Adaptation Network (NCE Proposal)


The University of Waterloo and Ouranos are leading the development of a Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) proposal on Climate Adaptation in preparation for the 2017 NCE funding competition.

A Climate Adaptation NCE (CA NCE) will connect Canada's top researchers from across disciplines to knowledge users, practitioners, policymakers, business, and not-for-profit organizations to address knowledge and evidence gaps on climate adaptation from a range of perspectives spanning social science, natural science and engineering, and health science. 

The CA NCE will invest in a diverse range of activities that co-create, translate and mobilize knowledge, build capacity, and establish enduring partnerships and collaborations across sectors that will benefit Canadians and the global community, and position Canada as a global leader in climate adaptation.

It will achieve this goal by conducting research and translating results - data, information and practice - into knowledge, tools and technologies that enable Canada to successfully adapt to current and future challenges arising from climate change in Canada and abroad. Successful adaptation will position Canada to effectively address risks to the Canadian economy, health and society and to seize opportunities that arise in the context of a changing climate.

NCE funding for this competition is available from April 2019 for up to 15 years (to March 2034), subject to annual performance and five-year reviews by an international expert panel. Average funding for research NCEs range from $4M to $6M per year. A Letter of Intent is due in 2017.

Progress to date

A. Initial Meetings and Consultations (Spring and Fall 2015)

Meetings with government stakeholders and potential academic participants were held throughout 2015 in order to gather initial input on the feasibility of developing a climate adaptation-focused NCE proposal, and to identify potential partners and strategic areas of focus.

During this phase, a collaboration was forged with the Ouranos consortium, which is an established network of scientists and professionals based in Quebec.

B. Scoping Workshop (February 2016)

The University of Waterloo hosted a workshop with academic climate adaptation experts from across Canada, leading international adaptation networks, and representatives from key federal departments and provinces on February 16-18, 2016. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the scope of the proposed CA NCE, to identify priority research and knowledge mobilization needs, and to determine national and international collaborative opportunities. This was the first in a series of consultations that will shape the development of the CA NCE proposal.

C. Adaptation Canada (April 2016) 

Thanks to all of the attendees of Adaptation Canada 2016 in Ottawa who visited our University of Waterloo booth to provide ideas and contributions to the board for "Visioning an Adaptation Network Centres of Excellence."

NCE exhibition booth at Adaptation Canada Symposium in Ottawa

(L-R) Sarah Brown (IC3, UWaterloo), Pam Kertland (NRCan) and Jean Andrey (Dean of Environment, UWaterloo) share a laugh while brainstorming ideas for an Adaptation NCE at the Adaptation Canada symposium held in Ottawa in April 2016. (Photo by Dana Decent.)

D. Ongoing Consultation and Engagement (2016)

Discussions are planned throughout the remainder of 2016 with a wide range of individuals and organizations with research, professional, business, and policy expertise.

Click here for a list of organizations and individuals that have participated in the NCE proposal development process to date.

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Key Contacts:

Elizabeth Atkinson
Director, Strategic Partnerships, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, University of Waterloo  |   519-888-4567 x.33223

Alain Bourque
Directeur général / Executive Director, Ouranos  |   514-282-6464 x.300

Dr. Daniel Scott
Executive Director, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, University of Waterloo  |  519-888-4567 x.35497

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Steering Committee

The Steering Committee will guide direction-setting and strategic decision-making as the NCE proposal on Climate Adaptation is developed. Members of the Steering Committee currently include:

  • Elizabeth Atkinson, Director, Strategic Partnerships, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, University of Waterloo
  • Alain Bourque, Directeur général / Executive Director, Ouranos
  • ​James Ford, Associate Professor, McGill University
  • Daniel Scott, Executive Director, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, University of Waterloo
  • Roger Street, Director, UKCIP
  • ​Nick Xenos, Director, Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Division, Natural Resources Canada

                     Elizabeth Atkinson headshot Alain Bourque headshot James Ford                                              Daniel Scott headshot ROger Street headshot Nick Xenos headshot

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