Toronto – Four visionaries, who have had a positive impact in the science and technology space, will be honoured by Creative Destruction Lab at its annual Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence conference on October 24.

Founded by economists at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, CDL designed its three annual awards around the primary ingredients in the discipline’s prevailing models for economic growth: labour, capital, and ideas.

The Labour award recognizes an individual or organization that has had a first-order impact on Canada’s competitiveness through the development and promotion of human capital in the areas of science, technology, and commerce. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada receives this award for their role, under many different administrations, in enhancing the entrepreneurial workforce in Canada through enabling thoughtful, efficient, and compassionate immigration, facilitating the arrival of immigrants, providing protection to refugees, and providing programming to help newcomers settle in Canada.

The Capital award recognizes an individual or organization that has had a first-order impact on Canada’s competitiveness through the visionary application of capital to the areas of science, technology, and commerce. The Loran Scholars Foundation receives this award for their sustained commitment to investing in the future of Canada by financing the undergraduate education of individuals who demonstrate a strong track record and high potential in the areas of character, service, and leadership. 

The Idea award recognizes an individual or organization that has had a first-order impact on the competitiveness of Canada through the advancement of new ideas in the area of science and technology. This year, two recipients have been selected for the 2019 Ideas award. Alán Aspuru-Guzik receives this award for his groundbreaking work in applying machine learning, robotics, and quantum chemistry to the creation of materials acceleration platforms for the hyper-efficient discovery of new materials and candidate molecules for drug discovery. Raquel Urtasun receives this award for her pioneering work in developing machine learning techniques and related innovations in computer vision, robotics, and remote sensing to enhance the performance of self-driving cars. 

Aspuru-Guzik is a professor of Chemistry and Computer Science at the University of Toronto and is also the Canada 150 Research Chair in Theoretical Chemistry and a Canada CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute. Prior to joining UofT in 2018, he was a professor at Harvard University. He received his B.Sc. from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 1999 and obtained a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004, where he was also a postdoctoral fellow from 2005-2006.

Urtasun is Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) Chief Scientist and the Head of Uber ATG Toronto. She is also an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto, a Canada Research Chair in Machine Learning and Computer Vision and a co-founder of the Vector Institute for AI. She holds a PhD in Computer Science from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Navarra.

The Machine Learning and the Market For Intelligence Conference is hosted by Creative Destruction Lab in collaboration with Bloomberg Beta, and presented by Scotiabank with McKinsey & Company as the conference knowledge partner. The conference explores state-of-the-art applications of machine intelligence in a variety of domains, such as business, science, and healthcare against the backdrop of power. The focus of the conference is not on the technical details of machine learning – the underlying mathematics, statistics, and algorithms – but rather on the economic and social implications of commercial-grade AI.

How are recent advances in machine intelligence poised to impact jobs, markets, and nations via strategies crafted for deploying capital, allocating labour, competing for customers, and enhancing society?

To learn more about the conference program and view landmark presentations from prior years, please visit


“IRCC recognizes that artificial intelligence and machine learning is having a profound impact on the nature of work globally. That’s why we’re helping companies to attract global talent in this emerging domain. In recent years, the Department has made improvements to better attract and retain top talent, drive innovation, assist employers and prioritize high-skilled workers.”

Associate Deputy Minister, Lori MacDonald, on behalf of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

“We are deeply honoured to be the recipients of the Capital Award. We must share this recognition with our community of more than 600 donors and 25 university partners, without whom we could not continue our work of identifying and supporting young Canadians who demonstrate strength of character, commitment to service, and sparks of leadership potential. Over the past 30 years, we have invested more than $50 million in the greatest of Canada’s natural resources—our youth—and in so doing, have helped more than 2,900 students, including our 661 Loran Scholars, more fully realize their potential. It is a privilege to continue this work in partnership with hundreds of individuals and organizations who give generously in support of Canada’s future.”

Meghan Moore, CEO, Loran Scholars Foundation

“I am delighted to receive the CDL Ideas Award. I hope that this helps to highlight the big opportunity that Canada has to build a team of researchers to collaboratively tackle the frontiers of Artificial Intelligence and Chemistry and Materials to become a global leader in this area.”

Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Professor, University of Toronto

Creative Destruction Lab is a not-for-profit seed-stage program for massively scalable, science-based companies. Its nine-month program pairs founders with experienced entrepreneurs and investors to set focused, measurable objectives with the goal of maximizing equity-value creation. Founded in 2012 by Professor Ajay Agrawal at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, the program has now expanded with locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal, Halifax, Oxford. Since its inception, companies that have participated in the CDL program have created more than $4.34 billion (CAD) in equity value. CDL alumni include North (Waterloo), Atomwise (San Francisco), Kyndi (Palo Alto), Xanadu (Toronto), BenchSci (Toronto), Kheiron Medical (London), and Roadbotics (Pittsburgh). For more information, visit

The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit


For more information:

Ken McGuffin
Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
Voice: 416.946.3818

Amarpreet Kaur
Marketing Lead
Creative Destruction Lab