TD investing $2.5 million in CDL’s health stream

creative destruction

TD has announced a number of investments in the Canadian tech and innovation space.

Over five years, TD will invest a total of $2.5 million towards the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Lab’s health stream operating out of the CDL-Toronto and CDL-West locations. The health stream focuses on biotechnology, bioinformatics, diagnostics, and digital care. The announcement comes just days after the federal government announced a $25 million investment in the CDL.

“Data and analytics are the engines powering the future of Canada’s economy,” said Christian Nelissen, TD’s head of enterprise data and analytics. “That new reality means building talented teams that have a deep understanding of the potential of data and analytics, in financial services, and beyond. We are looking for visionaries who can see what’s possible – things we might not even have thought of yet.”

TD said that Layer 6, which it acquired early this year, has also made a commitment to develop AI for social good. Layer 6 data scientists, working with University of Toronto Associate Professor Laura Rosella and a computer science student, are developing advanced machine learning models to improve the health outcomes of people living with diabetes in Canada.

The first research goal is to further sub-type patients identified with this disease. The research will demonstrate opportunities for machine learning to enable more personalized and effective treatment while providing more efficient use of health resources.

TD also announced it was dedicating $1 million towards developing the TD Sustainable Future Lab in Waterloo.

“Healthcare is one of the next frontiers for artificial intelligence to make a meaningful and positive impact on the lives of Canadians. It’s also an opportunity for us to continue to lead the world in advancing Canadian AI talent and capabilities,” said Tomi Poutanen, co-founder of Layer 6 and TD’s chief AI officer. “The limitless potential for data to make personalized therapies, tailored approaches and early diagnosis accessible to all Canadians is what drives our team to push forward and continue to innovate.”

U of T’s Rotman School of Management also received $4 million from TD, which will fund the development and staffing of a new TD Management Data and Analytics Lab that will focus on student development and engagement in data and analytics. The Lab will host ongoing workshops, hackathons, and guest speakers to provide insight into practical applications for data and analytics.

TD also announced it was dedicating $1 million towards developing the TD Sustainable Future Lab in Waterloo, which will give cleantech startups support and mentorship. The new lab will be located at Waterloo’s new carbon-positive commercial building within the David Johnson Research and Technology Park, and lab programming will be run by The Accelerator Centre.

The lab will have a goal of supporting 40 cleantech startups over the next five years and will officially open its doors in December 2018.

In October 2017, TD announced $3.25 million towards the launch of the Patents for Startups program, which is dedicated to providing seed stage startups with funding and assistance to undergo the rigorous patent application process in Canada and the US. All patents belong to the startup and are held in their name, and the companies will also retain all rights to their underlying technology.

The bank has announced the three startups that have used the program, which include:

  • Senso.Ai: an AI startup developing a machine learning algorithm that can detect key advice moments for advisors to talk with customers about their retail banking needs.
  • leveraging blockchain technology to develop a network that creates greater efficiencies and lower costs for the sharing economy.
  • provides a data collaboration platform for more efficient and secure data sharing in enterprises like banks and financial institutions.
  • Jessica Galang

    Jessica Galang

    Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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