By Émile Audet
May 06, 2024

Webinar: AI and grants

On March 12, 2024, helloDarwin, in collaboration with Baseline, hosted an engaging webinar on artificial intelligence and its grant funding. The exchange explored effective strategies for securing grants, while highlighting current and future trends in this revolutionary technology.

What is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an advanced technological system that simulates human cognitive capacity to carry out research, evaluate data and perform a variety of tasks. It manifests itself in a wide range of products and projects piloted by companies and research institutions. This technology enables the integration of intelligent solutions into everyday activities, transforming the way companies operate and innovate. Thanks to AI, organizations can not only improve the efficiency of their operations, but also develop new products and services, offering a more accurate assessment of market needs and business opportunities.
Ready to start your grant journey?
Talk with one of our advisors and learn more about the different subsidies from Invest-IA, MITACS, Novascience, Accueillez un stagiaire, Riipenand more.

How to use AI?

The use of artificial intelligence (AI) in image and text generation is opening up new frontiers in content creation. In image generation, AI makes it possible to transform abstract ideas into concrete visuals, creating digital artworks, illustrations for articles, or even visual prototypes for development projects. This capability relies on complex algorithms capable of interpreting textual descriptions to produce detailed, relevant images.
In the field of writing and text generation, AI is just as revolutionary. It can produce articles, reports and even literary texts based on a set of pre-established guidelines. This technology adapts to different styles and needs, from technical writing to creative writing, to the production of personalized marketing content. The integration of AI into these creative processes is constantly increasing the efficiency and quality of final products, while opening the way to new forms of expression and hitherto unexplored possibilities.

Artificial intelligence in the workplace

Artificial intelligence (AI) is proving to be a valuable business asset, making it easier to maintain expertise, solve complex problems, optimize processes, and manage business challenges. With AI, companies can capitalize on a vast knowledge base to maintain cutting-edge expertise without interruption, even in the presence of personnel changes.
For complex problems, AI offers innovative solutions that often surpass human analytical capabilities, processing and interpreting vast datasets at unprecedented speed and accuracy. This enables companies to identify opportunities and risks they might not otherwise have been able to perceive.
Process optimization is another area where AI excels, enabling companies to streamline production, logistics and other critical operations. By analyzing data in real time, AI can recommend adjustments to maximize efficiency, reduce costs and improve the quality of products and services.
Automation, powered by business AI solutions, is transforming repetitive and tedious tasks, freeing up staff to focus on higher value-added activities. This automation ranges from customer relationship management to accounting to supply chain management, making companies more agile and responsive to business issues.
In short, integrating business AI solutions into a company's operations is not just a matter of advanced technology, but a genuine strategic lever for innovating, differentiating and staying competitive in an ever-changing market.

IA subsidies

Artificial intelligence (AI) grants represent an essential form of funding designed to support the research and development of innovative projects in the field of technology. These financial aids, in the form of loans or non-repayable amounts, are allocated to eligible entities, often including companies, educational institutions and research organizations. The aim is to cover a significant proportion of the costs associated with preliminary studies, design and implementation of innovative solutions. In this way, the funding aims to encourage innovation, accelerate the development of new AI applications and boost competitiveness in a constantly evolving sector.

Scale AI

Scale AI, an investment initiative, targets companies operating in various industrial sectors that integrate artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize their supply chains. Eligible projects include improved sourcing and procurement, demand forecasting and planning, logistics and warehousing automation, capacity and resource utilization optimization, inventory planning, scheduling and predictive disruption analysis, as well as improved traceability and visibility through real-time data integration. Scale AI offers attractive financing, covering up to 85% of costs for the first tranche up to $100,000, and 50% of costs for subsequent expenditure, encouraging companies to adopt and develop advanced AI solutions for their supply chains. Scale AI is a consortium of several entities, including the Government of Canada, the Government of Quebec and companies, and is able to support large-scale projects.


The Partenar.IA program is designed to boost the competitiveness of Quebec companies by promoting the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in sectors where its use is still not widespread. It strongly encourages partnerships between companies and players in the research and innovation communities, with the ambition of making Quebec a leader in the field of AI and supporting projects with significant economic potential. Expenses eligible for subsidy include salaries, travel and accommodation expenses, the purchase or rental of necessary materials and equipment, intellectual property exploitation costs, honoraria, as well as communication costs. With grants ranging from $350,000 to $1.5 million per project, Partenar.IA is committed to funding up to 50% of eligible costs, supporting companies in their quest for innovation and excellence in AI.


The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (RSDE) tax credit is a tax incentive for companies investing in research and development (R&D) in Canada. The program is designed to encourage companies to carry out R&D activities by enabling them to recover a portion of their investments in the form of refunds or tax credits. Eligible expenses include the salaries of labor directly involved in R&D, fees paid to subcontractors for research work, payments to universities or research institutes for R&D projects, the purchase or rental of necessary materials and equipment, and certain fixed expenses related to R&D activities. The program offers coverage of up to 35% of eligible costs for expenditures of up to $3 million; above this amount, up to 15% of costs can be covered, providing substantial financial support to companies engaged in innovation and technological development.
The government organizes regular webinars to provide information to companies, the next one being on March 27, 2024.


The Industrial Research Assistance Program (PARI) is specifically designed to provide financial support to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada engaged in the development of new technological offerings. By targeting professional fees, the acquisition of specialized information and travel and living expenses as eligible expenses, IRAP aims to alleviate the financial burdens associated with technological research and development. Companies benefiting from this program can receive up to $500,000 in subsidies, covering up to 80% of salaries involved in the project and 50% of subcontracting costs. This initiative enables SMEs to pursue their innovation ambitions while minimizing the financial risks involved in researching and developing new technologies.


The Electronic Business Development Tax Credit (CDAE) is an initiative designed to support companies engaged in the development or integration of e-business systems, such as enterprise resource planning software, transactional websites and other digital solutions. The program aims to encourage investment in digital technologies by covering a range of eligible expenses, including salaries related to the workforce involved, costs associated with software development, consulting fees, training, as well as expenses related to the purchase or rental of computer equipment. Companies can be reimbursed for up to 30% of eligible costs, representing significant financial support to encourage innovation and digital transformation in the e-business sector.

CanExport Innovation

The CanExport Innovation program is designed to support Canadian companies in the process of negotiating collaborative research and development (R&D) agreements with foreign partners, aimed at developing, adapting or validating their technologies. It reimburses specific expenses such as round-trip airfare to meet foreign partners, a daily allowance of CAD 400 for accommodation and meals for each approved traveler, single-entry visas, ground transportation costs in target markets, meeting room and audiovisual equipment rental, and registration fees for two employees at one event per application. With a grant ceiling of $75,000, the CanExport Innovation program covers up to 75% of eligible costs, offering significant financial support to companies looking to expand their technological reach and collaborate internationally in R&D.
Explore the potential of CAN Export
Let an helloDarwin expert guide you through CAN Export SME and Innovation and their advantages.

How to combine artificial intelligence and subsidies

Combining artificial intelligence (AI) and subsidies to address issues such as production at full capacity, stagnation in growth, and recruitment difficulties, can be achieved by targeting supply chain optimization through AI integration. Here's how:
  1. Production at full capacity: When production reaches full capacity, this can indicate inefficiencies or bottlenecks in production or logistics processes. AI integration can continuously analyze production data to identify inefficiencies and propose adjustments in real time, thereby increasing production capacity without requiring physical expansion of facilities.
  2. Stagnation in growth: AI-driven innovation can revitalize business growth by automating repetitive tasks, optimizing logistics processes and personalizing offers for customers. Grants can help fund these innovation projects, making AI adoption more accessible and enabling the company to stand out in the market.
  3. Recruitment difficulties: The shortage of skilled personnel can be partially offset by intelligent automation and AI predictive management systems, which reduce the need for manpower for certain tasks and enable existing staff to be redistributed to roles where humans are irreplaceable.
Supply chain optimization project: The aim would be to integrate AI into the supply chain to increase productivity and reduce bottlenecks. This could include using AI to:
Forecast demand and plan production more accurately, reducing surpluses and shortages. Optimize delivery routes and inventory management to minimize lead times and costs. Improve production quality and customer satisfaction through AI-assisted quality control and product customization.
Subsidies, by reducing the initial cost of these innovations, can play a key role in enabling companies to take the risk of investing in AI for their supply chain. By funding specific AI projects that target business issues, grants act as a catalyst for the adoption of advanced technologies, leading to increased productivity, renewed growth, and better human resource management.

Example of a subsidized AI mandate

An AI mandate, starting with ideation subsidized by CanExport Innovation, goes through several crucial stages before reaching commercialization, benefiting from the support of various subsidy programs to stimulate innovation and growth.
1. Ideation (CanExport Innovation): The initial phase of the project focuses on exploring innovative ideas for integrating AI into an existing product or service. With a grant of up to $75,000, covering up to 75% of eligible costs, this stage enables companies to negotiate R&D collaboration agreements with foreign partners, facilitating the exchange of ideas and preliminary project design.
2. Research and development (RSDE and Scale AI/Invest AI): The project then enters the R&D phase, where the development and adaptation of AI technology is carried out. RSDE offers a tax credit covering up to 35% of eligible expenses to encourage research activities. At the same time, Scale AI or Invest AI can provide additional funding for the development of AI solutions, particularly in supply chain optimization, with grants that can cover a significant proportion of development costs.
3. Commercialization (CanExport PME and Novascience): In the final phase, the project focuses on commercializing the product or service developed. CanExport PME supports international commercialization efforts, offering up to $100,000 to help companies access new markets. Novascience, meanwhile, can support a company's digital transformation, offering employment support for the hiring of an employee dedicated to this expansion.
Costs and subsidies : The total cost of the mandate over a period of 12 to 24 months can reach $300,000. Thanks to the various subsidies available, a company can receive up to $135,000 in financial support, reducing the actual cost to $165,000. This funding model enables companies to invest in AI projects with lower financial risk, stimulating innovation and competitiveness in the global marketplace.
Ready to start your grant journey?
Talk with one of our advisors and learn more about the different subsidies from Invest-IA, MITACS, Novascience, Accueillez un stagiaire, Riipenand more.

The essentials of AI and subsidies

In conclusion, the "AI and Subsidies" webinar organized by helloDarwin in collaboration with Baseline on March 12, 2024 brilliantly illuminated the ways in which artificial intelligence can transform businesses and society. It not only unveiled the possibilities offered by AI in improving productivity, optimizing supply chains, and creating content, but also highlighted the crucial importance of subsidies in facilitating technological innovation. Through concrete examples and explanations of the various funding programs, participants were able to understand how to navigate the financial aid landscape to develop and commercialize AI solutions. This webinar demonstrated that, with the right support, AI represents not only a vector for innovation and growth, but also a means of overcoming challenges such as economic stagnation and recruitment difficulties, marking a significant step towards the adoption and integration of AI into the economic and industrial fabric.
Related Tags
Government aid
Artificial Intelligence

About the author

Émile Audet - Canadian grants specialist

Émile Audet

Canadian grants specialist
Working at helloDarwin for some time now, I'm in charge of providing you with the information you need on government aid. Dedicated to helping companies in Quebec and Canada reach their full potential, I write on the helloDarwin blog about the various programs, allowances and funding available to enable organizations to make their digital transformation through access to federal and provincial support.

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