September 8, 2021

September 2021: a word from Luc Vinet

It’s been just over a month since I took over from Gilles Savard as CEO of IVADO. These past few weeks, if anything, I’ve been able to see even more clearly the excellence that our Institute achieved under his leadership. As evidenced in the mid-term review of the Canada First Research Excellence Fund grant, IVADO is now one of the world’s leading artificial intelligence and data science centres, with extremely attractive prospects for development, such as incorporation of new dimensions in social sciences and quantum science. Kudos to all our IVADO artisans!

With its characteristic agility and inspiration, the Institute will continue to reinvent itself, assert its presence and strive to fulfil its great aspirations. We will be invited to submit an application to the new Canada First competition, the guidelines for which will be announced by year’s end. This will not be a renewal process and we will have to state that the recommendations of the review report have been implemented.

IVADO will also be called upon to play a key role in the refinancing of the Québec AI Cluster, an exercise that will get under way this fall as part of development of the new Québec Research and Innovation Strategy (known by its French abbreviation, SQRI). We are already fully engaged in this regard and actively working to strengthen our four interdependent pillars: Talent, Knowledge, Transfer and Community.

With that in mind, and jointly with Mila as well as the Vector and Amii institutes in Toronto and Edmonton respectively, IVADO has also taken the initiative of submitted an application to the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s Major Science Initiatives Fund for an artificial intelligence initiative to be called IA/AI-CAN, with the aim of funding a cross-Canada infrastructure consisting of an extensive group of professionals dedicated to consolidation and maintenance of open-access codes. Universities including Laval, Dalhousie, Waterloo, UBC and SFU may join the project, for which the letter of intent will be submitted on September 20.

Lastly, the identification of the strategic topic areas for our IVADO Strategic Research Funding Program will have a significant impact on the future directions of IVADO research. As you know, a $6 million budget will be earmarked for between three and five major structure-enhancing projects. The committee advising the IVADO bodies on their selections is due to meet soon; it is co-chaired by Janice Bailey and Carole Jabet, respectively the scientific directors of FRQ-NT and FRQ-S. We will also seek the advice of the International Advisory Committee and we expect to announce the chosen strategic topic areas in October.

All this means that our creativity will be intensively engaged in the next few months, and I know that you will all step up and propel IVADO even further.

I look forward to the pleasure of working with you.

All the best,

Luc Vinet
Chief Executive Officer