Durham College AI Hub granted $1.75 million for tech access centre in Oshawa

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Published July 20, 2023 at 3:35 pm

Durham College AI Hub students. via Durham College.

Durham College is expanding yet again with a $1.75 million federal grant funding the school’s Technology Access Centre (TAC), essentially a state-of-the-art research lab.

The feds will send the college $350,000 every year for the next five years through the College and Community Innovation program. This initiative will fund 16 such centres in colleges and universities

“As specialized centres of expertise, TACs offer timely innovation support to organizations from the private, public, health care or not-for-profit sectors in a college’s community,” the college wrote.

Over the next five years, the AI Hub will hire 15 students as part of a delivery team, and another 100 students as research assistants and 50 in work placements related to their fields of study. These jobs and AI Hub’s training plan “facilitates the development of in-demand technical, scientific, professional, leadership and entrepreneurial skills that will provide students on the TAC delivery team with the knowledge employers are looking for to address the skills gap for AI professionals,” the College said.

“The AI Hub team is fluent in the multi-sectorial business applications of AI technologies and the TAC grant will allow our researchers and industry partners to create new synergies that enable us to support clients from diverse sectors,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk the dean of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“This funding will also create new opportunities for our students to gain valuable research experience and close the skills gap in this in-demand, evolving industry,” she continued.

The college launched the AI Hub in 2019 to train students and develop AI solutions for local industries. In that time they trained 219 students, 22 of whom were immediately hired by the Hub’s industry partners. The TAC will allow students like these to hone their skills in solving real-world problems while studying.

 

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