Innovation York announces winners of Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund

Innovation York has announced the winners of the fourth round of the Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund, a program funded by the National Research Council Canada’s Industry Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

Sarah Howe
Sarah Howe, director of Innovation York

Innovation York and NRC-IRAP have collaborated to develop and launch this funding program to encourage industry-driven research projects in artificial intelligence (AI), deep learning and machine learning. Canadian small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) partnered with York University faculty members to apply for the grant, which awarded $12,000 to support each research project.

“We are so excited to announce the awardees of this round of the NRC-IRAP AI Partnership Fund,” said Sarah Howe, director of Innovation York. “Now in our fourth round, we continue to see innovative projects and a diverse set of partners – from startups to large-scale companies, there are so many partners keen to work with York’s dynamic researchers.”

The winning partners are:

Northforge Inc. and Professor Natalija Vlajic (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Lassonde) for their project to identify appropriate machine learning algorithms to segregate malicious bot-generated traffic from actual user traffic.

Nobul Corporation and Professors Hongmei Zhu and Steven Wang (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science) for their project on creating an algorithm for clustering geographic units based on the residential characteristics within these regions to redefine the consumer experience when buying/selling real estate.

Cogneeto Inc. and Professor Vassilios Tzerpos (Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde) for their project on investigating ways that machine learning, natural language processing and tonal analysis can be integrated with Cogneeto’s peer- and self-assessment tool for students.

Pleora Technologies and Professor Ali Sadeghi-Naini (Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde) for their project on the development of the world’s first “smart” X-ray video interface that provides analysis of captured X-ray data.

Able Innovations and Professor Michael Brown (Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Lassonde) for their project on creating a transfer platform with the ability to make the necessary recognition of space and objects for automated patient transfer.

Solstice Environmental Management and Professor Baoxin Hu (Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, Lassonde) for their project on improving the efficiency of bryophyte identification using machine learning and deep learning approaches.

Provision Analytics and Professor Steven Wang (Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Faculty of Science) for their project on creating a machine learning algorithm to proactively flag or tag food items that have a high probability of contamination for food safety recall.

Innovation York has been instrumental in forging these relationships that have far reaching implications for all parties including the funding recipients, students and researchers. The partnership allows companies to gain access to expertise that they would not typically have in-house. Similarly, the students also get the chance to work on real life problems for valuable experiential learning opportunities, and researchers can build their network and apply their expertise to industrial challenges.

Collaborations between SMEs and York faculty members have been widely successful, with both parties benefiting greatly from the partnerships. In this round of funding, Able Innovations will be collaborating with Professor Michael Brown.

The Able Innovations team
Michael Brown

“Able Innovations is on a journey to eliminate the need for archaic lifts and slings and physical labour in the act of transferring patients by developing smart, semi-autonomous devices,” said Jayiesh Singh, CEO of Able Innovations. “Being awarded this fund plays a crucial role in the progression of our technology. We continue to push the boundaries on human-machine interaction and partnering with Dr. Michael Brown is exactly the type of foundation we need to build our smart platform on. We are very excited for what we can achieve together and are thankful to Innovation York and NRC-IRAP for being awarded this opportunity.”

Brown, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at York University, is just as keen on starting the research collaboration with Able Innovations. “The IRAP grant is helping our lab apply our research to real-world problems,” he said. “Innovation York was instrumental in linking us to the Able Innovations and their problems related to imaging patients in a hospital environment.”

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

York University acknowledges NRC-IRAP for the grant funding and the ventureLAB for assisting with the adjudication process.