Media Releases

Leaders in Education and Artificial Intelligence Honoured by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management

October 25, 2016

Toron­to, ON – Three Cana­di­an sci­en­tists who lead cru­cial work in devel­op­ing arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence are among the win­ners of the sec­ond annu­al awards pre­sent­ed by the Cre­ative Destruc­tion Lab (CDL) at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment.

The awards are designed around the pri­ma­ry ingre­di­ents in the pre­vail­ing mod­els of eco­nom­ics growth: labour, cap­i­tal and ideas.

The win­ner of the Labour Award is SHAD, based in Water­loo, Ontario. SHAD has con­tributed to devel­op­ing Canada’s com­pet­i­tive­ness by coach­ing excep­tion­al high school stu­dents to reach their full poten­tial as lead­ers, inno­va­tors, and entre­pre­neurs. There are cur­rent­ly more than 15,000 SHAD alum­ni, includ­ing 30 Rhodes Schol­ars. As seen by the crit­i­cal impact past par­tic­i­pants have made in Cana­da and the grow­ing ros­ter of impres­sive grad­u­ates, the spillovers that accrue to Cana­da are immense.

The win­ner of the Cap­i­tal Award is the Con­sulate Gen­er­al of Cana­da in San Fran­cis­co and Sil­i­con Val­ley.  The Con­sulate Gen­er­al played a crit­i­cal role in con­nect­ing pools of cap­i­tal from Sil­i­con Val­ley to knowl­edge-based com­pa­nies in Cana­da. It address­es a mar­ket fail­ure in the form of sub­op­ti­mal match­ing by reduc­ing infor­ma­tion asym­me­tries through rais­ing aware­ness of Cana­di­an invest­ment oppor­tu­ni­ties for val­ue-added investors in Sil­i­con Val­ley. For exam­ple, Intel Cap­i­tal cred­its the work of the Con­sulate Gen­er­al in San Fran­cis­co and Sil­i­con Val­ley for ini­ti­at­ing their rela­tion­ship with Cana­di­an com­pa­nies, which led to their sub­se­quent invest­ment of over half a bil­lion dol­lars in Cana­di­an tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies over the past three years with a trend sug­gest­ing increased future activ­i­ty.

This year the Ideas Award is shared by three pio­neers in deep think­ing and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence; Pro­fes­sors Yoshua Ben­gio of the Uni­ver­sité
de Mon­tréal, Geof­frey Hin­ton of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, and Richard
Sut­ton of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Alber­ta. These indi­vid­u­als played a crit­i­cal role in pio­neer­ing the fields of deep learn­ing and rein­force­ment learn­ing at a time when these lines of sci­en­tif­ic inquiry were con­sid­ered mar­gin­al areas of research among the main­stream com­put­er sci­ence com­mu­ni­ty. Their per­se­ver­ance and ground­break­ing research, and that of the many stu­dents they men­tored, led to break­throughs that are so foun­da­tion­al that they are now enhanc­ing almost every aspect of human endeav­our rang­ing from trans­porta­tion to ener­gy to health­care to edu­ca­tion and more. The full eco­nom­ic ben­e­fits and impact on soci­ety of their work has yet to be real­ized.

The awards will be pre­sent­ed by The Hon­ourable Kath­leen Wynne, Pre­mier of Ontario, at a con­fer­ence at the Rot­man School on Octo­ber 27 host­ed by the Cre­ative Destruc­tion Lab on the eco­nom­ics of Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence called “Machine Learn­ing and the Mar­ket for Intel­li­gence.”  The focus of the con­fer­ence is on the busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties and eco­nom­ic impli­ca­tions aris­ing from recent advances in machine intel­li­gence. The pre­sent­ing spon­sor of the con­fer­ence is Sco­tia­bank.  Fur­ther details on the con­fer­ence are online at

Found­ed by Prof. Ajay Agraw­al, the Cre­ative Destruc­tion Lab lever­ages the Rot­man School’s lead­ing fac­ul­ty and indus­try net­work as well as its loca­tion in the heart of Canada’s busi­ness cap­i­tal to accel­er­ate mas­sive­ly scal­able, tech­nol­o­gy-based ven­tures that have the poten­tial to trans­form our social, indus­tri­al, and eco­nom­ic land­scape. Each year the Lab accepts ven­tures in two streams– one for tech­nol­o­gy ven­tures and a sec­ond exclu­sive­ly for machine learn­ing and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence ven­tures. The pro­gram admit­ted fifty AI com­pa­nies this year. To our knowl­edge, this rep­re­sents the great­est con­cen­tra­tion of AI com­pa­nies in any pro­gram in the world.  The Lab has helped many nascent star­tups, includ­ing Deep Genomics, Green­lid, Atom­wise, Bridg­it, Min­u­um, Nymi, NVBots, OTI Lumion­ics, PUSH, Thalmic Labs,, Nev­er­frost, Chargespot, and Vote­Com­pass, among oth­ers. . Since its incep­tion, com­pa­nies who have grad­u­at­ed from the pro­gram have gone on to cre­ate more than $800 mil­lion (CDN) in equi­ty val­ue. For more infor­ma­tion on the Lab, vis­it

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment is locat­ed in the heart of Canada’s com­mer­cial and cul­tur­al cap­i­tal and is part of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, one of the world’s top 20 research uni­ver­si­ties. The Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables our grad­u­ates to tack­le today’s glob­al busi­ness and soci­etal chal­lenges. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


For more infor­ma­tion:

Ken McGuf­fin
Man­ag­er, Media Rela­tions
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416.946.3818

Fol­low Rot­man on Twit­ter @rotmanschool
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