Vector and Communitech partner to help Canadian SMEs leverage the power of AI

February 3, 2023

2023 Partnership

KITCHENER, ONT., January 31, 2023 — Today, Communitech and the Vector Institute announced a new partnership to support Canadian SMEs and their ability to leverage AI as a tool for growth and competitiveness.

Through this partnership, Communitech and Vector will help build a strong talent pipeline in AI, machine learning, and data security by connecting talent with collaborative learning opportunities through the Vector Talent, and Communitech Hive. Vector will also tap into the power of Communitech’s data engine to bring its FastLane programming to a diverse network of startup and scale-up founders from across the country. FastLane helps ambitious, fast-growing companies gain valuable expertise in building and scaling applied AI solutions for complex business problems.

“Congratulations, Communitech and the Vector Institute, on this exciting partnership that will help more small and medium-sized businesses benefit from the transformative power of artificial intelligence,” said Vic Fedeli, Ontario’s Minister for Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Partnerships like this further strengthen Ontario’s world-class innovation ecosystem, ensuring that we continue to be global leaders in AI as we work together to build Ontario.”

In addition, this partnership will extend the reach of Vector’s FastLane programming by connecting directly with researchers, businesses, startups, and government partners engaged in Communitech’s Future of X programs such as the Future of Cities and Future of Health collaboratives. Here, both organizations will work together to solve the most pressing challenges facing Canada’s SMEs with solutions built within our country’s innovation economy.

“Communitech has always been a convenor, harnessing the power of the collective to support Canada’s startups and scale-ups on their journey to global success,” said Chris Albinson, CEO and president at Communitech. “Working in partnership with Vector will add more than extra horsepower to our mission of helping Canada’s tech founders start, grow, and succeed — it will also ensure that our innovation economy’s advantage remains its commitment to Tech For Good™.”

“Proficiency with AI translates into competitiveness, employment, and post-pandemic economic recovery. Vector is thrilled to be joining forces with Communitech to introduce FastLane to their vibrant community of start ups and scale ups,” said Craig Stewart, Executive Director, Applied AI Programs, Vector Institute.

“It’s wonderful to see this partnership with Vector and Communitech that will yield positive results for small and medium sized businesses in Canada. Through collaboration like this, Canada is strengthening its position as the global leader in AI and innovation,” said The Honourable Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry.

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About Vector Institute
Launched in 2017, the Vector Institute works with industry, institutions, startups, and government to build AI talent and drive research excellence in AI to develop and sustain AI-based innovation to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians.Vector’s Three-Year Strategy aims to advance AI research, increase adoption in industry and health through programs for talent, commercialization, and application, and lead Canada towards the responsible use of AI. Programs for industry, led by top AI practitioners, offer foundations for applications in products and processes, company-specific guidance, training for professionals, and connections to workforce-ready talent. Vector is funded by the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada through the CIFAR Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, and industry sponsors.

About Communitech
Established in 1997 in Waterloo Region, Communitech was built by tech founders who saw the need for a community of support to help ensure the future prosperity of Canada. Today, Communitech is Canada’s leading innovation hub, supporting a community of more than 1,200 founders by providing accelerated opportunities to access talent, capital and sales. As Canada’s tech supercharger, Communitech helps founders start, grow and succeed by:

  • Hiring and retaining the smartest, brightest and most experienced people
  • Accessing growth financing at every stage
  • Selling to the biggest customers at home and around the world
  • Connecting the right people at the right time – peers who have been there before, coaches who can guide them through the difficult spots and partners from all over Canada

For media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres

Director, Strategic Communications



Orli Namian

Communications, Vector Institute


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