Prof recipient of AI industry partnership fund
Faculty of Science Professor Michael Chen is one of five successful recipients of the third round of the National Research Council Canada’s Industry Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund.
Chen of the Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Faculty of Science, is collaborating with Mero Technologies to develop an algorithm using sensor data in a building to give an optimized route for cleaners, including the resupply of consumables and usage.
These collaborations between Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and York faculty members have been widely successful, with both parties benefiting greatly from the partnerships. The grant awards up to $12,000 to support each successful research project.
Innovation York and NRC-IRAP collaborated to develop and launch this funding program, which encourages industry-driven research projects in artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning.
“The AI Partnership grant through Innovation York is integral for Mero’s product and company success,” said Nathan Mah, co-founder with Cole MacDonald, of Mero Technologies. “By tapping into world-class AI researchers at Dr. Michael Chen’s laboratory, we are able to create a smart-route mapping algorithm that our customers valued greatly, that we otherwise would have had to invest significant resources into.”
“With the partnership, we are able to tap into the research with Dr. Chen’s laboratory almost instantly,” added MacDonald. “Innovation York’s contribution was significant as they helped forge and foster the relationship between company and academia early-on, and we knew the potential value of the relationship before formally working together.”
Chen is just as keen on starting the research collaboration with Mero Technologies. “Innovation York helped to establish a vital link between Mero Technologies and my AI and OR research groups,” he said. “This AI Partnership Fund awarded project also gives our graduate students opportunities to apply AI/OR into true business problems, which is a rare learning experience not offered by the usual curriculum.”
The overarching goal of the Artificial Intelligence Industry Partnership Fund is to have funded projects evolve into larger long-term initiatives with far-reaching impacts.
Innovation York is now accepting applications for its fourth round of funding. Companies without an existing partnership with a faculty member can still apply for the grant, with matching assistance provided by Innovation York. Unpartnered SMEs, with up to 500 employees, must submit their application by Sept. 6 while all others must apply by Oct. 4.
To apply or learn more please visit http://www.innovationyork.ca/partnership-grant.
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