Artificial Intelligence for Design Challenge program


The Artificial Intelligence for Design (AI for Design) Challenge program will develop and provide AI technologies and capabilities to accelerate discovery, R&D, and innovation processes.

Artificial Intelligence for Design Challenge program - Transcript

Minister Bains (On screen)

The National Research Council of Canada is the Government of Canada's largest science and research organization.

Through their Challenge Programs, the NRC is partnering with private and public sector organizations to advance Canadian research that will lead to major scientific breakthroughs, and take on our biggest modern challenges.

Animation on screen: icons for medicine, digital, science, planet etc

Kevin Thomson, Program Director (On screen)

Artificial Intelligence is transforming our world. From personal assistants to powerful tools for research, AI is everywhere, and offers the potential for an even faster pace of scientific discovery and innovation.

Animation: examples of AI products icons

Kevin Thomson, Program Director (Off screen)

Our AI for Design Challenge Program will provide a foundation of AI technologies to accelerate and support scientific innovation in Canada and around the world.

B-roll: coding/ AI relevant

Kevin Thomson, Program Director (On screen)

With our collaborators, we're developing algorithms and datasets to allow faster and more intelligent search of design spaces and to improve the relationship between computer simulations and physical experiments.

This will speed up discoveries in gene and cell therapy, materials for clean fuels, and communications.

Words to emphasize on screen: faster, more intelligent

Iain Stewart, NRC President (On screen)

Challenge programs are all about advanced research applied to Canadian priorities, with excellent partners.

Logline: Canada's Innovation Story

Contact us

If you are interested in collaborating with us, making investments in this area, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Kevin Thomson
Program Leader, AI for Design Challenge Program
Telephone: 613-991-0868

Areas of focus

With its collaborators, the AI for Design Challenge program will advance algorithms, methods and datasets to assist engineers, researchers and scientists with design and scientific discovery.

These technologies will be applied to discoveries in health, materials for clean fuels, high-throughput and secure networks, and other areas.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Design Challenge program overview image.
Long description

AI for discovery, for search, and for simulation (left). These AI techniques will be applied for gene and cell therapy; materials for clean fuels; and high-throughput and secure networks (top). The program deliverable is a set of core AI technologies to accelerate scientific discovery and innovation (right).

Collaborate with us

We invite collaborators at Canadian and international universities, colleges, centres of excellence, not-for-profit organizations, governmental research organizations, and highly innovative firms with an interest in applying AI to scientific discovery and development to express their interest in collaborating with the program.

Contribution funding is available to help defray the costs of research for academic institutions, small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and other eligible recipients collaborating with the NRC.

Master projects

  • AI for biological systems
  • AI-assisted photonics design
  • Deep materials science
  • Core AI algorithm and tool development

Contributing experts

Meet the leading NRC experts who are contributing to the AI for Design program

Contributing experts

Miroslava Cuperlovic-Culf: AI for biological systems

Yuri Grinberg: AI-assisted photonics design

Isaac Tamblyn: Deep material science

Christopher Drummond: Core AI algorithm and tool development


  • October 17, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario (upcoming)