UK–Canada Partnership Creates Artificial Intelligence Safety Exchange Program

Vancouver, BC — Mitacs and the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) are partnering to launch an international collaboration opportunity for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning researchers with an interest in safety.

Through the Globalink Research Award program, 35 PhD students or postdoctoral fellows from Canada and the United Kingdom will have an opportunity to travel to the partner country for a research exchange that can last from 12 to 24 weeks. The initiative will provide a stipend of Can$6,000, as well as cover the costs of travel, visas, and other logistical expenses.

The program will make the transfer of expertise between the UK and Canada seamless. The scheme will be co-administered by Mitacs and SIN in Canada. Those interested are advised to discuss this opportunity with their supervisor to ascertain what links may already be held in the host countries. Applications can be submitted until March 26, 2024:

Bolstering Bilateral Bonds

In recent years, Mitacs and UK partners — including the British High Commission — have engaged in discussions around priorities for both countries. In 2021, Mitacs hosted a bilateral roundtable on AI, which identified safety as a key research area.

More recently, the UK hosted the first ever global AI Safety Summit (AISS), chaired by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan. A total of 28 countries, including Canada, agreed that AI “poses significant risks” and signed The Bletchley Declaration, which identified global collaboration with allies as paramount to building a network of AI safety experts capable of understanding the risks of advanced systems, developing mitigations, and enabling global governance.


“Through this new programme, we have an exciting opportunity to accelerate bilateral collaboration on AI research and strengthen the AI safety research ecosystem. The visit to Canada was all about deepening our partnership by further strengthening collaboration on the safe and responsible use of AI. Before I even touched down in Toronto, I’m unveiling a new AI safety exchange programme, which will allow the brightest minds in AI both in the UK and Canada to work hand in glove with one another”

Michelle Donelan, Secretary of State, Science, Innovation and Technology, United Kingdom

“Mitacs is excited to help strengthen the longstanding ties between Canada and the United Kingdom through this partnership with UK’s Science and Innovation Network. Working with UK delegates in recent years, we identified key priority areas within artificial intelligence, and the launch of this call focused on AI and safety is a result of that effort. We aim to enhance bilateral mobility and foster international research collaboration to address the important needs of this rapidly evolving field.”

John Hepburn, CEO, Mitacs

About the UK’s Science and Innovation Network

The UK’s Science and Innovation Network (SIN) leads on developing science partnerships and deploying science diplomacy around the world. The UK is a global power in science, technology, and innovation. International collaboration is essential to maintaining the UK’s scientific base, supporting the competitive advantage of our innovative businesses whilst addressing shared opportunities and threats.

The SIN has approximately 130 staff in over 65 locations across the world building partnerships and collaborations on science, technology and innovation. SIN staff work with local science and innovation organisations in support of UK policy abroad, to benefit both the UK and the host country.

About Mitacs

Mitacs works to bring innovation to more people in more places across Canada and around the world. Mitacs makes investing in new knowledge easier through access to top researchers, flexible project plans, and co-investments in talent.

A not-for-profit organization, Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Yukon.

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