Canadian Digital Research Infrastructure Needs Assessment

On October 22, 2020, we launched the first Canadian Digital Research Infrastructure Needs Assessment process to help identify and address digital research infrastructure (DRI) and service requirements for the future. 

The purpose of this nation-wide exercise is two-fold: 

  1. Prioritize and direct the development of tools and technologies that will support cutting-edge research in Canada;
  2. Determine and address Canadian researchers’ current and future needs related to a Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) ecosystem.

Through this comprehensive consultation process, the Alliance will seek input from the Canadian research community to inform its 2022 – 2025 Strategic Plan supporting a single and unified vision of the highest DRI priorities.

Strategic Planning Process

This video, a VoiceOver from CEO, Nizar Ladak, explains the conceptual framework for the entire Canadian Digital Research Infrastructure Needs Assessment. 

It also includes key information on dates, key deliverables and project sequencing. 

Consultation and Input Opportunities 

Step 1: Call for Position Papers on Canada’s Future DRI Ecosystem (Complete)

We sought Position Papers (maximum of 5 pages) that described individual perspectives on current challenges accessing DRI tools, services and support; the ideal future state of DRI in Canada; and how the Alliance could achieve such a state. Thank you to all that submitted a Position Papers.

Position Papers Submissions

Step 2: Call for Current Documentation (Complete)

We invited Canadian research institutes and organizations to share existing documentation (e.g. strategic plans, roadmaps, position papers, etc.) on the current and future state of advanced research computing, research data management and research software. This input is crucial to ensuring the priorities and plans of Canada’s broader DRI community are reflected and incorporated into the assessment process. We appreciate all of the submissions that were shared with us.

Step 3: Online Survey (Complete)

We shared a nation-wide survey with the broader Canadian research community to understand their unique, individual needs relating to DRI. We deeply value the perspectives of all those who responded.

Step 4: Virtual Town Hall Discussions (Complete)

As part of our Canadian DRI Needs Assessment process, NDRIO hosted a series of eight Virtual Town Halls to share and validate key findings from our consultations to date, including 105 Position Papers20 Current Documents and 1,383 survey responses. The Virtual Town Halls gathered stakeholders of the Canadian DRI landscape and researchers from across disciplines. 

To view the recordings of each Virtual Town Hall, click on the corresponding session below. 

Town Hall 1: Awareness and Accessibility

Discussions focused on the awareness of existing DRI and services available to all researchers in Canada, funding allocation challenges, and accessibility to DRI

English Session
French Session

Town Hall 2: Governance and Policy

Discussions revolved around open science mandates, data privacy, legislative and regulatory barriers, and collaboration between the industry and private sector. 

English Session
French Session

Town Hall 3: Operations

Participants shared ideas for community platforms that would enable collaboration for national equitable DRI and shared their thoughts on improving accountability and transparency. 

English Session
French Session

Town Hall 4: Support

Discussions focused on training, support and opportunities for improvement. 

English Session
French Session

Step 5: Report Review (Coming soon) 

The Alliance will compile all findings into a draft Report for public comment by late summer 2021. Please share your comments or questions to: research_​recherche@​EngageDRI.​ca.



The preliminary findings from the Needs Assessment process that guided the discussions during the Virtual Town Halls can be found here: