Food from Thought: Agricultural Systems for a Healthy Planet is a $76.6-million research investment in the University of Guelph from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. This initiative is a bold, transformative plan to create the tools needed to produce enough food for the growing human population while sustaining the ecosystems on which we depend for life.

The University of Guelph is committed to empowering and catalyzing innovation within the agriculture and food sectors. With deep agriculture and food research, advanced computing and data strengths, and connections to leading private- and public-sector partners, the University of Guelph’s Food from Thought initiative is set to launch Agri-Food Data Canada (ADC), an innovation platform for Canada’s agriculture and food sectors. ADC seeks to enable broad access to world-leading curated research data with advanced analytics to create widespread opportunities for innovative partnerships (researchers, producers, government, not-for-profit and for-profit organizations).

Data Acquisition

ADC will support structure and unstructured data content, establishing a consistent data classification to ensure accuracy through metadata and data catalogue best practices.

Data Governance

ADC’s approach is to establish, manage and communicate information policies and mechanisms for practical data usage, for data discovery from a single view that now is siloed across systems, disciplines and projects.

Security and Privacy

With data governance, security and provisioning are granted based on principles, designed by those who understand the importance of research and policy, those who understand the importance of data for advanced analytics, and those who create the data. Governance is designed by the community and for the community.


ADC, a platform for secure data collaboration amongst all members of the University and Canadian Agri-Food ecosystem; addressing issues of data quality, data interoperability and data security; opportunity sharing of data and information in complex environments; providing an ecosystem for open innovation built to leverage the considered power of leading-edge data science, agri-food research, and biodiversity science.

Discovery and Analytics

Grants and research programs are geared at improving the core technologies around managing and processing big data sets and speeding up scientific research with big data. ADC will change the direction and speed of scientific research at the University by letting people fine-tune their inquiries by tapping into giant data sets.

Our Mission

ADC’s mission is to help researchers understand the complex relationship between farm practices, bio-genetics and the ecosystem through Data Management and Analytics solutions. This will fuel innovation and enable broad access to world-leading curated research data and advanced analytics while providing opportunities for innovative partnerships.

Our Goals

Provide a state-of-the-art big data system where authorized users have access to on-demand data based on the rights and privileges of their persona.
Fuel innovation and opportunities to broaden access to world-leading curated research data to advanced analytics.
Increase the access to data and improve the ability to share it widely in order to facilitate decision making in agrifood research data.
Producing and maintaining data management tools and analytics relevant to the mandate of government interests and the agri-food sector.
Contribute to the maximum utilization of the Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO) Research Stations to maximize efficiency and capacity.
Promote automation processes for researchers to identify and discover species and survey food-producing ecosystems worldwide.
Provide the tools to ingest genetic information about ecosystems that produce food.