does the Ministry set Research Priorities?
Meet the OMAFRA Research Advisory
OMAFRA Research Advisory Network (ORAN) is a network of advisory bodies that provide
long-term, strategic guidance for research program development as well as identification
of short-term and emerging research priorities in seven research theme areas:
- Agricultural and Rural Policy
- Bioeconomy - Industrial Uses
- Environmental Sustainability
- Food for Health
Development and Enhancement Through Value Chains
- Production Systems (Animals
ORAN is a defined and flexible approach to research
priority setting, and allows participation and input from a broad array of stakeholders
and institutions. ORAN reflects OMAFRA's commitment to ensuring that information
flows among all partners in the agri-food research system.
The seven research
themes build on traditional strengths and expand research focus into areas of
opportunity for industry and enhancement of the public good. Research priorities
established under ORAN inform calls for proposals for research programs funded
under the OMAFRA/University of Guelph Partnership as well as other open, competitive
Key Components of ORAN
Agricultural Research Institute of Ontario (ARIO)
ARIO is a government
agency reporting directly to the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
Its membership broadly represents the agri-food industry in Ontario. ARIO advises
the Minister about strategic directions for OMAFRA funded research. More
Expert Panels meet every 5 years
to develop strategic, long-term priorities for ministry funded research and identify
long term trends, issues and barriers in seven research theme areas. Expert Panels
were convened in 2008.
Theme Advisory Groups
Theme Advisory Groups
(TAG) are a group of ministry and external individuals with broad knowledge of
the research theme areas. They meet yearly to evaluate ministry and stakeholder
input and identify emerging research issues. TAGs monitor research progress and
advise on research priorities for annual calls for proposals for OMAFRA-funded
research programs. Key individuals in the Theme Advisory Groups include:
- OMAFRA Director Champions: Ministry directors whose program
areas benefit from research. Director Champions chair the TAG meetings and provide
overall direction in the research theme areas.
Program Directors (RPDs) - University of Guelph: RPDs are faculty who administer
the theme-based research programs under the OMAFRA-University of Guelph Agreement.
Priorities developed under ORAN are communicated in yearly calls for proposals
issued under the Agreement.
- Research Analysts are OMAFRA staff with responsibility
for research program coordination and knowledge translation and transfer that
play a key role in coordinating ORAN and engaging stakeholders
broad range of stakeholders provide valuable input to the priority setting process.
Stakeholders contribute to the priority setting process by:
on ARIO, the Expert Panels and/or the Theme Advisory Groups
research needs and providing input into ORAN through:
in commodity based or theme-based meetings and Research Days
- Responding to surveys
- Engaging informally
with OMAFRA staff
government and academic institutions contribute to the priority setting process
as described above, but are also key in responding to calls for research proposals
and ensuring that research is conducted that meets government and sector needs.
1. OMAFRA Research Advisory Network
Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 ext. 64554