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CFIA Scientific Research Strategy 2018-2021


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is a science-based regulatory agency that conducts scientific research to support evidence-based decisions to safeguard food, animals and plants; and to enhance the health and well-being of Canada's people, environment, and the economy.

Scientific research includes any research that supports sound, risk-based decision-making, policy development, and program design and delivery. Products of scientific research must meet the needs and mandate of the CFIA, support the Government of Canada's priorities and must provide value to CanadiansFootnote 1.

This Strategy is to be used by the CFIA and its stakeholders to support decision-making during scientific research engagement, prioritization, planning, delivery, reporting, and evaluation activities.

Scientific research, as it applies to the activities of the CFIA, includes:

Research goal

Advance science and innovation to support evidence-based decision-making by providing timely and meaningful scientific research outputs to inform the design and delivery of regulatory policies and programs.

Objectives of the Strategy

The CFIA Scientific Research Strategy will leverage a diverse range of scientific research activities to provide sound regulatory science to inform and support the CFIA's Responding to Today, Building for the FutureFootnote 2 initiative by achieving the following objectives:

Trends and drivers

Major trends and drivers for CFIA scientific research activities include:

Guiding principles

The CFIA Scientific Research Strategy has four guiding principles that align with the Government of Canada priorities:

Strategic enablers

The CFIA will harness its scientific research strengths and leverage opportunities to advance its mandate by:

Research strategic priorities

The CFIA will work collectively and collaboratively to embed the following Research Strategic Priorities into scientific research activities to achieve the expected outcomes:

Modern regulatory toolkit

Generate new knowledge and technology

Integrated risk management

Enhance risk intelligence capacity

Consistent and efficient inspections

Provide robust processes and tools

Digital first tools and services

Facilitate open and transparent knowledge transfer

Global leader

Encourage research collaborations and partnerships


The aim of this Strategy is to enhance the impact and value the CFIA's scientific research activities to deliver on its mandate. Two overarching targets will be used to monitor and evaluate progress in achieving its expected outcomes:

Application - the use and integration of scientific research data, information, and knowledge in the areas of:

Innovation – the advancement of creative and novel ways to:

Moving forward

The CFIA Scientific Research Strategy presents the overarching framework that contains a suite of tools to enable engagement, governance, and integration of scientific research activities and outputs into a One Agency approach.

Evolution and optimization of operational components, such as internal financial support mechanisms, research partnerships, international collaborations, and open science, to name a few, will further support the CFIA research modernization that is aligned with this Strategy.

The Strategy's success is contingent upon the efforts of all CFIA staff and their commitment to engage with all stakeholders. It is our shared responsibility to strengthen Canada's position as a global leader in food safety, plant and animal health.

Effective date

This Strategy replaces the CFIA's 2011-2016 Research Strategy and comes into effect March 29, 2018.


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