CIFAR announces plans for second phase of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy
Strategy continues to build Canada’s reputation for research excellence and responsible AI
CIFAR is proud to announce its plans for the second phase of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy which was launched today by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. The strategy will chart a path forward for continued expansion of Canada’s robust AI ecosystem cultivated in the first five years of the strategy.
The enhanced second phase of the strategy provides more than $443 million in federal support over ten years—including up to $208 million to CIFAR—to leverage the potential of artificial intelligence to grow our economy and improve standards of living, while continuing to develop, retain and attract academic talent and deepen Canada’s research base.
Through the second phase of the strategy, CIFAR will collaborate with Canada’s three National AI Institutes—Amii in Edmonton, Mila in Montreal, and the Vector Institute in Toronto—as well as partners across Canada, continuing to advance Canadian leadership in the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies.
Phase Two advances to be implemented by CIFAR and the National AI Institutes include:
- Ongoing recruitment and retention of Canada CIFAR AI Chairs, with funding support and mechanisms to accelerate discovery.
- A focus on advancing AI for Health and AI for Energy & Environment to amplify growth in these promising sectors.
- New programs to accelerate commercialization and research computation power will be rolled out across Canada, in collaboration with strategy partners.
- Research and knowledge-sharing to advance key policy insights on the societal implications of AI, including a focus on driving policies and opportunities to support underrepresented groups in AI fields in Canada and globally.
Impacts of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy to date
In 2017, the Government of Canada awarded $125 million in initial investments to CIFAR to create and implement phase one of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world’s first national strategy. With a focus on building strong AI ecosystems and a deep Canadian AI talent pipeline, the strategy established three new National AI Institutes: Amii, Mila and the Vector Institute. Since then, over 100 top AI researchers have been recruited as Canada CIFAR Chairs, with half of them international talents newly drawn to Canada by the strategy’s investments.
Over the first five years of the strategy, Canada has seen significant growth in its AI ecosystem, including major investments by provincial governments, Canadian and international businesses, and venture capital. Canada now ranks 4th in the world on the Global AI Index, which measures investment, innovation and implementation of artificial intelligence internationally, and ranks third among G20 countries in net talent migration for people with AI skills.
“Canada is a leader in the responsible use of artificial intelligence. Since launching the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy five years ago, Canada has attracted and retained top researchers and invested hundreds of millions into commercialization. Our $443M investment in AI will accelerate our progress to help build a stronger economy, cleaner energy, better public health, and innovations across every industry. Further collaboration with our partners including CIFAR, Amii, Mila and the Vector Institute will enable Canada’s continued leadership in advancing AI.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“CIFAR is pleased to continue to build upon the strong foundation of the first five years of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, alongside our partners at Amii, Mila and the Vector Institute. We’re excited about this next phase as we continue to build Canada’s reputation as a global leader in research excellence and responsible AI to ensure that Canadian-led AI delivers positive social benefit and better economic opportunities for all.”
– Elissa Strome, Executive Director, Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, CIFAR
“This transformational investment in Canada’s AI leadership builds on our strong momentum as a global player and key investment destination. AI is quickly becoming the foundation for economic growth and prosperity across sectors and will be for years to come. With the renewal of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the Government of Canada is ensuring that we continue to lead in both the opportunity and impact of AI – and is enabling Canadian ideas and businesses to reach the world stage.”
– Cam Linke, CEO, Amii
“Mila is proud to contribute to Canada’s excellence in AI research and the attraction and retention of some of the world’s top AI talent. We fundamentally believe that by applying the results of this research to the challenges of our time, such as the competitiveness of our companies, climate change, and health care, we can make a difference. This is especially true thanks to the work of pioneers, including our founder and Scientific Director Yoshua Bengio. The challenges of equity, diversity, and inclusion in AI and the conversations around the ethical use of technology are core to Mila’s values. We are confident that through this strategy, we can take action to the next level and once again confirm Canada’s leadership in this area.”
– Valérie Pisano, CEO, Mila
“Recommitting to the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy positions the country for future success. It also sends a strong signal about our determination to continue to attract and retain top talent and strengthen local and regional AI ecosystems. The heightened focus on commercialization and application of AI research will amplify previous government and private investments, helping to keep successful AI companies in Canada. This goes hand in hand with Vector’s own goals of equipping Canadian businesses with best-in-class AI, securing Ontario as a top 10 global Machine Learning centre, and driving economic growth through the creation of a vibrant and inclusive AI community.”
– Garth Gibson, President and CEO, The Vector Institute
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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.