Industry Canada is running a consultation on “a Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI) strategy to enhance Canada's research capacity to enable world‑class research and enrich Canada’s research landscape.” Today marked the deadline for these responses to be submitted. Several members of Canada’s National Research and Education Network have submitted their own responses, including CANARIE, ORION and our own organization.
Cybera believes that an integrated and coordinated DRI strategy will empower Canadian researchers to effectively utilize compute and network capacity as needed, and without uncertainties as to what will be available. The availability and distribution of DRI to researchers in Canada in a sustainable manner will enable them to produce world-class research data and results, foster digital literacy, while also helping retain highly qualified personnel in the country. A national DRI strategy that strategically invests in compute, networks and research data management will also enable Canadian institutions to attract top international talent and keep Canada’s innovation pipeline competitive. This requires high-speed and high-capacity networks connecting appropriate and accessible compute, supported by trusted digital repositories.
Longer-term and sustainable funding horizons will create a DRI strategy and ecosystem where researchers are not spending valuable research time or funds on—or competing for—computing resources. In addition, investments in research software, such as through the CANARIE research software program and the CFI Cyberinfrastructure initiative, should be coordinated to prevent duplication and to encourage reuse and sharing of existing software code. A unified vision to properly archive, preserve and maintain code is needed to ensure that this valuable commodity does not remain siloed within individual research programs, but is readily identifiable and distributable.