The Waterloo Artifical Intelligence Institute's (Waterloo.ai) partners range from large multinational companies to smaller scale-ups and startups and represent diverse sectors such as banking, insurance, grocery, e-commerce, manufacturing, automotive and agriculture.
Why partner with Waterloo.ai?
Partnership with Waterloo AI offers a number of critical benefits for companies looking to augment their innovation pipeline and to best prepare themselves for an AI-enabled future:
Sponsored 'Operational' (Applied) Research
As our core strength at Waterloo AI is operational or applied research, we start by focusing on your business problems that have the potential to be solved by AI. We work closely with you to turn these high level problems into specific research problem statements that are then circulated, along with your committed research budget, to our >100 researchers as a competitive call for proposals. Over a period of 2-3 weeks, we will collect the proposals from each principal investigator (professor), each detailing the proposed research methodology, number of graduate students, timelines, budget and other ancillary items. We then work with key people in your company to review the proposals and select those projects that best suit your business objectives.
In addition to research funding, this type of research relies heavily on access to data and subject matter expertise related to a particular research problem. This will allow the research team to work closely with your company representatives to ensure the best outcomes for all parties.
AI Training and Education
The rapidly evolving use of AI in all aspects of business has considerable implications for an organization's talent strategy, particularly in the area of upskilling.
Waterloo AI's 'Reverse Co-op' short courses are an innovative twist on the University of Waterloo's long-standing success with our co-op program, where undergraduate students are placed in work terms with leading employers to learn how to apply their skills in real-world situations. With our Reverse Co-op courses in Artificial Intelligence, Waterloo AI aims to provide practicing professionals with the opportunity to deepen their technical skills in AI through intensive short courses (3-4 days) with top instructors in the field. And to do so in a practical way so they can bring those skills back to their companies and put them to immediate use. Additionally, these individuals are often involved as company subject matter experts alongside our researchers such that this training can also help the company better prepare how to absorb the research findings into their operations and/or products.
Our Reverse Co-op courses are offered twice/year and each of our partner companies will have 1-5 spots per courses based on partnership level.
Networking with Peers and Waterloo AI Researchers
Waterloo AI also hosts an annual partners' meeting to discuss and promote the various research activities that are ongoing across our partners and researchers. This one day even includes both partner company representatives and researchers discussing specific projects and best practices as well as guest lecturers focusing on the latest research on current topics in AI that of primary interest to our partner companies. It is also a great opportunity for our partner companies to network among their peers and Waterloo AI's researchers.
Our annual partners meeting occurs in the fall and each of our partner companies will have 1-8 spots for the meeting based on partnership level.
Access to Talent
In addition to upskilling their existing employees, many of our partner companies are also seeking out top talent for their evolving need for expertise in artificial intelligence technologies. We offer a number of ways for our partners to interact with our graduate students, from working shoulder to shoulder over the course of research projects to hosting private networking events.
Each partner will have their company logo on our website at their respective partnership level. We can also support you in additional company marketing efforts around your partnership with Waterloo AI (joint press releases, promotional videos, press interviews, etc.).