CIFAR convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

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CIFAR is a Canadian-based, global charitable organization that convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions.

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government, and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 19 Nobel laureates and 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

  • Video

The Next Big Question 2008: Highlight Reel

Apr 30 / 08

John Helliwell, Social Interactions, Identity and Well Being, on "What makes people happy?", Curtis Suttle, Integrated Microbial Biodiversity, on "How do microbes change the world?", Shawn Marshall, Earth System Evolution, on "How does the Earth change over time?", Louis Taillefer, Quantum Materials, on "How far can superconductivity take us?"

Daniel Gottesman, Quantum Information Processing, on "How can we build a quantum computer?", Victoria Kaspi, Cosmology and Gravity, on "What is the nature of the Universe?", Michele Lamont, Successful Societies, "What makes a society succeed?", Brian Kolb, Experienced-based Brain and Biological Development, on "How do nature and nurture consort?"

Steve Scherer, Genetic Networks, on "How do our genes make us healthy or sick?", Mark Freeman, Nanoelectronics, on "How can we control single electrons?", Sam Roweis, Neural Computation and Adaptive Perception, on "How does our brain create models of the world?", Alex Haslam, Social Interactions, Identity, Well-Being, on "What makes people happy?"

Blue Blocks

Artificial Intelligence

CIFAR plays a significant role in AI research. We helped to enable some of the fundamental breakthroughs in the field, through our Learning in Machines & Brains program. We lead a $125 million national strategy to establish Canada's international leadership in AI and we run a program that explores the ways that AI will reshape our society.

Learn about AI

Red Maple

Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy

CIFAR is leading the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, working in partnership with three newly established AI institutes.
Research Program

Learning in Machines & Brains

How do we understand intelligence and build intelligent machines?

AI & Society

AI & Society

CIFAR’s AI & Society program aims to examine the questions AI will pose for society involving diverse topics, including the economy, ethics, policymaking, philosophy and the law.


Exchange – the act of giving and receiving – is central to knowledge mobilization at CIFAR. By connecting our research programs to global thought leaders outside of academia, we enrich research and stimulate new social, economic and technical innovations.

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Latest Research Briefs

Research Briefs are a summary of recent or seminal research from CIFAR fellows. 

Latest Event Briefs

CIFAR provides a knowledge outlet for the influential research in its various multi-disciplinary programs.