Supporting collaborative projects between Canada and Germany in artificial intelligence and value-added manufacturing

- Ottawa, Ontario

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is working on 6 collaboration projects with partners in Germany through the "3+2" Canada–Germany Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Program. These projects will apply artificial intelligence (AI) in developing new technologies for industrial production in several industries, including: automotive and metals manufacturing, materials, telecommunications, energy, mining, construction, and infrastructure management.

How it came together

Project consortia developed through the "3+2" program are comprised of Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), researchers from the NRC and Canadian universities who have partnered with companies and research institutions in Germany.  

To support these projects the NRC is investing over $6 million (CAD). The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) is providing advisory services and funding support for the Canadian companies involved in the collaboration projects, while academic partner participation is supported through the NRC's National Program Office. Project partners from Germany are receiving funding support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Projects began in April 2021 and will take place over the next 3 years.

"The NRC is proud to support joint research and development projects between Canada and Germany." said Geneviève Tanguay, Vice President, Emerging Technologies, NRC. "These collaboration efforts bring together innovative minds to advance research and development leading to ground-breaking solutions and competitive new artificial intelligence technologies. By working together, Canada and Germany benefit from better solutions to some of our shared socioeconomic challenges that will bring about significant advantages for both our countries. "

These projects are also in support of advancing several of the NRC's Challenge and Cluster Support programs, which seek to address major economic, social and environmental challenges facing Canada now and in the future.

About the projects

AI La-Pol

This project is focussed on developing AI-based solutions to advance laser polishing (LP) technology with the goal of improving the stability, adaptability and quality of the process.

Canadian participants:

  • Dajcor Aluminum Limited
  • University of Western Ontario
  • NRC's Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre

German participants:

  • Karl H. Arnold Maschinenfabrik GmbH & Co.KG
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT)


This project aims to develop AI techniques to design and manufacture elevated-voltage photonic power converters (PPC).

Canadian participants:

  • Optiwave Systems Inc.
  • University of Ottawa
  • NRC's Advanced Electronics and Photonics Research Centre and Digital Technologies Research Centre

German participants:

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE)


This project aims to develop an AI-powered expert system to fully automate laser-directed energy deposition by detecting quality issues more swiftly, explicitly, reliably and economically to enhance manufacturing control and operational decision-making capability.

Canadian participants:

  • Braintoy Inc.
  • Apollo Machine & Welding Limited
  • McGill University
  • NRC's Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre and Aerospace Research Centre

German participants:

  • BCT Steuerungs-und DV-Systeme GmbH (BCT)
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT)


This project aims to develop an AI solution to detect infrastructure integrity issues earlier, more accurately, more completely, and at a lower cost, in order to expedite human decision making.

Canadian participants:

  • VEERUM Inc.
  • University of British Columbia
  • NRC's Digital Technologies Research Centre and Aerospace Research Centre

German participants:

  • MKP GmbH
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS)


Using advanced robotics and AI, this project aims to accelerate the development and deployment of low-cost, high-quality electrochromic smart windows.

Canadian participants:

  • Miru Smart Technologies Corp.
  • University of British Columbia
  • NRC's Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre

German participants:

  • Cynora GmbH
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC


This project aims to develop a set of ultrasound-based monitoring and AI processing systems for resistance spot welding (RSW) and laser brazing (LBW).

Canadian participants:

  • Tessonics Inc.
  • University of Waterloo
  • NRC's Aerospace Research Centre

German participants:

  • IconPro GmbH
  • Ford-Werke (Ford Company) GmbH
  • RWTH Aachen University

Strengthening research and innovation collaboration

Canada and Germany have a long-lasting and successful cooperation in science and technology. In fact, 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Canada–Germany Science and Technology Agreement. Since its signing, it is estimated that more than 1,000 joint research projects have materialized, including in priority areas such as space technologies and earth observation, fuel cells, sustainable energy, nanotechnology, photonics, metrology, ocean science, health and genomics, and Arctic science.

As a key innovation partner, the NRC is actively pursuing opportunities for increased collaboration with German businesses, researchers and academia. In 2019, the NRC deployed a senior advisor to Germany at the Canadian Consulate in Munich to support science and technology (S&T) cooperation between research institutes and businesses from both countries. The NRC has already established strong partnerships with key German innovations agencies and organizations, like BMBF, and are committed to working together to strengthen bilateral science and technology initiatives between our 2 countries.

The "3+2" Canada–Germany Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Program offers Canadian SMEs the unique opportunity to collaborate with German industrial partners, in addition to high-calibre research institutes in both Germany and Canada, including the National Research Council. Both the Canadian and German innovation ecosystems benefit from the unique mix of industrial and institutional/academic researchers working together to provide technical and market solutions in cutting-edge research areas, such as artificial intelligence applications in manufacturing.

Now open: Canada–Germany call for proposals in hydrogen technologies

Following the success of the first "3+2" call for proposals focussed on artificial intelligence and value-added manufacturing, a new call for proposals for projects in low-carbon hydrogen technologies is now open! For more information visit the Canada–Germany 3+2 collaborative call for proposals on low-carbon hydrogen technologies to learn more about this great opportunity.

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