IVADO: A core component of the AI ecosystem

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At the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO), over 1,000 researchers, PhD students, postdocs and research officers fulfill the Institute’s primary mission to develop leading expertise in data science, optimization (operational research) and artificial intelligence.

Headed by Gilles Savard, IVADO is a bridge between the university’s areas of expertise and the needs of the business community.

“Montreal has one of the most dynamic artificial intelligence communities in the world,” explains Hugo Larochelle, a research scientist at Google and the lead for the Google Brain Team in Montreal.

IVADO is a world-renowned centre for advanced multidisciplinary skills that creates positive spin-offs for many sectors. For example, the institute helps develop economic activities around big data to improve decision making. It fosters industry partnerships between multinationals and start-ups on the one hand and administrative, societal and university stakeholders on the other. It also helps advance knowledge and train the next generation of data scientists.

Benefits

  • Strengthen the positions of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada as leaders in artificial intelligence.
  • Boost knowledge and technology transfer.
  • Stimulate job creation and business development in Montreal, Quebec, and Canada.
  • Encourage innovation by publishing research findings.
  • Speed up the transfer of innovation to society.

IVADO: Where philanthropy and partnerships work together

“Philanthropy was key to launching IVADO. We needed investment in something new, and we had to work hard to recruit researchers from many disciplines,” says Valérie Bécaert, Director, Partnerships and Knowledge Mobilization at IVADO.

Philanthropic support helped IVADO create cross-cutting institutional ties between people who work in artificial intelligence, data science and operational research. Next came partnerships with our corporate members for research projects, the signing of research contracts, and the set-up of transfer activities.
The first companies to lend their philanthropic support include major names such as COGECO, Hydro-Québec, CAE and Gaz Métro. All in all, public, private and government partners invested $230 million, $93 million of which came from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (the Fund). This program strategically targets the sectors in which Canadian postsecondary research institutions are positioned to become global leaders. IVADO won the Fund’s Inaugural Competition 2 because of its scientific excellence and corporate knowledge transfer capabilities.

Montreal: A true hub for artificial intelligence

IVADO is a core component of the ecosystem that has made Montreal a world leader in artificial intelligence. This exceptional ecosystem of interdependent stakeholders, which also includes incubators and accelerators like Element AI, is driven by researchers who build knowledge and pass it on to students, companies, and IVADO partners and members. The transformation of scientific leadership into economic leadership has also spurred the creation of many AI companies in Montreal.

“Artificial intelligence will very likely revolutionize our society,” said Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director at IVADO. “This benefits society as a collective whole. The industry creates local jobs so that our talent can stay in the country. Companies like Google are opening research centres or headquarters in Montreal to make the city an internationally renowned hub of economic and scientific leadership.

All of society benefits

“Artificial intelligence will very likely revolutionize our society,” said Yoshua Bengio, Scientific Director at IVADO. “This benefits society as a collective whole. The industry creates local jobs so that our talent can stay in the country. Companies like Google are opening research centres or headquarters in Montreal to make the city an internationally renowned hub of economic and scientific leadership.

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