New program offers funding for AI, DL and ML projects

computer plays chess with a human

Innovation York and the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) announce the launch of a new funding program to support artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning (DL) and machine learning (ML) collaborative research projects for industry and York University researchers.

This innovative new funding program is open to all Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been in business for at least a year, with up to 500 employees and are capable of exploiting the results of the research.

This is a new opportunity for companies to explore the feasibility of employing AI/ML in their business. Researchers who have exhausted their NSERC Engage funding are encouraged to use the funding to initiate a new partnership, or continue the support provided to their industry partners.

Here are the details:

Announcing the new Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund – funded by NRC-IRAP, offered in collaboration with York University.

Applicants: Faculty members and industry partners

Application Deadline: June 14, 2018

Funding Amount: Up to $10,000 in cash per research project (no funding to industry partners, no funding required of industry partners)

Project Length: Two to four months, to be extended to a maximum of five months

Use of Funds: To execute research projects in AI/DL/ML in support of industry-academic partnerships. The funds can be used towards funding student(s) stipend and project materials. Travel, living expenses and seminar costs are ineligible.


• The industry partner must be a Canadian SME with up to 500 employees, capable of exploiting the results of the research.
• The industry partner must be in business for a minimum of one year.
• The research project must be jointly supervised by the faculty member and the industry partner, with the work being performed by  a masters, PhD or postdoctoral Fellow.

Intellectual property:

• All prior intellectual property belongs to the inventor/owner. As required by IRAP, all intellectual property developed under the project belongs to the industry partner.


The impact for the company will be a combination of the following, depending on the individual project:

• proof of concept or working prototype;
• recommended machine learning models and algorithms;
• assessment of company’s existing dataset and recommended data strategy.

The goal is to have projects funded under this program evolve into larger long-term initiatives.

For those requiring assistance finding a partner, contact Cheryl Giblon, industry engagement manager, at

To apply for this competitive grant (sorry – not all can be funded), go to: