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Memorial University has received funding for a new Centre for Artificial Intelligence on the St. John’s campus.

The centre will build partnerships with industry and the province’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through collaborative projects, outreach and continuing education, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer related courses.

It will also serve as a collaborative space for seminars that bring together AI-related researchers and students across campus for teamwork.

Joint announcement

Seamus O’Regan Jr., minister of Labour and member of Parliament, St. John’s South-Mount Pearl, on behalf of Ginette Petitpas Taylor, minister of Official Languages and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and Bernard Davis, minister, Environment and Climate Change, minister responsible for Labour and minister responsible for Workplace NL, on behalf of Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Andrew Furey, announced funding for the centre on July 6.

The total project cost is $1,925,000 with $995,000 from the Government of Canada, through ACOA; $432,000 from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Department Industry Energy and Technology; and $498,000 from Memorial University.

Thriving technology sector

“Newfoundland and Labrador’s tech sector punches above its weight. With the support of Memorial University, we’re thriving,” said Minister O’Regan. “A new Centre for Artificial Intelligence will help us take on the world.”

“Collaboration across industry, government, community and post-secondary institutions, combined with strategic investments are critical in driving greater innovation and technology development,” said Premier Furey. “Supporting Memorial University’s new master’s programs builds on that spirit of collaboration and will contribute to the development of a highly educated and skilled workforce for this expanding industry.”

“Memorial University has a critical role to play in developing the Newfoundland and Labrador economy, and the province’s emerging tech sector is anticipated to be at the forefront of future growth,” said Dr. Vianne Timmons, president and vice-chancellor, Memorial University. “The new Memorial Centre for Artificial Intelligence will provide the highly skilled people needed to move this field forward and address the demands of a sector that will have an increasing impact on our daily lives.”

The funding will enable the hiring of four new term faculty positions and the completion of a 1,500-square foot classroom and active learning space on the fifth floor of the new state-of-the art Core Science Facility.

It will be shared with other AI- and computing-related groups at the university, creating a vibrant hub of collaboration and a place where partnerships can flourish and expand.

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