Canada’s leading advanced technology businesses continue to thrive because of constant investments into innovative R&D. In 2015 alone, the Canadian technology industry contributed more than $9.1 million towards innovative research and development initiatives. This is a calculated approach to growth, since research typically leads to innovation and to international competitiveness.
As one of the world’s top innovators, Google funnels much of their profit into research and development. Although they perform R&D across the world, Google recently invested $4.5 million to support its newest artificial intelligence (A.I.) project at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms.
Google’s investment will support a new A.I. research outpost in Quebec where researchers will investigate ‘deep learning’, an artificial intelligence exercise that allows analysts to detect big data patterns. Once A.I. has the ability to crunch big data effectively, it can be used to guide decisions and identify unseen market opportunities.
Google Conducts Artificial Intelligence Research to Advance Deep Learning
According to 2015 statistics, Google serves over 2 trillion search queries every year. The company is comprised of top innovators that are highly invested in solving consumer challenges via online sources. Google’s independent research team is dedicated to Computer Science and devotes significant resources to explore technology, analytic data, and the industry’s latest challenges.
Google’s $4.5 million investment will support artificial intelligence research at the University of Montreal’s Institute for Learning Algorithms. The company’s research team will explore ‘deep learning’ or ‘machine learning’, a concept that studies online algorithms and how to extract abstract data.
Deep learning processes will allow computers to identify and analyze webpage entities, such as the specific objects within an image.
Google’s investment came after $213 million in Canadian government funding was awarded to three Montreal-based artificial intelligence projects. Seeing the Government of Canada’s commitment to university-led A.I. research, Google wanted to ensure they were tapping into the Canadian market for skilled A.I. labourers.
Access Canadian Government Funding to Accelerate Your R&D Projects
Large-scale research and development projects often require funding outside of a company’s cash flow to be completed. Luckily, small and mid-sized businesses across have access to government grants and loans to support technological research, development, and commercialization activities. Some of these research grants include:
IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) Canadian Research Grants
The IRAP Accelerated Review Process (ARP) program supports innovative R&D projects that leads to an organization’s product and process improvements. Research grants allow businesses to solve internal technical challenges, improve productivity, and project return on investment (ROI) by reducing labour costs.
Eligible businesses may receive up to 80% coverage of direct labour costs and up to 50% of third-party labour costs, to a maximum $50,000 in Canadian research grants.
IRAP Mid-Size Projects Grants for Innovative Technology Development
Likewise, the IRAP Mid-Size Projects stream also supports businesses research activities that lead to new or improved technology developments. Research grants can be used to reduce technical labour expenses associated with the improvement of innovative products and processes.
Eligible businesses may receive up to 65-80% of labour costs, to a maximum of $500,000 for employees directly involved in conducting the project’s research process.
NSERC Engage – Research Grants for R&D Collaborations
The NSERC Engage program supports small and mid-sized business collaborations with Canadian academic institutions. Engage grants support short-term (up to 6 months) partnerships with a research professor and their team of post-secondary researchers. Research should help identify solutions for the applicant company’s specific technical challenges.
Eligible businesses may receive up to $25,000 in research grants to cover 4-6 month projects. Businesses may extend the program’s funding if the project’s scope is expanded.
How to Access Small Business Research Grants
Businesses are sometimes reluctant to invest in research and development because a commercially viable product/process doesn’t always materialize. However, government grants and loans can offset research project expenses and improve ROI. This leads to more projects being completed, in less time, for better profit.
Canadian small businesses can discuss their eligibility for any of the aforementioned government grants by contacting Mentor Works. Our team of Government Funding Planners can help identify ways to expand your research project’s funding and inform you on the best ways to get started.