Annual Report

Message from Board Chair and the President

In five short years since the Vector Institute was founded, artificial intelligence (AI) has cemented its place as a driver of economic competitiveness and growth.

Now, it can play an important role in our economic recovery from the pandemic.

Leveraging its deep research expertise to help organizations across sectors apply AI, Vector is helping to secure Ontario’s position as a world-leading hub of AI talent and investment attraction.

And we’re just getting started. Within a vibrant and growing AI ecosystem, our community of industry sponsors, health partners, and universities continues to expand. The Government of Canada has renewed the CIFAR Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, marking an exciting new chapter.

With confidence in a bright future ahead, we invite you to explore highlights of our 2021-22 Annual Report and learn how the Vector community is enabling industry, health institutions, and governments to unlock the tremendous potential of AI for all Canadians.

Garth Gibson

Garth Gibson

President & CEO

Ed Clark

Ed Clark

Chair of the Board of Directors

Five Years of AI Leadership


graduates from Vector-recognized AI programs and study paths

$6.2 M

scholarship funds for students in AI programs


postings for AI-focused jobs and internships on our Digital Talent Hub


in research funding for affiliated researchers


research awards earned by Faculty Members


people from 35 organizations involved in hands-on collaborations on AI application


partnerships with leading health sector organizations

Industry Innovation

Vector works with leading Canadian enterprises to help them develop the skills, frameworks, and talent necessary to compete and innovate using AI.

Our sponsor community continues to grow


founding sponsors reaffirmed their multi-year commitments to Vector


new sponsors: Vector welcomed Boehringer Ingelheim, Bell, Canadian Tire, and OMERS to our sponsor community


of industry funding injected directly into Canada’s AI ecosystem

“Working with Vector enables our industry sponsors to give their employees unique access to expert researchers, a valuable sandbox environment that allows them to try new AI techniques with their peers, and first-hand access to an AI talent pool that is in high-demand around the globe.”

Dr. Vanessa Allen, Infectious Disease Consultant and Microbiologist,

University Health Network/Sinai Health

Highlights of


Vector’s professional development programming helps Canadian enterprises to create business value using AI so they can stay competitive and retain top talent.

This year, more than 6,300+ participants gained valuable skills and experience in applying AI to solve real-world business challenges.

Fastlane Program

  • New suite of specialized programming tailored to Ontario’s small and medium sized enterprises
  • Equips ambitious companies to adopt AI or scale applied AI capacity faster to accelerate growth
  • Launched in fall 2021 with 64 companies that have already engaged in 1,300+ hours of workshops, hands-on projects and courses to expand skills and application


  • Immersive three-day sessions that address crucial AI advances including Forecasting with Deep Learning and privacy techniques
  • 170 participants from Vector’s industry sponsors learned to work with state-of-the-art AI models and tools, and apply them to real-world use cases in their companies

Mothers & Machine Learning

  • New flexible-format course that equips mothers on maternity leave and stay-at-home caregivers to build careers in AI
  • 39 participants completed the inaugural session
  • Developed by Vector Faculty Member Juan Felipe Carrasquilla Álvarez and jointly funded by Vector and Google TensorFlow

Introduction To AI Programs

  • Three sessions for professionals in manufacturing, services, and logistics
  • Over 500 participants developed use cases, learned more about AI deployment, and explored the implications of AI for business, policy and ethics

“It was fascinating to learn about model fairness and model explainability, which tend to be overlooked in other machine learning type courses. We are able to dissect various problem spaces step-by-step, leverage techniques to identify and address biases, and tackle a Kaggle-like project on model fairness.”

Participant, Bias in AI for SMEs

Collaborative projects accelerate applied AI solutions

In Vector’s signature collaborative projects, technical professionals from our industry sponsors work alongside Vector researchers and industry peers, learning how to apply AI models and cutting-edge techniques to create value within their companies.


Projects completed


Hours of engagement and knowledge transfer


New collaborations launched, on trustworthy AI, conversational AI, robotics, and more


Participants from 29 sponsors

Highlights of


Vector’s professional development programming helps Canadian enterprises to create business value using AI so they can stay competitive and retain top talent.

This year, more than 6,300+ participants gained valuable skills and experience in applying AI to solve real-world business challenges.

Computer Vision Project

Senior technical and strategic professionals from eight industry sponsors worked with Vector researchers to explore and apply recent advances in computer vision. For example, Linamar explored how to use computer vision to automate quality assurance, while Thales examined the role of computer vision in autonomous trains. Participants shared their research and use cases at a two-day symposium which marked the conclusion of this multi-phase collaboration.

Telus Model-Based Reinforcement Learning (MBRL) Open-Source Project

Since 2019, TELUS and a team of Vector researchers, industry experts, and engineering leaders have been collaborating on the use of MBRL to improve the energy efficiency of cooling systems in data centres. After a pilot project which saw energy efficiency increases of up to 15 per cent, TELUS and Vector have shared the MBRL algorithm via open source. Other organizations and researchers can now deploy it or use it to inspire new AI-enabled solutions that benefit Canadians and the environment.

Long Covid Project

A collaboration between Vector and industry sponsors Roche Canada, Deloitte Canada, and TELUS demonstrated how AI can help policy makers, clinicians and researchers better understand health trends and impacts. Using natural language processing (NLP) to analyse over 460,000 social media posts by individuals reporting long COVID symptoms, the team found that NLP could detect patterns and distributions that can inform treatment and public health policy development.

Dataset Shift Project

In August 2021, Vector released the Dataset Shift and Potential Remedies Technical Report, the concluding output from a multi-year collaboration between Vector and seven industry sponsors. The report showcases techniques for adapting machine learning (ML) systems when real-world data differs significantly from the historical patterns used for ML training – as happened during the COVID pandemic.

“You get an immediate concrete benefit when people work on a project together with guidance, and guided by Vector, they’re steered in the right direction. There’s hands-on exposure to techniques and technologies.”

Andrew Brown, Senior Director of Data Science and AI Research with CIBC and participant in the Dataset Shift Collaborative Project

Research & Education

Vector attracts the world’s most accomplished, ambitious, and innovative researchers who are excelling across a wide range of AI and machine learning topics.


Members of the Vector research community, including:


Graduate Researchers




Faculty Affiliates


Postdoctoral Fellows


Faculty Members including 32 Canada CIFAR AI Chairs

Meet Vector’s world-class AI research community

Jeff Clune

Vector Faculty Member and Canada CIFAR AI Chair


Jeff Clune, Associate Professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia joined Vector’s Faculty Member community this year. In addition to his work as Research Manager at OpenAI, Clune was previously a Senior Research Manager and founding member of Uber AI Labs, formed after Uber acquired a startup he helped lead. Clune focuses on deep learning and deep reinforcement learning.

Learn More+ Learn More+
Angela Schoellig

Vector Faculty Member and Canada CIFAR AI Chair


How can we prevent robots’ autonomous decision-making from becoming a threat? That’s one of the questions behind Vector Faculty Member Angela Schoellig’s focus on enhancing the performance, safety, and autonomy of robots. Awarded a prestigious Humboldt Professorship in 2021. Schoellig is an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies and a principal investigator of the NSERC Canadian Robotics Network and the University’s Robotics Institute.

Learn More+ Learn More+
Juan Felipe Carrasquilla Álvarez

Vector Faculty Member and Canada CIFAR AI Chair

Juan Felipe

Juan Felipe Carrasquilla Álvarez’s work in the field of AI and machine learning is, in the words of a peer at Perimeter Institute, “sparking a torrent of cross-disciplinary literature…and engaging a generation of dynamic young scientists to study computational physics and machine learning.” This past year, he designed and spearheaded Vector’s new Mothers & Machine Learning program, and served as the advisor to Vector’s first spinout, yiyaniQ. He also co-authored a paper on using machine learning to manipulate qubits — a pioneering approach that could apply to a range of quantum-related problems.

Learn More+ Learn More+

Fostering AI innovation through landmark research

Our renowned research community is advancing breakthroughs in the science and application of AI. From using quantum computing to address climate change, to developing new ML models for 3D applications and harnessing AI to improve food price forecasting and more, Vector researchers are unlocking new ways to apply AI to drive better economic, health, and societal outcomes.

Highlights of


Using Ai, Robots, And Quantum Computing To Fight Climate Change

Vector Faculty Member Alán Aspuru-Guzik is using AI, robots, and quantum computing to accelerate the discovery of new types of resources for fighting climate change, including batteries and carbon-capture filters.

Developing A New Machine Learning Model

Vector and Apple researchers developed a new machine learning model that can create 3D environments without any reference images, with potential applications in construction, gaming, real estate, and design.

Harnessing AI To Improve Food Price Forecasting

Vector interim Research Director Graham Taylor, along with researchers from Vector and the University of Guelph’s Centre for Advancing Responsible and Ethical Artificial Intelligence developed a breakthrough forecasting model to improve the accuracy of Canada’s annual Food Pricing Report. The team anticipates that the multi-task machine learning tool can be applied to forecasting models across diverse sectors.

Vector researchers on the global stage


Research papers presented at high-impact global conferences and in top-ranked journals


Research talks


Vector-hosted research events

In addition to sharing their ground-breaking work at Vector’s own annual Research Symposium, Vector researchers participated in global AI conferences, including NeurIPS, CVPR, ICLR, ICML, and ACM FAccT.

Talent & Workforce Development

Vector attracts, develops, and connects high potential talent, building pathways to degree programs, workforce skills, and career opportunities in AI. Here’s how we do it:

Attracting top talent

Recognized programs

Vector works with Ontario universities to develop and recognize AI master’s programs and AI-focused study paths that graduate students with the skills most in demand by employers.


Research talks


Vector-hosted research events


Research papers presented at high-impact global conferences and in top-ranked journals

Vector Scholarships in AI

With support from the Province of Ontario, the Vector Institute Scholarship in Artificial Intelligence (VSAI) helps Ontario universities attract the brightest students to AI-related master’s programs. Scholarship recipients connect directly with AI researchers, clinicians, and employers, as well as access Vector’s career programming.


Vector Scholarships in AI awarded in 2021-22






Scholarships awarded since the program launched in 2018

“A large part of why I decided to return to Toronto from California was due to how strong Vector is as an institute in AI and the fact that there are so many great professors here. Being in this ecosystem has been a great help for both my professional and academic journey.”

Alex Cui, Vector Scholarship in AI Recipient 2021–22

“Scholarship funding from the Vector Institute has played an instrumental role in expanding graduate teaching, learning, and research opportunities in AI at Queen’s University.”

Dr. Fahim Quadir, Vice-Provost and Dean, School of Graduate Studies And Professor of Global Developmental Studies, Queen’s University

Ontario's growing pipeline of top talent

  • 1,775 AI master’s students began their studies in recognized AI-related programs and study paths, up 27% from the previous year
  • 1,007 graduates from recognized AI-master’s programs in Ontario in 2021-22, exceeding the province’s target to graduate 1,000 AI master’s students per year ahead of schedule

Developing workforce skills and experience

Hands-on programming and internships foster vital workforce skills and experience

  • 1,740+ students participated in career development programming
  • Students benefitted from resume feedback and interview practice in 85+ one-on-one sessions and webinars
  • 40+ applied interns joined Vector’s industry innovation, health, research, and AI engineering teams in our expanded 2021-22 internship program
  • Our new global Open Call portal is attracting AI talent from Canada and around the world to work with Vector’s world-class faculty as research interns.

Programming for Black and Indigenous students

Vector’s newest Introduction to Machine Learning (ML) course is enabling Black and Indigenous post-secondary students to develop market-ready skills in model-building, optimization techniques, and other ML-related concepts. Working in collaboration with the Black Professionals in Tech Network (BPTN), Vector also introduced new internships to expand opportunities to Black and Indigenous talent in Canada.




Post-secondary institutions represented in the initial cohort

Wintta Ghebreiyesus


A PhD candidate in aerospace engineering at Toronto Metropolitan University, Wintta Ghebreiyesus focuses her research focus on avionics and control systems. Following her award-winning capstone presentation (which explored the use of unsupervised K-means learning techniques), Wintta joined Vector as an applied intern with our Industry Innovation team.

James Bovell


James Bovell is pursuing his BSc in Mathematics and Statistics at McMaster University, James‘ course work at Vector around using Python and applications to visualize data has sparked his interest in pursuing a career in data science and has led to a 2022 Vector internship in data analysis and visualization.

Connecting Top Talent And Employers

Building career connections at Vector’s AI Summit and Career Fair

More than 400 graduate students gathered to explore career opportunities with 50+ employers, and build networks with peers, alumni, and researchers. This year’s event featured presentations by Ontario’s Minister of Colleges and University Hon. Jill Dunlop and Vector Faculty Member Santa Fidler.

Vector's Digital Talent Hub: Canada’s largest AI job board

Top talent and employers in Ontario are connecting more than ever before on Vector’s Digital Talent Hub, where leading industry sponsors advertise AI-related internships and work opportunities to a growing pool of AI-skilled talent.


Active job seeker profiles, up 57%


Jobs postings up 75%


Top employers using the Digital Talent Hub to find talent, up 42%

Promising momentum in AI talent retention

12 months post-graduation:


of graduates from Vector-recognized programs are employed or pursuing further education in the field


of those employed have remained in Ontario


Vector is helping to fulfill AI’s promise in improving health research, systems, and care.

New data sharing agreements enable high-impact research and system improvements

Vector continues to establish and expand agreements with hospitals, clinical research institutes, and related health sector partners. These agreements enable safe and secure access to health data, creating an unparalleled resource that Vector-affiliated researchers are using to fuel AI-enabled innovations in diagnostics and patient care.

With the Smart Health Initiative, Vector is helping this growing network of partners apply AI to reduce costs and improve health system performance.


New academic partnerships


Data sharing agreements with Ontario hospitals and research collaborators

GEMINI: Canada’s largest set of clinically granular hospital inpatient data


Hospitals, representing


of Ontario’s hospital beds

How can hospitals harness data to improve the quality of patient care within and across different institutions, when they use different data systems to generate and store information? That question inspired GEMINI, a program that collects, standardizes, and analyzes clinical data from hospitals to improve health care delivery. Today, GEMINI represents the largest set of hospital inpatient data in the country and one of few such examples globally.

Vector contributes technical expertise, while Vector’s researchers access GEMINI’s secure data infrastructure and virtual access model to develop world-leading machine learning models that unlock insights for better health outcomes and hospital efficiency.

AI deployments are driving better health outcomes

With Vector’s support and expertise, Ontario hospitals, public health units, and health sector organizations are applying AI to improve patient outcomes and system performance.

Pathfinder projects

Automated tick identification to enable timely care

Vector researchers partnered with Public Health Ontario (PHO) to develop an app that uses computer vision to quickly identify blacklegged ticks (potential Lyme disease carriers) and enables faster interventions.

“We are delighted to be part of the Pathfinder initiative and believe that as a result we will empower individuals with additional tools to assess their risk of Lyme disease if bitten by a tick, and further enable early antibiotics to prevent disease where needed”

Dr. Vanessa Allen, Infectious Disease Consultant and Microbiologist, University Health Network/Sinai Health

Improving Cardiac Patient Care with an Machine Learning-enabled app:

Vector researchers collaborated with University Health Network (UHN) to develop a machine-learning-based app that remotely monitors vital signs and symptoms of congestive heart failure patients in real-time, helping them manage their care at home, and reducing unnecessary hospital admissions.

“Vector’s continued support helps us refine our health platforms and create a path towards commercialization and scaling so that more patients can benefit.”

Dr. Heather Ross, Division Head of Cardiology, Sinai Health System and UHN’s Peter Munk Cardiac Centre (PMCC), and Director, Ted Rogers Centre for Heart Research at PMCC


A ground-breaking suite of tools is helping health organizations assess machine learning models used in clinical settings. Developed by Vector’s Health AI Implementation and AI Engineering teams, CyclOps is a set of evaluation and monitoring tools that health organizations can use to develop and evaluate sophisticated machine learning models in clinical settings across time, locations, and cohorts. The team created it with open-source components to promote collaboration and access among the broader health community.

Partnerships that equip health professionals with AI skills

Vector delivers upskilling and education programs that equip health professionals with crucial skills in AI. Developed in collaboration with partners across the health sector, these programs help clinicians and administrators apply AI and machine learning to deliver better patient outcomes and system improvements.

Highlights of


AI for Public Health (AI4PH)

Led by Vector Faculty Affiliate and Dalla Lana School of Public Health associate professor Laura Rosella, AI4PH is equipping a new generation of public health practitioners with practical skills in AI for public health. The first certificate program of its kind in Canada, AI4PH features programming co-developed by Vector Faculty and a cross-Canada team of interdisciplinary experts aimed at harnessing AI to address population and public health challenges.

Developing A New Machine Learning Model

Through Vector’s collaboration with The Michener Institute of Education at UHN, health care professionals are gaining vital knowledge to help them apply AI to improve health systems and outcomes. Two certificate learning programs are transforming the skills and mindsets of front-line health care professionals and leaders. The 2021-22 AI for Clinician Champions program welcomed 70 participants from more than 35 health-related institutions.

AI Engineering

Vector leverages its deep technical expertise to advance AI application in industry, health, and government.

Thought Leadership

Vector contributes thought leadership that informs perspectives on AI and society. From op-eds in national news media to in-depth articles that examine emerging AI developments and implications for citizens and policy, Vector continues to foster dialogue and discussion of AI and its potential for societal and economic impact.

Vector hosts New York Times’ Cade Metz

Taylor Graham

In May 2021, Vector’s interim Research Director Graham Taylor sat down with author and New York Times’ technology columnist Cade Metz for a wide-ranging discussion of the origins of the AI revolution and emerging issues in applied AI.

Learn More+

Vector also actively contributes expertise and insights to national and international consultations and policymaking.

Through 2021-22, Vector provided recommendations on topics related to AI and its role in economic development and health policy, responsible AI data governance, and more.

Highlights include ongoing participation in the Global Partnership on AI, consultations on a Trustworthy AI Framework and health data governance considerations, and hosting a public fireside discussion of the province’s new Data & Digital Strategy with Ontario’s Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for digital and data transformation, the Hon. Peter Bethlenfalvy.


Statement of Financial Position

March 31






Accounts receivable

Current portion of employee loans

HST receivable

Prepaid expenses













Employee loans

Capital assets







Liabilities and Net Assets


Accounts payable and accrued liabilities

HST payable







Deferred rent

Deferred contributions

Deferred capital contributions









Net Assets

Unrestricted net assets