29 Mar, 2022
Today, RBC and the RBC Foundation announced a transformative donation to CIFAR, a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity. The gift will advance the understanding of artificial intelligence’s (AI) impact on society, ensure more diverse representation in scientific talent across CIFAR’s research programs and support research to create a more sustainable environment.
Inclusion of diverse research talent is key to tomorrow’s discoveries,” explains Dr. Alan Bernstein, President and CEO of CIFAR. “This gift will support CIFAR’s commitment to inclusivity, equity and diversity with the creation of the new CIFAR RBC Research & Inclusive Talent Fund that will engage researchers across the globe and support research that addresses emerging and new challenges.”
RBC and the RBC Foundation have been valued partners of CIFAR for 35 years. In 2018, CIFAR also began working with Borealis AI, the dedicated AI research institute backed by RBC. Together, these organizations have supported AI research and training for diverse communities, and made inroads in the areas of child and brain development, economic growth, and policy research. This new commitment of $2 million will support outreach, recruitment and retention of diverse communities and provide unique training, mentorship, and leadership opportunities at all stages of a researcher’s career.
“Diversity in AI is critical to ensure that machine learning models are fair and unbiased,” says Foteini Agrafioti, Chief Science Officer, RBC and Head, Borealis AI. “The CIFAR RBC Research & Inclusive Talent Fund will help encourage more diverse and inclusive representation of our global society in the field and ultimately contribute to better outcomes.”
As part of the ongoing partnership, Borealis AI’s new Let’s SOLVE It mentorship and societal impact initiative will become part of a suite of training programs that CIFAR has launched across Canada, called CIFAR’s National AI Training Programs. With a focus on diversity, Let’s SOLVE It encourages applications from undergraduate students enrolled in a broad variety of Canadian academic institutions and programs, and underrepresented groups in AI to solve real problems in their communities using machine learning. Similar to many other top-tier training programs at CIFAR, Let’s SOLVE It aims to develop the next generation of machine Learning talent.
CIFAR is a Canadian-based global research organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address the most important questions facing science and humanity. By building long-term, interdisciplinary, global communities of collaboration, we provide the world’s top researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, creating a culture of risk-taking, accelerating discovery, and yielding breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines.
Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government and society.
Our community of researchers includes nearly 400 researchers from 142 institutions in 18 countries. Our fellows, chairs, scholars, and advisors are among the most highly cited researchers in the world. Twenty Nobel Prizes have been awarded to CIFAR-affiliated researchers.
In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy.
CIFAR is supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and partner organizations around the world.
Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 86,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.
We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact.
About Borealis AI
Borealis AI is a world-class AI research center backed by RBC. Recognized for scientific excellence, Borealis AI uses the latest in machine learning (ML) capabilities to solve challenging problems in the financial industry. As part of its commitment to advancing the development of responsible AI and ML, Borealis AI developed RESPECT AITM, an online hub that brings open source research code, tutorials, academic research and lectures to the AI community, helping to make ethical AI available to all.
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.