Research PortalSustainable Planning for Advanced Research Computing (SPARC)


Led by Compute Canada, the Sustainable Planning for Advanced Research Computing Phase II (SPARC2) is a consultation process to gather feedback from users and researchers on the types of investment required to enable Canada’s excellence and leadership in science and innovation.

After the completion of SPARC2, Compute Canada used its findings to write funding proposals to CFI for both operations and capital. Please find those proposals (including their summaries of SPARC results) in the following documents:

  • Canada Foundation of Innovation (CFI) Major Science Initiative 2017-2022 | Proposal
    Full Report (June 2016)
  • Cyberinfrastructure Initiative Challenge 2
    Full Report (June 2016)

Questions and comments are welcome at any time via


This phase of consultation gathered feedback from researchers on community needs from 2017-2022. This will inform capital planning (technology choices), service offerings and the setting of operational priorities.

Compute Canada’s capital and operations priorities are driven by the needs of the Canadian research community. In spring 2016, Compute Canada submitted an operations proposal to the CFI Major Science Initiatives (MSI) competition, covering operations from 2017-2022, along with an updated capital plan covering the same period. The organization is committed to receiving direct input to planning priorities during this period.

Consultation Process

Researchers participated via the SPARC survey or through white paper submissions. The consultations gave all disciplines an opportunity to share domain-specific forecasts, identify needs in managing large data sets and preserving “big data” for use by future researchers, as well as advanced research computing needs.

Have Your Say

SPARC Survey

Compute Canada sought input from its user community to help shape how research computing is provided to Canadian researchers for the next five years. Answers to this survey  were used by Compute Canada to develop strategies to improve and extend the services it offers and to satisfy the needs of future users.

White Paper

Compute Canada issued a Call for White papers addressing the advanced computing and data needs of specific disciplines (for example astronomy, genomics, digital humanities, particle physics, etc.).

You can access the List of Community White Papers here.

In-person sessions at universities across Canada

The in-person sessions ran from December 2015-February 2016. Members of the Compute Canada Executive Team and Regional Partners attended more than 15 universities across the country to host in-person sessions to gather feedback on the upcoming needs to enable Canada’s excellence and leadership in science and innovation.

View the SlideDeck

Here is the list of universities where the in-person sessions were held:

  • University of British Columbia
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Waterloo
  • University of Toronto
  • University of Calgary
  • University of Alberta
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Memorial University
  • Laval University
  • Concordia University
  • Dalhousie University
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Queen’s University



Read the SPARC2 announcement
Download the Call for White Papers
Review CFI’s Cyberinfrastructure Initiative