CIFAR AI Catalyst Grants

Circuit Maple Leaf Illustration

About the CIFAR AI Catalyst Grant Program

In January 2020, CIFAR issued a call for proposals for AI Catalyst Grants to catalyze new research areas and collaborations in machine learning and its application to different areas of science and society. The grants were intended to support new collaborative research and exchange with current  Canada CIFAR AI Chairs. The funding provides up to $50,000 per year for up to two years.

Preference was given to:

  • proposals that are multidisciplinary (i.e. co-investigators come from different disciplines); and/or

  • proposals that advance training opportunities for underrepresented groups; and/or

  • proposals that include early-career investigators

On June 2, 2020, CIFAR announced nine successful projects. In partnership with the RBC Foundation, two CIFAR AI Catalyst Grants will be awarded to support research in the areas of privacy, accountability, transparency and bias in machine learning.

Successful CIFAR AI Catalyst Grants 

  • DeepCell: analyze and integrate spatial single-cell RNA-seq data

    Developing deep learning-based tools to analyze and integrate spatial single-cell RNA-seq data for brain tumours

  • Collaborators: Bo Wang (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Vector Institute, UHN, University of Toronto), Michael Taylor (University of Toronto, Sick Kids Hospital)

  • Rethinking generalization and model diagnostics in modern machine learning

    Exploring the interesting properties of modern machine learning algorithms

  • Collaborators: Murat Erdogdu (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Vector Institute, University of Toronto), Ioannis Mitliagkas (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, Université de Montréal), Manuela Girotti (Mila, Concordia University)

  • Learning to solve mixed-integer linear programs

    Utilizing machine learning for mixed-integer linear programming

  • Collaborators: Laurent Charlin (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, HEC, Université de Montréal), Chris Maddison (Vector Institute, University of Toronto)

  • Language grounded in vision for embodied agent navigation and interaction

    Enabling an intelligent agent the ability to understand natural language in the context of navigational tasks

  • Collaborators: Chris Pal (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal), Sanja Fidler (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Vector institute, University of Toronto), David Meger (Mila, McGill University)

  • Privacy and ethics in AI: Understanding the synergies and tensions

    Exploring the tensions and synergies that can emerge in the deployment of Machine Learning algorithms, with a focus on accountability, transparency and bias

  • Collaborators: Nicolas Papernot (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Vector Institute, University of Toronto, Google), Sébastien Gambs (Université du Quebec)

  • Being politic smart in the age of misinformation

    Using graph mining to detect and combat misinformation in mass information systems

  • Collaborators: Reihaneh Rabbany (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, McGill University), André Blais (Université de Montréal, Royal Society of Canada), Jean-François Gagné (Université de Montréal), Jean-Francois Godbout (Université de Montréal)

  • Adaptive generative rhythmic models for neurorehabilitation

    Exploring the benefits of sound and music, specifically rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) to Parksinson’s patients

  • Collaborators: Sageev Oore (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Vector Institute, Dalhousie University), Michael Thaut (Canada Research Chair, University of Toronto)

  • A reinforcement learning based system for automation level adaptation in automated vehicles for people with dementia

    Advancing the field of human compatibility of AI as applied to individuals with dementia by using novel algorithms to facilitate compatibility 

  • Collaborators: Sarath Chandar (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, Polytechnique Montréal), Alex Mihailidis (University of Toronto, UHN)

  • Modeling embodied agents with Koopman Embeddings

    Using dynamical systems to predict a future state of a system, and then control it

  • Collaborators: Liam Paull (Canada CIFAR AI Chair, Mila, Université de Montréal), James Forbes (McGill University)

About the National Program of Activities

The National Program of the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy brings together AI researchers and trainees from across the country to share ideas, foster collaboration, advance knowledge and drive Canada’s leadership in AI research and innovation. We offer training opportunities on the latest technical advances and social considerations of the applications of AI; an annual conference to bring our national community together; and other programs and activities to support and advance Canadian AI research. Our programs are open to all Canadian researchers and trainees who are interested in AI research. We aim to support world-leading AI training, research and innovation while at the same time, fostering the values of equity, diversity and inclusion and social responsibility in AI research.

In partnership with: