National Lead – Digital Technologies / Artificial Intelligence


Our Client

Our client is Canada’s largest research organization supporting industrial innovation, the advancement of knowledge and technology development. For over a hundred years, the impact of their work with industry leaders and other government bodies has helped shape Canada’s future.

Client conducts strategic research to meet Canada’s current and future industrial and societal needs by creating, disseminating and mobilizing scientific knowledge, providing technical R&D services and advancing the market readiness of solutions. As part of its work, Client delivers results through mission-oriented programs that draw on people, equipment and facilities.

Client will deliver Collaborative R&D programs designed to be mission oriented to address Government of Canada priorities and disruptive technology areas, and will combine Client’s, university, SMEs, MNEs and other government researchers to work together in teams.  Each program is expected to be multi-disciplinary, with various Client’s Research Centres involved, and multi-year (5 to 7 years) duration.

These collaborative R&D programs will make use of Grants and Contribution (G&C) to better engage partners (e.g., universities, SME researchers, and international experts) in program delivery.

Scope of Position:

Responsibility will include overseeing and managing the allocation of the funding and the delivery against established priorities and outcomes and to provide a challenge function on the overall delivery for the AI for Design Program and related Supercluster Support programs. Reporting to the Director of the National Program Office, individual will work closely with Program Directors to ensure that Client’s Collaboration Programs achieve their outcomes. At the outset, the allocation of contribution funding will include both disruptive Challenge Programs that address government priority areas and programs supporting each of the federally-funded Superclusters. They will also provide an impartial challenge function for the Ideation Small Teams projects.  These projects are smaller in scale, include a grant and contribution component and may have the potential to result in the next generation of full-scale programs.

Individual will perform an impartial challenge role i.e. they will need to credibly assess and challenge program and project proposals relying on their deep understanding on technology and on their experience in delivering support to (and as applicable managing) research and technology programs.  They will be expected to manage and navigate a diverse set of relationships including Client’s researchers, different levels of management and a varying number of external collaborators.  They will support Client’s Programs in addressing or mitigating challenging situations and recommend the reallocation of funding from non-performing projects based on sound rationale.

The individual will have the opportunity to shape national initiatives to facilitate collaboration between academia, industry and other organizations nationally and internationally and Client’s highly qualified multidisciplinary teams to deliver on specific Program goals and objectives.  The AI for Design Program – a program that will build platform artificial intelligence technologies in support of design problems, will support work in a variety of sectors related to the Client’s Challenge and Supercluster support programs including Health, Ocean (marine renewable energy, fisheries, aquaculture, oil and gas, defence, shipbuilding, and transportation), Advanced manufacturing (automotive, food processing, steel, wood products, materials, new devices), Agriculture and agri-food, Telecommunications and Clean energy.  The individual may also be responsible for the Client’s Supercluster Support program for the Scale.Ai Supercluster and the Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster.

The ideal candidate will combine deep technical expertise and knowledge of stakeholders in the fields of Ai, machine learning and data science with a proven track record of mobilizing and/or performing due diligence on research efforts in this area and will have experience working in or engaging with the private, academic and public sectors in this area.

This is a unique opportunity to play a leadership role in facilitating the development of potential for great impact for Canada and globally.  As a result, you will have contributed to making a real difference in the lives of Canadians and garnering international recognition for Canadian innovation.


A post- graduate degree in Science, Engineering or Technology in a discipline related to the position (see below) from a recognized university.  A bachelor’s degree with significant work experience relevant to the position may be considered.

Candidates are also expected to have a complimentary business degree, program management certification or equivalent demonstrated related business and/or program management experience.


  • Experience in a performing an oversight challenge role within a scientific or research environment.
  • Technical background and industry experience in Digital technologies, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
  • Experience performing detailed due diligence on project proposals including assessment of research and technology plans and the assessment of project finances.  Experience performing due diligence in the context of federal G&C programs is an asset.
  • Experience managing a diverse set of stakeholder relationships spanning the government, academic and private sectors, with researchers, managers and research administrators.
  • Recent experience providing strategic advice to senior level executives including Presidents, Vice Presidents and/or other equivalent positions in the public or private sectors, on complex initiatives.

Technical Competencies

  • Effective interpersonal skills in order to work cooperatively and effectively with a broad range of client, colleagues and stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of Client, and its mandate, programs and awareness of the characteristics and special requirements of an innovation program and scientific research environment.
  • Ability to work within the management context within organization, and its standing as an agency delivering on federal priorities through the formal delivery of grant and contribution programing.
  • Ability to understand feasibility of design and be able to communicate concerns effectively to project teams.
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize information, assess risks and opportunities and make recommendation on potential courses of action.
  • A strong background in communication, program management, and technology transfer.
  • An ability to span science and engineering systems with the ability to understand convergent market requirements and realities.
  • Proven ability to demonstrate leadership in communicating a vision and bringing different communities together to catalyze something new initiatives.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Canadian and International research communities.
  • Excellent consultative, analytical, problem solving and decision-making skills.
  • The ability to work effectively as a member of a team, with strong interpersonal, time management and organizational skills.

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