research software tools that drive innovation

Research Software Program funds the development of Software Platforms and Services for researchers, accelerating discovery by enabling access to rich data resources and maximizing the impact of Canada’s powerful digital infrastructure

CANARIE, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation, today announced a further $2.4M in investment in eight new Software Platforms and Services. These new projects enable Canadian scientists to analyze, visualize and share immense volumes of research data, transforming data into knowledge and insight that contribute to Canada’s economic and social development.

CANARIE’s Research Software Program invests in and supports two types of projects:

  1. Research Platforms are software for research within a specific discipline
  2. Research Services are software components that perform specific data management functions (i.e. storage, visualization, transfer, retrieval, etc.) that could benefit any research platform, regardless of discipline

CANARIE’s Research Software Program adopts a highly efficient model to address a gap in research software tools. Research Platforms can draw from an existing toolkit of Research Services, developed by other researchers in previous rounds of CANARIE funding. New Platforms pledge to add new Services to the toolkit, resulting in significant process and cost efficiencies through a powerful cycle of software development and reuse. CANARIE’s full suite of powerful Software Services is available at no cost to the worldwide scientific research community at

Illustrating the powerful efficiencies of this collaborative model, the new Platforms will re-use 9 Services from previous rounds of investments and contribute 27 new Services to this pool of resources. In total, CANARIE is funding the development of 60 research services and 12 research platforms over the course of its current mandate.

CANARIE is pleased to announce the following new Platforms and Services, in diverse disciplines ranging from sustainable buildings and smart structures, to immunogenetics, arctic environmental studies and e-learning.

New Research Platforms:

  • iReceptor; led by Dr. Felix Breden, The IRMACS Centre, Simon Fraser University – The world’s first platform to integrate immune receptor gene sequences across a number of international research centres. For the first time, researchers will be able to collaborate on the analysis of large-scale immunogenetic sequence databases to improve the design of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies.
  • Research Platform for Smart Facilities Management (RP-SMARF); led by Professor Shikharesh Majumdar, Carleton University – The first cloud-based platform to allow widely-dispersed researchers to share scattered data analysis tools, databases and expertise toward building smart facilities in the increasingly interconnected smart cities of the future.
  • VidEo: Annotation Processing System (VESTA); led by Mr. André Lapointe and Mr. Tom Landry, Centre de recherché informatique de Montreal (CRIM) – An integrated set of innovative software tools for the analysis and annotation of audio and video recordings used to advance e-learning initiatives in the educational studies research community.
  • ArcticConnect; led by Professor Maribeth Murray and Professor Steve Liang, University of Calgary – A platform to consolidate environmental information from multiple sources (including sensors, field experiments, satellites and citizen observation) in the Arctic and subarctic, to link efforts among indigenous people, the research community, the private sector and government agencies, improving the management of a changing Arctic.
  • Green 2.0; Led by Professor Tamer El-Diraby, University of Toronto – A platform enabling researchers to study water and energy optimization in green buildings, through the collection and analysis of large volumes of data collected by sensors, social media and scientific experiments.

New Research Services:

  • Generic 3D Web-Viewer Service (BrainBrowser); Led by Dr. Alan Evans, Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University – A service that leverages the CBRAIN platform, funded by CANARIE in its previous mandate, to provide the Canadian research community with a browser-based 3D web viewer service for the visualization of local or remote data.
  • ExPLORE Complex Oceanographic Data; Led by Ms. Reyna Jenkyns, Ocean Networks Canada – A service to significantly extend the interoperability and exchange of multi-dimensional and mobile marine data for use by a multidisciplinary community of scientists, the public, government and non-governmental agencies.
  • Active Folders; Led by Dr. Paul Lu, Department of Computer Science, University of Alberta – A new service for high-speed, easy data transfer between high-performance computing (HPC) and cloud data centres, and researchers’ own servers and devices.

“Canada is a world leader in the development of reusable research software services that are used in multiple research domains, accelerating knowledge creation,” said Mark Wolff, CANARIE’s Chief Technology Officer. “The CANARIE Research Software Program responds to the community’s need for a robust set of software tools that are the foundation for Canadian leadership in digital discovery.”

To ensure these Platforms and Services meet the needs of the community, CANARIE’s Research Advisory Committee, consisting of research leaders from across Canada and across a range of disciplines, provided CANARIE with valuable guidance and advice in the selection of these projects.

For more information, please contact:

Ela Ienzi
Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432


CANARIE designs and delivers digital infrastructure, and drives its adoption for Canada’s research, education and innovation 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.

Twelve provincial and territorial network partners, together with CANARIE, collectively form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canadians to national and global data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that fuel the engine of innovation in today’s 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.