CANARIE invests in new software tools for scientific research


Credit: Ocean Networks Canada

It’s full-speed ahead for a new software platform that builds on the world-leading data management system of the University of Victoria’s Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) thanks to federal funding announced today at the University of Victoria. For details see the news release below from CANARIE.

For more information on the ONC project contact Leslie Elliott, ONC Communications, at 250-472-5357 or

Government of Canada news release

Innovative model of software reuse and cross-discipline collaboration aims to bolster Canadian research teams on the world stage

Victoria, BC – September 13, 2016 – CANARIE is investing $2.3M in five Canadian research projects. The recipients will introduce new software and research tools to CANARIE’s ever-growing registry of research software, making them available to publicly funded researchers across Canada and maximizing the impact of publicly funded research.

John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science.

CANARIE manages the pan-Canadian research data network, a vital component of Canada’s digital infrastructure supporting research, education and innovation. The five Research Software projects will support effective data management and world-class research. These new software tools address discipline-specific needs in information technology, humanities, animal biology, climate research and oceanography, and are designed for reuse by research teams in other disciplines. The Research Software Program allows Canadian researchers to develop and deploy powerful, reusable software tools that enable the use of critical research data sources to accelerate and enhance research outcomes.

CANARIE’s Research Software Program promotes a highly efficient development model: new software draws from an online Research Software Registry of software tools developed by other researchers in previous rounds of CANARIE funding.

“Initiatives like the Research Software Program are bolstering Canada’s capacity for science and innovation by providing the big data research tools that today’s scientific research often requires.” said Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science. “I’m pleased the Government of Canada can partner with CANARIE to give researchers the tools they need.”

“This investment gives Ocean Networks Canada the funding to develop the tools they need to tackle the big data their world-leading network of ocean observatories collects every day.” said John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale-Langley City.

“CANARIE is proud to continue investing in software tools that help Canadian researchers accelerate their time to discovery, while maximizing the impact of their funding” said Jim Ghadbane, CANARIE’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Software is the great enabler that lets scientists harness the value of research data by making full use of Canada’s digital research infrastructure.”

Kate Moran, President of Ocean Networks Canada, said that "CANARIE continues to invest in big data for the ocean that not only keeps Canada as the global leader in ocean observing, but also leads the world in the Internet-connected ocean, making it readily accessible to scientists and the public alike."

CANARIE is pleased to announce the following new Research Software projects:

-    Adnotare; led by André Lapointe and Dr. Pierre André Ménard, Computer Research Institute of Montreal (CRIM) – A highly collaborative, bilingual annotation portal that will help researchers expedite the creation and consolidation of knowledge bases of multimedia content by automating data annotation tasks, and facilitating interaction among groups working on the same data. This innovative tool will meet the needs of researchers in software engineering, healthcare, criminology, education sciences, digital humanities and linguistics.  

-    CWRC-Writer; led by Dr. Susan Brown, College of Arts, University of Guelph – Developed for the community of literary scholars to provide text annotation and markup functionality crucial for humanities researchers in Canada and around the world. CWRC-Writer has the potential to advance the adoption of best- practices in textual markup and standoff annotation by supporting a higher quality and larger quantity of annotated text for analysis by researchers. This tool seeks to advance scholarship in multiple disciplines and advance Canada’s reputation as a leader in digital tool development for the humanities.

-    Motus Wildlife Tracking System; led by Dr. Denis Lepage, Bird Studies Canada – An innovative, automated radio-telemetry system for tracking the local, regional and continental movements of animals such as birds, bats and insects in ways that other existing technologies cannot. Motus works by fitting animals with radio transmitters, which send signals every few seconds to a network of receiving stations. Motus will significantly advance research in Canada by providing a single portal for all automated radio telemetry data collected in Canada and elsewhere in the world.

-    Power Analytics and Visualization for Climate Science (PAVICS); led by Diane Chaumont, OURANOS – A platform that dramatically streamlines climate science research. Running on networked supercomputers, this platform will allow Canadian and international climate scientists to create and visualize custom climate change scenarios for impact and adaptation studies by enabling them to explore, analyze, transform, and visualize, climate model simulations. PAVICS seeks to transform time-consuming climate scenarios research tasks into a streamlined click, drag and drop exercise.

-    User-Defined Oceanographic Data Products; led by Dr. Maia Hoeberechts, Ocean Networks Canada, an initiative of the University of Victoria – A platform that builds upon Ocean Networks Canada's data management system, Oceans 2.0 , and will support rapid and distributed processing and development of multi-disciplinary big data from ocean observatories operated by Ocean Networks Canada. These observatories support thousands of continuously-deployed sensors below the seafloor, on the seafloor, in the water, and on the coast that generate rapidly-increasing volumes and diversities of near real-time, high-resolution data from the complex ocean system. The platform will be beneficial to a broad range of users including the international research community in ocean-related disciplines, teachers, and students who use Ocean Networks data for educational purposes.

In addition to investing in these new software tools, CANARIE also acted as “matchmaker” between research software development teams and researchers in need of software development expertise. Through this process, applicant research teams were introduced to others across the country with similar needs for software functionality. By collaborating and committing to reuse components of other researchers’ software, teams are able to avoid duplication of effort to achieve faster research outcomes.  

Illustrating the powerful efficiencies of this collaborative model, the new software projects will re-use 18 software components from previous rounds of CANARIE investments and contribute 14 new tools to this pool of resources. The full suite of software services is available at no cost to the worldwide scientific research community at

To ensure these software tools 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 in the selection of these projects.

For more information, please contact:

Ela Lenzi
Communications Manager
(613) 943-5432

-- 30 --


In this story

Keywords: oceans, Ocean Networks Canada, research, technology, funding

People: Maia Hoeberechts

Related stories