2021 Data Science Industry Fellowships help Albertans gain real-world experience and encourage local companies to adopt data science tools

Cybera’s Data Science Industry Fellowship 2021 cohort has commenced, with 19 budding data scientists paired with five Alberta-based organizations to work on an internal data project. Over the next six weeks, the emerging data scientists (Fellows) will develop a proof-of-concept tool that can be used by their industry partner to improve operations or support the development of a new product. 

The Fellowship program was designed to help the Fellows gain employment opportunities by giving them real-world data science experience. In parallel, the program  supports Alberta-based organizations in adopting data science practices that will help them increase returns, create jobs, secure investment, and improve efficiencies.

Similar to past fellowships, Cybera’s in-house data scientists will guide and mentor the Fellows, including offering workshops and professional development opportunities to improve their machine learning and cloud computing skills. The Fellows will also have technical support from organizations like ISAIC (the Industry Sandbox and AI Computing organization) based out of the University of Alberta.

Many of the Fellows are (or are in the process of) completing masters & PhD programs related to data science, while some are engineers who are pivoting from other fields (like oil and gas) to data science. All have valuable academic experience, but are in search of real-world experiences that are often needed to find employment in this field.  

The organizations these Fellows will be working with to gain that important industry experience include small-to-medium sized businesses, startups and not-for-profits, such as:

  • Hockey AI by Actionable Insight – Offers a data focused recruiting and development platform to help young hockey players develop their  professional career paths.
  • Deep Surface AI – Offers a 3D visualization tool to improve aesthetic decision-making in facial surgery, specifically for members of the transgender community.
  • IronSight – Offers a software platform that supports the link between industrial operators and service providers by simplifying the way companies handle complex logistics.
  • Applied Optimal – An early stage startup looking to offer improved energy price forecasts for Alberta organizations.
  • United Way of the Alberta Capital Region – A not-for-profit whose goal is to end poverty and support individuals in distress. This includes aid for Alberta’s 211 service, which helps individuals who are in need of a variety of support, but don’t know where to turn.
Participants at the 2019 in-person Data Science Fellowship.

The previous Data Science Industry Fellowship program, which ran in 2019, resulted in several of the Fellows being offered full-time jobs by the companies they worked with. The program has also helped local startups grow their services and expand into new markets. This included Edmonton tech company PainWorth, who, since participating in the program, has won numerous awards, expanded to US markets, and was a featured company in Startup Edmonton’s 2020 Startup Week.

The current summer fellowship program will run until August 27. Going forward, Cybera is looking to continue this program throughout 2021 and 2022. If you are an early-career data scientist who is interested in participating in future fellowships, or an organization looking to adopt data science practices, visit Cybera’s Data Science for Albertans Fellowship to find out more. 

This program is funded in part by Alberta Innovates Regional Innovation Network’s program through the Calgary Innovation Coalition.

About Cybera’s Data Science for Albertans: As the modern digital economy continues to evolve, Alberta businesses that embrace and harness data science concepts and tools — including machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data analytics — will have a strong competitive advantage.

Cybera’s Data Science for Albertans project provides Alberta entrepreneurs, business and social enterprises with training and access to data science expertise.