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CIFAR & IDRC announce global call for AI governance solutions

CIFAR’s AI & Society Program, in partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is launching a call for expressions of interest (EOIs) for Solution Networks. 



For this call, CIFAR and IDRC are seeking a global team of cross-sectoral, interdisciplinary experts to design and develop solutions for governing responsible artificial intelligence (AI)  in low-middle income countries.

“AI has the power to drive positive societal benefit and could have a profound impact in low-middle income countries and beyond,” says Rebecca Finlay, Vice-President, Engagement & Public Policy, CIFAR. “The CIFAR Solution Networks and our partnership with IDRC will bring together global experts focused on the beneficial and responsible deployment of AI for all.”

AI has the potential to transform the way we live and work. However, it can also play a role in deepening systemic inequalities based on race, gender and socioeconomic status. 

Low-middle income countries face unique socio-political and economic opportunities and challenges. AI-enabled technologies, bolstered by governance solutions, such as new tools, practices and policies, could support the deployment of responsible AI that is ethical, transparent and sustainable. 

“AI technologies are developed at such a rapid pace, it’s important to consider how they can be responsibly deployed to benefit the most vulnerable populations,” says Naser Faruqui, Director, Technology and Innovation, IDRC. “Now more than ever, we need clever solutions that enable these technologies to be deployed safely, ethically and responsibly, and our partnership with CIFAR on Solution Networks will support that.”

CIFAR and IDRC will provide funding and logistical support for one successful network over three years to design, develop and implement a novel AI governance solution. The successful Solution Network receives three years of dedicated, flexible funding support for eligible research and development activities. The Solution Network will include a team of at least six international, cross-sectoral experts, with at least one member from the low-middle income setting where the solution is applied and at least one member from Canada. See details here.  



CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 20 Nobel laureates and more than 400 researchers from 20 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy. CIFAR is supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec as well as international partner organizations, individuals, foundations and corporations.


About IDRC

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) funds research in developing countries to promote growth, reduce poverty, and drive large-scale positive change.A Crown corporation, we support leading thinkers who advance knowledge and solve practical development problems. We provide the resources, advice, and training they need to implement and share their solutions with those who need them most. In short, IDRC increases opportunities — and makes a real difference in people’s lives.

Given the opportunities and potential consequences of new automation and mechanization techniques and advanced analysis through machine learning and neural networks in the Global South, IDRC is investing in applied research across a number of domains to advance the public good with the use of artificial intelligence for development (AI4D). Together with the Swedish International Development Agency, IDRC is supporting a 30M program to build talent, responsible AI innovations and responsible AI policy frameworks in Africa and other developing countries, with a vision of ensuring AI is rights based, inclusive and green. 

Support Us

CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.

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