Innovation York announces Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund

computer plays chess with a human

Innovation York and the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) are offering a third round of the Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund program to support artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) collaborative research projects for industry and York University researchers.

This innovative funding program offers up to $12,000 per research project and is open to Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have been in business for at least a year that will commercialize the results of the research.

This is a unique opportunity for companies to explore the feasibility of employing AI/ML in their business, and the impact of such a collaborative project can certainly be substantial. Businesses can use this as an opportunity to develop proof of concept or a working prototype. Machine learning models and algorithms can be recommended and implemented if needed, and existing data sets can be assessed with recommendations for a new data strategy if required.

Researchers can also benefit greatly from these projects, with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and technologies to real-world situations and employ their research to further extend the knowledge base within AI and ML.

Researchers are encouraged to use the funding to initiate a new partnership or continue the support provided to their industry partners. For SMEs that have not pre-identified a research partner, Innovation York will conduct a matchmaking search with relevant faculty.

The goal of this initiative is to have projects funded under this program evolve into larger long-term initiatives with far-reaching impacts.

Application Details

Applicants: Canadian SMEs who are, or will be, partnered with York U faculty members

Funding amount: Up to $12,000 per research project (no funding to industry partners, no funding required of industry partners)

Project length: Two to four months

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

Application deadline for proposals without an assigned York University researcher: April 18

Application deadline for proposals with an assigned York University researcher: May 17


  • The industry partner must be a Canadian SME with up to 500 employees, in business for a minimum of one year and have an assigned NRC-IRAP industrial technology advisor (ITA).
    • 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 NRC-IRAP, all intellectual property developed under the project belongs to the industry partner.

For those requiring assistance finding a partner, contact Rachel Sung, industry engagement coordinator, at or Martin Goodyer, industry engagement advisor, at

To apply for this grant, visit