Google Canada provides $2.7 million in research grants to major Canadian AI institutes CIFAR, Amii, CEIMIA

The funding is aimed at supporting research into sustainability and responsible AI development.

Google Canada is doling out $2.7 million CAD in research grants to three major Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) institutes. 

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) and the International Center of Expertise of Montreal on AI (CEIMIA) will each receive a portion of the grant funding aimed at supporting research into the sustainability and responsible development of AI. 

“Unlocking AI’s potential demands a collective effort, working with others across industries, civil society, education, ethics and more – so we can expand our knowledge and empower others to harness AI’s promise,” Google Canada vice president Sabrina Geremia said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting these organizations to propel Canada’s AI momentum and shape a brighter future that benefits all Canadians.”  

CIFAR said it will use its $1.3-million portion of the grant funding to support its Accelerated Decarbonization program, its existing work in responsible AI research and development, and training programs for future AI scientists. 

CIFAR’s Accelerated Decarbonization program brings together experts in carbon capture, storage, and utilization to find new ways of solving climate-related problems, according to CIFAR. 

“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing humanity,” CIFAR director Fiona Cunningham said in a statement. “This partnership enables our CIFAR researchers to drive impact and advance work towards a core piece of the climate change puzzle.” 

Amii will use its $1.1 million in grant funding to support its Autonomous Drinking Water project, which it says enables the deployment of modular water treatment systems into underserved Canadian regions through reinforcement learning. Amii hopes for these learnings to help reduce the overall energy use of water treatment. 

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“By tapping into our reinforcement learning expertise, we’re making significant strides in boosting the efficiency and reliability of water purification,” Amii CEO Cam Linke said in a statement. “Collaborating with communities to critically examine potential solutions, the assumptions behind them and their possible effects is an incredibly important part of this work serving rural and remote areas.”

CEIMIA’s $335,000 grant is being made through Google’s Digital Futures Project, which funds work that explores opportunities to deepen collaboration between governments globally on policy approaches to AI. 

Regulators and AI companies have been at odds as scrutiny around the field increases. The European Union passed the world’s first major act to regulate AI last week, which it is looking to implement in 2025. Earlier this month, The Canadian Chamber of Commerce raised concerns that Canadian businesses weren’t given a chance to appear in the House of Commons to speak on Bill C-27, which would introduce Canada’s first piece of legislation aimed at AI if passed. 

The funding will leverage CEIMIA’s capacity to reach out to stakeholders and government to help identify opportunities for cooperation, CEIMIA executive director Sophie Fallaha said in a statement

Feature image courtesy Google via LinkedIn.

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl

Alex Riehl is a staff writer and newsletter curator at BetaKit with a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University. He's interested in tech, gaming, and sports. You can find out more about him at or @RiehlAlex99 on Twitter.

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