This report covers the period from April 1, 2022, to March 31, 2023. It was designed by the IVADO Communications department. The original French version was written in compliance with its guide to inclusive language. Reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of IVADO is prohibited.


“The past year has been rich in achievements and bright prospects. The following pages highlight the major milestones and achievements of our dedicated teams.

Thanks to the support of its many loyal partners, its extended community and its teams, IVADO has received invaluable support from the federal government with the award of a second CFREF grant for the R3AI project, enabling IVADO to propel its high added value in artificial intelligence (AI) over the next seven years.

The actions taken during the year resulted in the award of a federal grant of $124.5 million. The first CFREF grant, obtained in 2016 and leading to the creation of IVADO, focused on “Data Serving Canadians”. It enabled us to grow rapidly, learn a great deal and contribute to the growth of research, training and technology transfer in digital and artificial intelligence in Quebec and Canada. It has positioned us superbly well for the ambitious Robust, Reasoning and Responsible AI (R3AI ) project.

I would like to acknowledge the unwavering support of Université de Montréal and our four renowned university partners, Polytechnique Montréal, HEC Montréal, Université Laval and McGill University, our 14 academic members active in all areas of AI, as well as nearly 160 industrial, government and academic partners and 2,000 researchers affiliated with IVADO..

Thanks to the leverage effect of all these fruitful partnerships, IVADO will receive a total of more than $500 million over seven years, including the CFREF grant, thus perpetuating its activities.

We are also proud to note that this is the first time in Quebec (and in Canada) that an organization has been awarded a CFREF grant two consecutive times, therefore consolidating our position as the largest multidisciplinary, cross-sector AI consortium in Canada, in research, training and transfer.

This new momentum will not only enable us to take our research in machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and implementation science to the next level, but also allow us to broaden our scope to include neuroscience, social sciences and input from First Nations, as well as to further address issues of ethics, equity, diversity and inclusion, for the collective well-being.

The research fields will also be broadened to current issues of interest: healthcare systems, the discovery of new molecules, the environment, and supply chains.

I would, therefore, like to express my gratitude to all those who believe in our consortium and support it wholeheartedly.”

– Marie-Josée Hébert, Chair of the Board of IVADO and Vice-Rector of Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation, Université de Montréal

Transforming IVADO to transform AI and its adoption responsibly

“On January 17, IVADO presented its R3AI project to the selection committee of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) program. The year 2023 saw the fruition of an undertaking that started in fall 2021. The die had been cast, and all that remained was to await the decision. In the meantime, IVADO continued its activities, in particular its five major strategic research projects (PRF3), its new online training courses (MOOCs) and the collaborative transfer partnerships that had earned its great reputation. In mid-February, I was in Australia, specifically to promote IVADO’s renewed vision, when on Friday February 17, just before 7:00 a.m. I received a call from our Chairman of the board, Marie-Josée Hébert, who informed me confidentially that our application had been successful. That evening, in a restaurant in St. Kilda, a suburb of Melbourne, I raised my glass with pride and emotion, thinking with great gratitude of all those who had contributed to this resounding success.
By the end of March, shortly after the release of GPT-4, IVADO’s Scientific Director Yoshua Bengio, along with many others, signed an open letter sounding the alarm about the dangers associated with the unbridled development of AI. It became even more evident just how timely the R3AI vision for the development of Robust, Reasoning, and Responsible AI was, and how relevant its implementation plan was, relying on contributions from all sectors of knowledge, including those in the humanities and social sciences.

In mid-April, in the wake of this warning, the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie (MEIE) tasked The Conseil de l’innovation du Québec with conducting a collective consultation on AI regulation, in which IVADO is actively participated. This exercise will reach its conclusion by the end of the year.

On April 28, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry made the official announcement: IVADO has been mandated to carry out the ambitious R3AI project with its university and organizational partners, and will receive $124.5 million from the CFREF. Needless to say, the project is expected to have a major national impact. A launch that brought together the entire IVADO community took place a little later on June 9, during which an agreement between CIFAR and IVADO was announced.

We obviously did not wait until summer to lay the foundations of the R3AI program while actively pursuing the emerging activities of the first CFREF grant, which, I must remind you, continues until the end of next year. You will find a review of all this in this report, which includes some key highlights.

With its Science for AI, AI for Science and AI for Society components, its programming already outlined in the application and its fundamentally interdisciplinary nature, the R3AI project calls for a major transformation of IVADO, which we are in the process of carrying out. This has involved adapting our governance to incorporate Laval and McGill universities as institutional partners, integrate university hospitals (CHUs) and academic members, which now number 14, more than doubling the previous count, and making room for equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) and Indigenous engagement.

IVADO’s scientific leadership has also expanded with the addition of a scientific advisor and four scientific co-directors whose portfolios correspond to major deliverables of the R3AI project. These will be summarized in the new bylaws to be adopted shortly.

The R3AI project is well underway. The co-construction of the nine clusters that form the core of the R3AI scientific program has begun. The IVADO postdoc competition has been announced, and some of the 48 IVADO professors have already been appointed. Many workshops for 2024 are in preparation to offer a wide range of scientific activities in the near future, including thematic semesters, conferences, international schools, public presentations, and visitor programs.

On May 15, the Higher Education AI Day was held, organized in collaboration with the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur and IVADO. Efforts are also being made to expand the range of training, with some courses aimed at business leaders and professionals to promote AI adoption, and others targeting the legal aspects of AI for SMEs.

In terms of collaborative research with partners, IVADO has just signed collaboration agreements with all of Quebec’s sector-based industrial research clusters (RSRIs) to ensure their involvement in all AI-related projects. Finally, IVADO has begun deploying a national and international strategy to increase its visibility and generate partnerships with some of the world’s most reputable institutes.

As you will see from these pages, IVADO is sailing smoothly. Its successes are multiplying, and it is increasingly sought after as a partner. With its exceptional team and the backing of an engaged community, IVADO is resolutely dedicated to actualizing the transformative R3AI project, which aims to make a profoundly positive impact on society”

– Luc Vinet,  CEO, IVADO




trained participants

0 %

among them identified themselves as from a visible minority in Canada


new MOOC registrations, including 27.3% in Canada


$0 M

in research support through grants and scholarships

$42.6 M since 2016

$0 M

specifically dedicated to 5 major scientific challenges (fundamental research project - FRP3)


new fellowships awarded in 2022-2023 (64 with “Entrepreneur Postdoc”)

570 since 2016


> $ 0 M

invested in collaborative research projects, of which over $9.5 M in the last year


different organizations involved in new projects


collaborative research projects since 2016



new IVADO members and partners in 2022-2023

200 in total

> $ 0

in sponsorships to support AI research and science


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In a context characterized by a growing need for skilled workers, the AI sector maintains its appeal, while our team has recorded remarkable growth. In the space of 7 years, IVADO’s operational team has grown from 3 employees to 48, an expansion that testifies to the commitment and determination of exceptional individuals ready to spearhead our activities and the success of our consortium.

IVADO’s management team has also undergone significant changes over the past year. The arrival of Mélanie Bosc as Training Director, followed by her promotion to Deputy General Manager last August, illustrates her commitment to the management team. During the same period, we also integrated Virginie Portes as Director of Research Support, reinforcing our management team with essential expertise.

Finally, to support our ambitious R3AI project, IVADO recently announced the appointment of four renowned scientific co-directors, namely Véronique Guèvremont, Aurélie Labbe, Danilo Bzdok and Foutse Khomh, as well as a leading scientific advisor, Aaron Courville. We also welcomed Sylvestre Desterres as our new First Nations Relations Advisor, and David Hartell as our Strategic Advisor. Their expertise and leadership are crucial to our progress in the field of responsible AI, consolidating our position as a key player in this ever-evolving sector.

Meet the team

IVADO’s community also extends far beyond the operational team, and includes numerous academic, network and international members and partners, as well as industrial members who are enthusiastically working to transform AI research into solutions for the future.

Read more about IVADO’s governance here


Training as a Lever for Accelerating the Adoption of Artificial Intelligence

IVADO believes that training is one of the key levers for accelerating the adoption of artificial intelligence. This has led to the creation of a new training department. Over the course of 2022-2023, the training department has focused on strategic planning in line with IVADO’s mission and values. The aim is to facilitate the adoption of responsible artificial intelligence in society by developing the skills of today’s and tomorrow’s talents, while pursuing our mission to offer innovative, accessible and inclusive AI continuing education to professionals and students.

IVADO’s commitment to training now rests on several pillars. We aim to develop AI skills, preparing the next generation to become future AI ambassadors, and we are dedicated to mobilizing and sharing knowledge in areas of AI application. Finally, this new focus emphasizes pedagogy and innovative approaches to make IVADO the leader in the development of AI skills in Canada.


Trained participants

0 %

among them identified themselves as from a visible minority in Canada


new MOOC registrations, including 27.3% in Canada

3 Key Initiatives

"My name is Phway. I'm currently pursuing a PhD in educational big data. I took a course on data analysis that focused on recommender systems. It really resonated with me and I want to focus my PhD research on course recommender systems. I would like to thank you for this course, which helped me a lot throughout my thesis!"

Testimonial from a participant of the MOOC Recommender Systems: Behind the Screen


IVADO serving the next generation

IVADO also organizes numerous workshops and short panels for its student community, centered around 4 cross-disciplinary competencies: Ethics, EDI and Sustainable Development, Communication and Knowledge Mobilization, Project Management and Integration into the Job Market. Initiatives over the past year include the following:


Research to Co-Design the Future of AI

The past year has been marked by the community’s mobilization in defining a vision for the future of AI research, in order to adapt to an ever-changing world. Having supported the research community over the past few years in developing its capacity to conduct multidisciplinary research projects involving AI in the broadest sense, IVADO is now relying on this same community to define more precise directions. The vision to be delivered over the next few years is one of Responsible, Robust and Reasoning AI. Moreover, since AI is of no use if it is not used, IVADO reiterates the importance of adopting AI by combining excellence in research with constant dialogue between researchers and society at large.


teachers recruited through IVADO since 2016


new scholarship students for graduate studies in 2022


research projects presented to the public at IVADO Digital October

3 Key Initiatives

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“The “Data Storytelling” program is a particularly enriching experience, and it’s also a good way of opening up to a type of journalism that combines science and writing, and democratizes data. I recommend it! ”

– Ève Ménard, “Data Storytelling” scholarship holder, data journalism intern at Le Devoir.
Sample work:

Selection of 5 Research Projects

Innovative and committed research projects, shaping the future of IVADO and its community

Project 1: Co-creation for AI Research
In March 2022, IVADO announced the funding of 5 federative projects (Fundamental Research Projects, FRP) that have received $6 M over 2 years. The projects revolve around the themes of artificial intelligence to solve problems related to: biodiversity and climate change; responsible algorithms; robust and sustainable supply chains; health; and the discovery of new materials and molecules. HEC Montréal and Tech3lab’s Pierre-Majorique Léger and Sylvain Sénécal’s project on the development of responsible algorithms for AI adoption offers hours of video on their projects at the interface of AI adoption, responsible AI and acceptability:

Project 2: Research Breakthrough at the Confluence of Neuroscience and AI

Guillaume Dumas, IVADO professor and UdeM Faculty of Medicine professor, along with an international research team, have published a major study at the interface of natural and artificial neural networks: “Multilevel Development of Cognitive Abilities in an Artificial Neural Network”, co-authored with Konstantin Volzhenin and Jean-Pierre Changeux, and published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Funding for the study was provided in part by IVADO.

Project 3: International Collaboration in the Field of Transportation

In May 2022, IVADO hosted MobiliT.AI, an international event that brings together a community of experts in artificial intelligence (AI) for mission-critical systems in transportation and mobility (aeronautics, automotive, rail, space, drones, and more). IVADO invited the Toulouse aerospace community to Québec City, where some 30 speakers discussed AI certification, applicability and, more generally, the implementation of AI in mission-critical systems.

Project 4: The Future of AI is Written with Generative Flow Networks

IVADO’s scientific director, Yoshua Bengio, is working on generative flow networks, a new class of deep learning models capable of generating complex data. These networks fit into many different areas of AI and offer new possibilities, from calculating the plausibility of generated data (unlike current generative models) to abstract reasoning.

Project 5: Relearning to Walk, One Electrode at a Time

IVADO-funded neuroscience and artificial intelligence researchers Marco Bonizzato, Marina Martinez, Numa Dancause and Guillaume Lajoie have collaborated to develop intelligent neuroprostheses capable of restoring motor skills in paralyzed or post-stroke patients. These brain-implanted devices use AI to tailor the system to each patient. This innovative technology enables the creation of personalized and effective neurostimulation protocols, opening up new perspectives for the treatment of neurological pathologies.

Grants and Scholarships

Over the course of 2022-2023, IVADO has awarded 51 new scholarships for a total of $1,279,000, both for open research and for targeted programs, such as data journalism or entrepreneurship.

For this period, a total of 91 research projects are supported thanks to funding of $9,688,635 granted in previous years. These projects include scholarships at all cycles, as well as the five PRF3 scholarships of IVADO’s program.

63 of these research projects were presented to the public at the Digital October 2022, the showcase  research for students.


Industry and Research: A Winning Synergy

Despite the dazzling advances made in AI in recent years, its adoption by businesses remains a constant challenge, for small and large companies alike, in all sectors of the economy. With its network of over 2,000 experts in AI and data science, IVADO offers its expertise to accompany its members towards a successful digital transition.


active industrial members in 2022-2023, including 17 new members in the last year

+ 0 %

researchers involved in IVADO collaborative research projects


researchers and over 300 students and postdocs involved in collaborative research projects at 22 Canadian universities

+ 0 %

IVADO collaborative research projects

> 0 M $

générés dans 636 projets de recherche collaborative en cours ou réalisés depuis 2016

3 Key Initiatives

A Tightly Knit Community

4 "meetups" in natural language processing organized by CLIQ-ai, the Computational Linguistics in Quebec (founded by IVADO)

10 meetings of IVADO’s AI Industrialization Community of Practice On AI industrialization and topics of common interest

Selection of 8 collaborations

Connected Medicine

Baüne, a Quebec-Albertan startup, specializes in preventive medicine and universal healthcare accessibility. Using AI, the Internet of Things, and 5G, Baüne designs cutting-edge technological solutions to create smart, connected applications.

To support its development, Baüne joined IVADO as an industrial member in 2022. IVADO quickly referred Baüne to the “Health Beyond” initiative led by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). With the advice of researchers and in close collaboration with students, Baüne launched its project for the CSA, aimed at developing an integrated and connected system of autonomous healthcare delivery for astronauts on mission, called the Connected Care Medical Module (C²M²). The successful collaboration resulted in the company’s project being selected from among five others within the initiative. Thanks to a $2 million grant, it will be able to produce the C²M² prototype over the next few years, with ongoing support from IVADO. The project is also expected to have an impact on remote, northern and aboriginal communities in Quebec and Canada.

Team: Darine Ameyed, Aurélien Balondona, Andrea Galindo (Baüne); Fabiano Armellini, Francisca Rojas-Santoyo, Hugo Martin (Polytechnique Montréal); Caroline Rhéaume, Marie-Pierre Gagnon, Mohamed Amine Mabrouk (Université Laval), Neila Mezghani (TELUQ); Dmitri Kharitidi, Nitika Pai, Carolyn Baglole (Université McGill); Preetam Anbukarasu (University of Alberta);  Pierre Martin Tardif, Armel Quentin Tchanou (Université de Sherbrooke).

Winter Farm and Food Autonomy 

Food autonomy is becoming a crucial strategic issue. The northern territories of Quebec and Canada are facing major problems in the field of agriculture: the young startup Winter Farm is positioning itself to solve these challenges using technological solutions for vertical agriculture in an AI-controlled environment.

In conjunction with IVADO, Winter Farm carried out a collaborative research project with three mathematical modeling specialists: Houari Sahraoui, Eugène Syriani and Istvan David from Université de Montréal. Their objective was to model plant growth variables for the creation of a digital twin of strawberry cultivation. In the future, this digital twin will enable the company to run simulations to assess the potential effects of changes in indoor farm parameters, such as lighting and irrigation, and thus optimize its yields and the energy efficiency of its solution. Winter Farm’s innovation efforts have been rewarded with the Artificial Intelligence Award 2022 from the Association for the Development of Research and Innovation in Quebec (ADRIQ) and the Chief Innovator Award 2022 from the Conseil de l’Innovation du Québec (CIQ).

Team: Houari Sahraoui, Eugene Syriani, Istvan David, Pascal Archambault, Quentin Wolak, Cong-Vinh Vu (Université de Montréal); Maximilien Gaudette, Marie-José Montpetit (Winter Farm)

Innovative Electrical Systems for Sustainable Energy

This partnership aims to promote the development of innovative energy solutions through an international collaboration established for the purpose of carrying out a large-scale collaborative research project, piloted by two major companies recognized for their global leadership in the field of power grids, Hitachi Energy and RTE.

The project brings together an eminent group of collaborators, including professors from prestigious universities, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students. The aim of this research is to establish a systematic framework for modeling and analyzing the stability of modern power systems, exploiting various simulation tools, signal processing techniques and machine learning algorithms. To achieve this ambitious goal, partner companies Hitachi Energy and RTE, pioneers in power grid technologies, will draw on the methods and tools developed in this project, which will make a significant contribution to next-generation power systems with sustainable, clean energy.

This initiative will promote the improvement of control and protection systems, contributing to the development of sustainable and environmentally responsible energy capabilities.

Team: Jean Mahseredjian, Ilhan Kocar (Polytechnique Montréal); Houshang Karimi (York University); Ulas Karaagac (Hong Kong Polytechnic University); Mats Larsson (Hitachi Energy); Sébastien Dennetière (RTE)


In Sustainable Finance

The joint initiative of CIRANO, OBVIA, Fin-ML and Algora Lab “AI and FinSustainable” is a real winner! The project is rooted in the context of sustainable investment in Quebec and the evolution of ESG (environmental, social and governance) evaluation and disclosure standards. Its aim is to respond to the growing demand for transparency on the environmental impact of companies and investors and to support the trend towards standardized disclosure standards and more rigorous ESG evaluation.

The multidisciplinary research team will study the needs of investors and companies, as well as potential applications within the ESG framework. The project will lead to the automation of ESG report evaluation, the generation of metrics and the comparison of disclosures with the actual extent of environmental and social impact. IVADO will ensure the project’s continuity, bringing together researchers with diverse and complementary expertise.

Team: Nathalie De Marcellis-Warin (Polytechnique Montréal), Marc-Antoine Dilhac & Manuel Morales (Université de Montréal)


Developing Green Solutions for Today’s Cities

BrainBox AI is a Montréal-based startup that has developed innovative technology to optimize the energy performance of buildings and reduce their energy consumption. BrainBox AI’s solution is based on advanced machine learning algorithms that analyze and consider real-time data such as current and forecasted weather conditions, utility rate structures and more. Using this data, the BrainBox AI system is able to automatically predict and adjust HVAC system parameters.

Since its inception, BrainBox AI has collaborated with IVADO as an industrial member, and benefits from the consortium’s support in carrying out its mission. As part of its most recent collaborative research project (with Polytechnique Montréal), the research group investigated how BrainBox AI’s algorithms could be applied to model and optimize the energy consumption of large commercial buildings with rooftop HVAC units, which make up 60% of contemporary commercial buildings.

Team: Antoine Lesage-Landry, Marie-Christine Paré (Polytechnique Montréal), Vasken Dermardiros & Jean-Simon Venne (Brainbox AI).

AI and Revolutionary Maritime Optimization

True North Marine (TNM) offers real-time routing services to amateurs and ship operators on all the world’s oceanic trajectories. The research team and the company have developed a multi-objective model and software interface, called Optinav, which serves as a recommender system. The algorithm balances three sets of key factors for ship routing: crew costs, navigation safety and fuel consumption (greenhouse gas emissions). The Beta version of the Optinav tool produced convincing results in tests carried out with regular TNM customers, optimizing the trajectory in just a few seconds, compared with the fifteen minutes required by the routing expert when the task is carried out manually.

Professor Mickaël Rönnqvist won the Best Presentation Award for this project at the annual conference of the Canadian Operational Research Society (CORS) last May.

Team: Mickaël Ronnqvist, Patrick Flisberg, Kaoutar Hajli, Nazanin Sharif (Université Laval), Jean-François Audy (UQTR), Jean-François Cordeau (HEC Montréal), Camelia Dadouchi (Polytechnique Montréal); Gurjeet Warya, Trung No, Brian Hatter (TNM); Jean-François Bruneau (CIRRELT/IVADO)


Improving Access to Journalistic Content

With nearly 22% of Canadians living with a disability that prevents them from having full access to digital content, Polytechnique Montréal researcher Thomas Hurtut and his team are working on methods and tools to improve the accessibility of journalistic content. In collaboration with Radio-Canada and Le Devoir, the team is developing technology to help make the graphics (data visualizations) that regularly appear in online articles published on digital media sites accessible to blind and visually impaired people. Two methodological approaches are pursued. The first develops a tool to assist journalists in the semi-automatic production of structured textual descriptions of graphics. The second, also a semi-automatic approach to producing textual descriptions of graphics, is based on the use of a generative question/answer model that extracts and analyzes the structure of a graphic and the accompanying journalistic text. These two tools, designed for the newsrooms of online media, and consequently for their journalists and editors, are intended to help produce a greater number and better quality of textual descriptions to accompany graphics.

Team: Thomas Hurtut, Qiang Xu, Theo Lecardonnel (Polytechnique Montréal); Valérie Duhaime (Le Devoir); Véronique Leclerc, Aurélie Khaldi (Radio-Canada)

Integrative projects

In addition to support in setting up collaborative research projects, IVADO offers its members a multitude of other opportunities. One of the most appreciated is undoubtedly access to integrative projects. In collaboration with lecturer Lévis Thériault from Polytechnique Montréal, no fewer than 13 applied projects were carried out with teams of students completing bachelor’s degrees in computer engineering and software engineering. In collaboration with their IVADO advisor, the organizations proposed IT infrastructure and AI modeling projects for mandates ranging from 1,000 to 1,500 hours.

Projects in computer vision, cybersecurity, recommender systems, digital health, and emotions analysis were selected by the student groups in a consultative process. These projects enable the students to apply and challenge the skills they have learned, as well as develop from scratch an IT system or software product that meets their organization’s needs. Participating organizations have praised the golden opportunity presented by this collaboration, and the excellence of the deliverables presented to them.

Team: Lévis Thériault (Polytechnique Montréal)

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“The collaboration between the project’s academic and industrial partners has been very open, productive and rewarding. TNM staff have a very deep knowledge and understanding of marine routing and have always passed on quantitative and qualitative knowledge to us. TNM showed great interest and appreciation of the skills and solution approaches we bring to OptiNav’s overall development. I think OptiNav is an excellent demonstration of what close collaboration between academia and industry can achieve.”

– Mikael Rönnqvist, Professor of Industrial Engineering, Université Laval
Canada Research Chair in Operations Research in Natural Resources

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“The Winter 2023 IVADO Fair provided us with many quality candidates, 8 of whom were recruited. As a result, this fair was the best source of interns for the Ericsson AI Hub Canada team in Montréal of all the recruiting activities we participated in during our last recruiting cycle.”

– Prasad Garigipati, Head of AI Hub Canada GAIA and Montréal Site Manager

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“The energy control of a multi-zone commercial building represents a distributed model integration challenge. This project allowed us to explore an axis based on the energy management data of a multi-zone commercial building in order to establish a learning strategy for a distributed model predictive controller.”

– Jean-Simon Venne, CTO and co-founder, Brainbox AI

IVADO in Support of AI Entrepreneurship

In addition to officially supporting some 30 startups through its industrial membership, IVADO now has a structured offering that enables more than 20 other startups to benefit from the expertise of the IVADO community, and as many graduate students to discover the realities and challenges of the entrepreneurial world.

In the fall of 2022, IVADO was present at Cooperathon, Canada’s largest open innovation competition, where 80 company founders and co-founders had the chance to receive our customized “Adoption and Innovation in Artificial Intelligence” training, as well as privileged access to two mentors from our ecosystem.

3 “Entrepreneurship” Initiatives

Scientist in Action

For its first edition, Scientist in Action enabled 7 startups to carry out applied research internships. Given the quality of the applications, some startups even decided to take on more than one intern, considerably accelerating their company’s development. The second edition was launched this winter, and is proving to be just as promising!

Explanatory video

Scientist in Residence

Scientist in Residence, a program approved and funded by Scale.AI, aims to transfer knowledge by accompanying qualified PhD students in startup research and development projects. In its first edition, in summer 2022, 8 startups benefited from the program. A special edition took place in winter 2023 with 5 new startups, including 2 from Cooperathon. A third edition is planned for summer 2023.

Explanatory video

Entrepreneur Postdoc Fellowship program

For its fifth edition, the Entrepreneur Postdoc Fellowship program has selected three entrepreneurial projects, two of which are led by women.

Elham Kheradmand (supervised by Manuel Morales, UdeM)

Lucid Axon is a startup specializing in responsible investment. Using artificial intelligence, it analyzes vast quantities of data on companies’ ESG (environmental, social and governance) practices.

Claudie Ratté-Fortin (supervised by Jean-François Plante, HEC Montréal)

Clean Nature is an innovative startup dedicated to environmental sustainability. Specializing in environmentally-friendly technological solutions, it focuses on ways of significantly reducing the use of road salts and thus preventing their excessive accumulation in water bodies.

Masoud Aali (supervised by Pooneh Maghoul, Polytechnique Montréal)

Scient Analytics is a startup operating in the natural resources sector, specializing in the exploration and development of terrestrial and marine environments.

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“During the course of the internship, we started at a TRL 2 maturity level and have almost moved on to TRL 4. This is a big step forward, bringing us closer to our goal of providing clinicians with a platform capable of optimizing ADHD treatment.”

– Sarojini Sengupta, co-founder and CEO of AIMH

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“IVADO’s Scientist in Residence program enabled us to accelerate the development of our technology by gaining access to an expert in generative AI. Without this program, we wouldn’t necessarily have the budget to access talent of this caliber; it’s really a big help for young companies like ours.”

– Nabil Tayeb, co-founder and CEO, Draft&Goal

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“Thanks to IVADO’s Entrepreneur Postdoc program, I’ve been able to focus 100% on DesignBot, the company inspired by my PhD research. My team and I are developing software that improves collaboration between AI and humans as part of designers’ creative work. In addition to its financial support, IVADO has also put us in touch with many key people and resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Quebec and Canada, such as incubators, job fairs and so on. All of this has enabled both business startup and entrepreneurial development!”

– Yann-Seing Law-Kam Cio, co-founder and CEO, DesignBot
(Entrepreneur Postdoc 2020)

Community and EDI

A Committed Academic and Industrial Community

With its commitment to excellence and innovation, IVADO plays a key role in the development of a dynamic and flourishing ecosystem, propelling Quebec to new heights in the field of artificial intelligence. IVADO’s community is made up of a diverse network of researchers, industry experts and passionate students. All these players work closely together to push beyond the frontiers of artificial intelligence research, from the design of machine learning models to practical applications in multiple fields such as healthcare, transport, energy and many others. IVADO has joined forces with leading academic and industrial partners, forming an ecosystem rich in expertise and opportunities.

Explore the IVADO community

> 0

participants in student initiatives supported by IVADO in 2022-2023
(1,200: workshops, panels, startups and labs day, Octobre Numérique + 1,700: Fairs + 2,500: SOURI events - Support for IVADO Student Groups program - supported by IVADO)

> 0 $

in sponsorships to support AI research and science in 2022-2023, including close to $30,000 to student groups as part of its SOURI program

An Active Student Community

IVADO is particularly active in supporting its student community in the development and promotion of research projects (Digital October, My Research Project in 800 Words), in its academic development and transition to the job market (IVADO Internship and Job Fair, cross-disciplinary skills workshops, Support for IVADO Student Groups program (SOURI)). IVADO raises student awareness of the major social issues surrounding artificial intelligence (multidisciplinary panels, EDI issues). On a broader level, the objective of IVADO – and its intersectoral student committee – is to welcome its members into an inclusive, multidisciplinary community throughout their academic careers.

2 Flagship Initiatives – Initiatives to Promote and Enhance Student Research

IVADO’s Intersectoral Student Committee: an Essential Bond

Formed in August 2020, the Student Intersectoral Committee (SIC) is made up of a dozen members spanning the wide range of fields and academic backgrounds of the student community. The committee’s aim is to be the student voice of IVADO, to support the implementation of activities and programs that best meet their needs, and to strengthen social, professional and academic ties within the IVADO student community.

The committee’s main initiatives: 

Accessibility, Disability and Data Science panel (91 participants)
IVADO’s Startups and Labs Day (82 participants)
Launch of a major consultation of the student community

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“My experience with the student intersectoral committee (SIC) has enabled me to develop leadership and event organization skills. I had the chance to collaborate with various contributors to data science and artificial intelligence. All these encounters exposed me to academic research, industry opportunities and ethical issues.”

– Ève Campeau-Poirier, master’s student in physics (Université de Montréal) and member of the 2022-2023 SIC cohort.

Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI)

Data for an Inclusive Society

IVADO pays close attention to promoting diversity and inclusion in the field of AI and data by implementing concrete initiatives to ensure an inclusive, equitable environment that respects the diversity of perspectives and talents.

Our consortium plays a key role in creating an environment where AI is used fairly and responsibly to address societal challenges and improve lives in an inclusive manner for all. The barriers faced by women, visible minorities, people with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are a major impediment to the excellence and sustainable development of data science that IVADO promotes. Consequently, IVADO has committed itself to increasing the representation and participation of people from under-represented groups within its ecosystem.

To this end, IVADO has adopted a framework for EDI, built around 3 main priorities:


Increase the participation and voice of groups that are underrepresented in data science in order to broaden the talent pool and ideas that make up our ecosystem.


Understand and remove the structural and institutional barriers to the inclusion of these groups in their education and careers.


Enhance the quality, benefits and social relevance of data science research and training by accounting for diversity-related issues and bias in knowledge generation.

Key EDI Initiatives

Action inclusion challenge

IVADO’s Action Inclusion Challenge is an innovative initiative launched by IVADO with the support of the Ministère de l’économie, de l’innovation et de l’énergie du Québec (MEIE) aimed at promoting the integration of artificial intelligence into social innovation solutions to address inclusion challenges within partner organizations.

AIMS – IVADO Partnership

In 2019, the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and IVADO have signed an agreement to promote the next generation of data scientists in Africa. Between 2019 and 2023, this strategic partnership and the financial support of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund has enabled 24 AIMS master’s students to receive scholarships.

ISTEAH – IVADO Partnership

In 2022, IVADO launched its first partnership with a Haitian academic institution, the Institut des Sciences, des Technologies et des Études Avancées d’Haïti (ISTEAH). The collaboration continues in 2023, with a new cohort of 4 interns welcomed this fall.

Salon International de la Femme Noire – Audace au Féminin

To celebrate the outstanding achievements of black women and promote diversity and inclusion in AI, IVADO, in collaboration with Salon International de la Femme Noire and its partners, has organized in August 2022, the thematic panel for the inclusive movement Audace au Féminin.


The entire IVADO team would like to thank its community for its constant support and tremendous ingenuity! AI research, training and transfer are more than ever at the forefront of our efforts to meet the unprecedented challenges of our time.