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Edmonton-based ATB Financial and the University of Alberta have entered into a four-year partnership to boosts the provinces’ contribution to artificial intelligence (AI).

A select group of students have been paired with chosen professors and ATB science experts to develop research and innovation in the fields of AI and machine learning. ATB gave an initial contribution of $940,000 to the project.

The interdisciplinary team — from science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) — encourages students and researchers to develop real-world banking solutions and applications.

“Our students are motivated by hands-on learning that will lead to jobs,” says Jonathan Schaeffer, dean of the University of Alberta Faculty of Science, in a statement.

“This learning lets the next generation of AI leaders apply their STEM skills at the University of Alberta, building the AI ecosystem to retain and attract talent here in Alberta,” he adds.

In February, Borealis AI, a Royal Bank of Canada institute for research with labs Toronto, Waterloo, Ont., Montreal and Edmonton., launched a similar fellowship supporting students pursuing graduate-level work in the field of machine learning or AI at a Canadian university.