Announcement – Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative

The three Canadian federal research funding agencies and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are pleased to announce the launch of the Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative.

The Canadian agencies include the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. The four UK research councils involved in this UKRI initiative are the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Medical Research Council.

The call for proposals was launched on June 21, 2019.

Please find the Canadian Request for Applications on ResearchNet.


The rapid development and ever-growing global investment in artificial intelligence (AI) illustrates the undeniable impact that these technologies are having, and will have, on our economies, health and societies. Given the expertise of researchers in Canada and the United Kingdom, the Canadian agencies and UKRI are jointly supporting the development of collaboration in AI among stakeholders in Canada and the UK. The aim is to build competitive and resilient economies and maximize the social and health benefits.

This is a unique collaboration, which will require each project to include a principal investigator (PI), based in Canada, and a PI based in the UK. The PIs will share equally the leadership and project management responsibilities. The Canadian and UK applicants will develop a common research plan and jointly prepare the full proposal. Proposals will be required to demonstrate a significant degree of, or novel approach to, interdisciplinarity, with research that cuts across at least two of the following research domains: social sciences and humanities; health and biomedical sciences; and natural sciences and engineering (including computational and/or mathematical sciences).

In addition to promoting interdisciplinary AI, this call will support the development of responsible AI while establishing new partnerships and enhancing infrastructure and training between researchers in Canada and the UK. The outputs and outcomes of the research should allow for uptake by relevant stakeholders, where possible.

Funds available

The total amount available for this funding opportunity is about C$14 million (£8.2 million), enough to fund up to approximately 10 projects.

Note: Canadian applicants are only eligible to receive funding from the Canadian agencies and UK applicants are only eligible to receive funding from UKRI.

Application process

The applicants must submit a compulsory short Intention to Submit (ItS) by 23:00 British Summer Time (BST) and 18:00 Eastern Standard Time (EST) on 19 August 2019 using the electronic form. Please see our intention to submit form.

Failure to submit a valid ItS will invalidate any submitted Full Application. ItS must be submitted by the PI based in the UK on behalf of both the UK and Canadian applicants.

Webinar for potential applicants

An English webinar, hosted by ESRC, will be held on 17 July from 16:00 to 17:00 UK time (11:00 to 12:00 EST), and a French webinar will be held from 17:00 to 18:00 UK time (12:00 to 13:00 EST). Spaces will be limited, so we encourage you to register your interest (deadline 12 July) by emailing

Call documents

Important dates

Launch 21 June 2019
Webinar 17 July 2019
Intention to submit deadline 19 August 2019
Full application deadline 12 September 2019
Funding start date 1 February 2020

Note: These dates are estimates and subject to change.

Contact information

Full initiative details will be available in the coming weeks. For questions about this strategic initiative and research objectives, please contact:

Manija Kamal, UKRI
Telephone: 01793 414 697 or +44 1793 413 136

For Canadian-based queries:

Lauren Mathieson
Telephone: 613-947-9656

Disclaimer: The information contained in this announcement of the Canada-UK Artificial Intelligence Initiative funding opportunity is subject to change and does not commit the Canadian agencies nor UKRI to the requirements outlined in this version. For full details on this funding opportunity, please visit the ESRC website.

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