DIGITAL Horizon AI’s Technology Commercialization Program

The seemingly sudden rise of artificial intelligence (AI) technology has many Canadians excited and just as many people worried regarding what this means for the country. What risks are there with utilizing AI? What policies are in place to prevent danger, if any? There are countless warnings from professionals coming out at alarming rates, and even the “Godfather of AI” has stated his concerns about AI being unregulated.

As such, the importance of finding solutions for AI security and proper management is rising more across many parts of the world, especially in North America where AI has taken off in almost every sector in one way or another.

The Government of Canada is now announcing research and development funding programs to support the exploration of how AI can help, and arguably more importantly, how AI can be properly and securely managed. 

The DIGITAL Horizon AI’s Technology Commercialization Program offers up to 35% of total eligible costs with a minimum of $1 million in funding to help identify artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for strengthening intellectual property and data management in key Canadian sectors.

About the DIGITAL Horizon AI’s Technology Commercialization Program

Under Horizon AI, DIGITAL (formerly known as the Digital Supercluster) is accepting proposals for technology commercialization projects focusing on artificial intelligence (AI) solutions.

Intended to help Canadian technology-based companies strengthen their intellectual property (IP) and data management strategies, the DIGITAL Horizon AI’s Technology Commercialization program has committed to co-invest in the early stages of commercialization and adoption of 10-15 ambitious projects developing Canadian-owned AI solutions.

Areas of Interest for call proposals are:

  • AI for Earth: Utilizing AI to advance environmental health and support the transition to clean agriculture and natural resources.
  • AI for Health: Utilizing AI to support the resilience and sustainability of health care systems, and advance care in ways that facilitate healthy living, are easy to access, and deliver positive results.
  • AI for Service: Utilizing AI to augment service and support decision-making with virtual assistants.

Funding Amount

  • Up to 35% of total eligible costs starting at a minimum of $1 million
  • Minimum Project Size: $3 million
  • There is no maximum project size.

Eligible Members

  • DIGITAL provides co-investment only to Member organizations1 (“Eligible Members”) that are:
  • For-profit organizations;
  • Not-for-profit organizations whose 50% of funding and/or revenue is from private-sector or industry organizations;
  • Non-federal Crown corporations whose funding is derived from commercial activities; or
  • Indigenous organizations.
  • Other not-for-profit organizations, governments, post-secondary and research institutions, DIGITAL Associates, and non-Canadian organizations can participate in projects but cannot receive direct co-investment.

Eligible Consortia

Eligible Members must come together to form a consortium and:

  • Must be led by an industry organization;
  • Must consist of at least three organizations;
  • Can include organizations located outside of Canada;
  • Must consist of at least one must be a Canadian SME;
  • Must consist of at least one organization representing a potential customer of the AI technology solution;
  • Must consist of at least one research or post-secondary academic institution; and
  • All participating organizations must be Members or Associates at the time of application submission.

Eligible Projects

  • Projects must aim to achieve early commercialization and adoption of AI technology solutions that address well-defined problems in the Areas of Interest described above; and
  • Projects may be a combination of one or more of the following:
  • “Follow-on” opportunities to support the early commercialization and adoption of AI technology solutions that were developed with prior investment from DIGITAL;
  • Early commercialization and adoption of existing Canadian-owned AI technology solutions in new target markets (i.e., international expansion, adjacent markets); and 
  • Improvements or new developments to address verified product/market fit gaps for the purposes of commercialization and adoption of the AI technology solution.

Eligible Costs

  • Portion of base wages or salaries and benefits;
  • Equipment costs including purchase, rental, operation, and maintenance;
  • Materials and supplies;
  • User fees;
  • Incremental room or facility rentals;
  • Incremental costs to support conferences and related telecommunication expenses;
  • Travel costs;
  • Dissemination costs;
  • Capital expenditures; and/or
  • Other related costs at the program’s discretion.


  • Projects may take up to two years to complete
  • All projects must be completed by December 31, 2025.

Please note that funding is limited, and it is a competitive process. All applications will be reviewed and evaluated on a continuous-intake basis.

Small Business Grants, Loans, and Tax Incentives for Research and Development

Through research and development (R&D) activities, often supported by Canadian government funding programs, businesses can achieve competitive advantages over their international and domestic competitors, promote economic growth, and fuel innovation.

Research and development funding support is not just for research-focused large businesses with substantial R&D budgets. Funding support is available for smaller companies that seek an edge over products and services that currently dominate the market.

To learn more about how collaborating on research opportunities, download our free Collaborative Research Project Guide and uncover how your business could reach its full project potential with external partnership support.

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