Artificial Intelligence for Design challenge program


Artificial Intelligence for Design (AI for Design) is a cross-cutting challenge program that will provide a foundation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, technologies and capabilities to improve design and scientific discovery.


We invite collaborators at Canadian and international universities, colleges, centres of excellence, not-for-profit organizations, governmental research organizations, and highly innovative firms with interest in applying AI to design problems to express their interest in collaborating with the program. Collaborator expertise will cross a number of domains including AI, optimization, data science, and one of the themes listed below.

Current areas of focus

The program is scoping and organizing its research projects within four primary technology themes identified below. The first three themes are areas of focus of NRC Challenge Programs. The fourth theme focuses on developing general AI tools, techniques, and methods to improve the design process across a range of domains. Research that could be highly impactful for the AI for Design program, but that is not necessarily scoped into the first three themes, may also be eligible for support.


A number of workshops and other engagement activities to help scope research activities and define project plans will take place in 2019. Dates and locations will be posted soon.

Contribution funding

The program will contribute to collaborative research and development activities by academic institutions and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in support of the program's objectives.

The program may provide contributions to early investments by collaborators in equipment needed for research in fundamental areas.

The program will make further investments over the course of the 7-year program lifespan.

Next steps and contact

The program continues to work with stakeholders to refine the specific areas of focus. More information will be made available as this work progresses.

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


Clean energy, sustainable energy, energy storage, transportation, photovoltaics, electronics and photonics, optical communication, quantum technologies, internet of things, biotechnology, biopharma, medical devices, digital technologies, artificial intelligence, machine learning, simulation, optimization, deep learning, neural networks, data analysis, data visualization

Contact us

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

Andrew Pender
Program Advisor, Artificial Intelligence for Design Challenge Program
Telephone: 613-990-2493