11 Jul 2018

Mila masterplan to accelerate Quebec’s Artificial Intelligence development

Montreal, July 9, 2018 – The Strategy for the Development of Quebec’s Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem, unveiled on June 21 by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation, Dominique Anglade, confirms the will to accelerate Mila’s growth and strengthen its role as a catalyst for the development of Quebec’s artificial intelligence ecosystem. More specifically, this commitment will result in the Quebec government allocating financing up to $80M over the next five years, as proposed by the Artificial Intelligence Steering Committee in its report submitted on May 27.

Mila became an NPO in July 2017 and is the fruit of a collaboration between Université de Montréal and McGill University and has close ties with HEC Montréal and Polytechnique Montréal. Mila now has a mission based on four pillars:

  • Training: Academic training to attract, develop and retain the best talent in the machine learning field.
  • Academic research: Continue to propel advanced research by building on its strengths in deep learning and reinforcement learning.
  • Technology transfer: Contribute to Quebec’s economic development through a robust applied research platform, and raising the awareness of all enterprises in the field of AI;
  • Socially responsible and beneficial development of AI: Contribute to social dialogue and the development of applications that benefit society.

Mila will receive federal funding from CIFAR, which leads the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy. CIFAR will grant Mila $44M to support its activities and help it establish research chairs to recruit and retain leading university researchers; the funds from these chairs will also support the hiring and training of young researchers, including graduates and postdoctoral fellows. Mila is one of three institutes designated by CIFAR to receive this support; the other two are the Vector Institute in Ontario and AMII in Alberta.

To implement its mission and strengthen its leadership, Mila has named 12 senior business and academic leaders as members of its board chaired by Pierre Boivin, President and CEO of Claridge Inc. This Board of Directors appointed Valérie Pisano as President and CEO and Yoshua Bengio as Scientific Director.

“Since taking up my position, I have discovered the outstanding talent and inspiring vision of the Mila team. With the support of the Quebec government and our researchers’ global reach, we undertake Mila’s development with confidence to deliver on all segments of our mission,” says Valérie Pisano, President and CEO of Mila.

Mila has launched an international recruitment campaign for new faculty and researchers to add high-level talent to its current world-class team of 20 research professors, 220 student researchers (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) and a growing team of applied researchers dedicated to technology transfer.

Within the next few months, the entire Mila team will move to the heart of Montreal’s vibrant Mile-Ex neighbourhood, in a real estate complex that has become a major hub of artificial intelligence global players. Mila will take up two and a half floors of the complex that already host IVADO’s management team.

The Mila team will carry on its fundamental research activities in machine learning as well as its work on technology transfer in partnership with several corporate labs, AI start-ups and through projects initiated by students. This innovation hub will also house venture capital firms and investment funds.

“The unique institute model that Mila is launching will contribute to the development of a dynamic research and innovation environment and the creation of a thriving artificial intelligence ecosystem for the benefit of our society and our economic ecosystem”, adds Pierre Boivin, Chairman of the Board of Mila.

For more information on Mila, visit: www.mila.quebec/en/

For information on Quebec’s Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem Development, visit: www.ai.quebec

Information:
Daniel Granger
daniel.granger@acjcommunication.com
O. 514-840-7990
M. 514-232-1556