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Call for Proposals in Horizon AI - Global Advantage

This program is currently closed for proposal submissions.

Capturing economic potential of made-in-Canada AI technology solutions through global competitive advantage.

Horizon AI is DIGITAL’s specialized, national program focused on capturing economic potential from Applied AI. By building a commercially focused AI ecosystem through Technology Commercialization, Global Advantage and Talent streams, DIGITAL is helping Canadian organizations create a global competitive advantage that enables market leadership and accelerated revenue growth. 

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In Horizon AI’s Global Advantage Stream, DIGITAL will co-invest $2.5M of funds from the commercial pillar of the Government of Canada’s Pan-Canadian AI Strategy alongside industry to create a portfolio of projects that help build Canada’s presence in emerging market opportunities. This includes the emerging market for Digital Service Agents and the development of AI as infrastructure or as a utility that cuts across industries and economic sectors. These investments will help Canadian tech companies leverage their leadership in high-potential, emerging market opportunities by building, demonstrating and launching AI-enabled products, services and platforms. DIGITAL will co-invest an additional $2.5M to support the scaling of successful selected projects.

In addition to this call for projects, DIGITAL is looking for strategically aligned partners willing to commit knowledge, tools, funds, time or other resources to build the emerging market opportunity of Digital Service Agents. Notably, we are looking for partners within industry, government, AI and Agents’ infrastructure providers, investors and others whose strategic interests are aligned with the goals of the Horizon AI Global Advantage Stream. Interested partners are asked to email  

Selected Projects

($2.5M Co-Investment Committed)

Full Project Proposals in Development

($0M Co-Investment Ask)

Expressions of Interest in Development

($0M Co-Investment Ask)

Progress as of April 25, 2024

Total Investment Committed
Digital Co-Investment Committed
Total Digital Co-Investment

THIS PROGRAM IS NOW FULLY COMMITTED for use case and consortium development projects. Remaining stream funds will be made competitively available as follow-up co-investment for selected projects.

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Use Case Projects with Digital Service Agents

Digital service agents span a wide spectrum of intelligent support tools ranging from relatively simple chatbots to fully interactive digital humans. They may also be referred to as digital assistants or virtual beings. As an emerging market, the terminology for describing this product category is still in flux. Projects will leverage Canadian leadership in AI/ML, VR/AR and animation to kick-start the emerging industry of Digital Assistants. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Career coaching, learning and development.
  2. Health and wellbeing, including AI companions. 
  3. Customer and technical support services. 
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Consortium Development Projects

Consortium development projects enable a team of industry and associated partners to explore the development and creation of a consortium that will pursue leadership of a “flagship” emerging market opportunity. Consortium projects define the opportunity, outline an ecosystem strategy with a defined project pipeline and the capacity to pursue investment at scale. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Embodied AI in general purpose robotics applications. 
  2. AI models that integrate into service delivery infrastructures such as self-driving vehicles, intelligent energy management grids and smart-city platforms.  
  3. Generative AI that augments transmedia storytelling, immersive experiences, 3D modelling and automation. 

Successful projects will: 

  • Aim to create global competitive advantage in Applied AI through Use Case Projects with Digital Service Agents and Consortium Development Projects in the Areas of Interest described above. 
  • Have a maximum DIGITAL co-investment of up to $250K for Use Case or Consortium Development Projects.  
  • Follow-up co-investment of up to $1M may be made available for selected projects that create a business plan and secure key strategic partners for expansion projects of at least $3M.
  • Be committed to the ethical, safe and responsible use of AI and data with a demonstrated understanding and compliance to current and anticipated AI and data regulation in Canada and target markets.   
  • Creation of any new intellectual property arising through DIGITAL’s co-investment must be owned by Canadian entities that have substantial operations in Canada 
  • Be enabled by a consortium of at least three organizations that include:  
    • An AI technology product company that owns and will continue to invest in the created solution.
    • An industry partner who is a potential early adopter and customer of the solution.
    • An academic partner that may be represented by researchers, graduates or co-op students working on the project. 
  • Meet the other eligibility requirements and have a high scoring against the Evaluation Criteria cited in the respective Program Guide. 

Horizon AI - Global Advantage Stream Program & Co-Investment Guides


We emphasize a collaborative approach to innovation where groups of complementary organizations work together to build stronger, more powerful solutions to big problems. As such, proposed projects are expected to have solid alignment with our Areas of Interest and the right mix of organizational capabilities to meet our program objectives of innovation, commercialization and benefits to Canada.  

Upon reviewing the above Co-investment and Program Guidelines, if you have an attractive, innovative project opportunity, submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) through the link to the right. EOI submissions are reviewed weekly. Those that fit the program goals with sufficient ambition and market leadership potential will be invited to submit a full project proposal.

Project Concept Submissions Closed

Horizon AI – Global Advantage Stream Information Webinar

DIGITAL held an information webinar to discuss aspects of our Call for Proposals in Global Advantage. You can learn more about the Call for Proposals by watching this information webinar and downloading the presentation.


Upon request, we are available to help potential applicants further understand the objectives of this call for proposals and the eligibility criteria for a proposed project. Please email our team at