International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) is inviting expressions of interest (EOIs) from public universities in low and lower-middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to establish AI for development research labs (AI4D Labs) to engage in world-leading, multi-disciplinary, responsible AI research, innovation, and instruction.
The goal of this initiative is to amplify African AI talent, research, and innovation by supporting the creation of two multidisciplinary AI4D Labs in public universities.
The AI4D Africa program will target funding towards 3 critical pillars that will be needed to shape AI in Africa as a force for good:
- Scaling proven responsible AI innovations that address Africa’s different development challenges;
- Supporting policy research think and do tanks to establish responsible AI; and
- Academic capacity building to foster African talent and skills around AI.
- This initiative will contribute to the last pillar, along with the African AI4D Scholarship Program that will provide financial and professional support for the next generation of PhD students and early career academics across the continent. They encourage all applicants to have a look at the original AI4D Program Proposal.
- Grant range CAD $1 million per lab;
- Duration is 3 years (2021-2024).
This call for proposals is open to public universities from eligible low and lower-middle-income countries with demonstrated expertise in the subjects that are critical for responsible AI research, education, and innovation. To be eligible, applicants must meet the following criteria:
- Be part of a recognized, state-owned university that is predominantly funded by the government;
- Possess a track record of research on innovation, technologies, and AI applications and on cross-cutting issues;
- Be committed to supporting the responsible, home-grown development and deployment of AI through investments in innovation, policy research, and capacity; and
- Have working capacity in English or French, depending on their linguistic region of interest (anglophone or francophone Africa). Fluency in both languages and inclusion of Lusophone scholars as collaborators are considered assets.
For more information, visit https://www.idrc.ca/en/funding/call-expressions-interest-establishing-multidisciplinary-artificial-intelligence-development