Merck Canada Announces Collaboration with Vector Institute to Further Advance its Artificial Intelligence Capabilities and Drive Innovation in Healthcare


KIRKLAND, QC, February 8, 2024 – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has entered into a multi-year agreement with the Vector Institute in Toronto, an independent not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing the field of artificial intelligence (AI) through world-class research.  This agreement will allow Merck Canada to gain access to Vector’s exceptional research capabilities and expertise in AI and engage with its robust and thriving ecosystem to drive innovation in healthcare.

As such, Merck Canada will have the opportunity to tap into Vector Institute’s extensive network of AI researchers, engineers, and startups. This interaction will provide a fertile ground for Merck Canada to exchange ideas, connect with premier talent, and stay abreast of the latest advancements in AI technologies and methods applicable to life sciences. 

“We are excited about the opportunities that our collaboration with the Vector Institute brings to Merck Canada. Together, we will explore the potential of AI to transform the way we address healthcare challenges and deliver impactful solutions that benefit patients in Canada and beyond,” said Marwan Akar, Managing Director at Merck Canada.

“We recognize the power of AI in driving customer engagement at Merck. As digital transformation continues to redefine what’s possible in healthcare, we look to organizations like Vector to help us find innovative ways to leverage machine learning and deep learning to improve health outcomes,” added Abhishek Narayan Singh, Vice President, Data Science, at Merck.

“Canadians deserve modern health care solutions using the best technologies and tools available. We are thrilled to welcome Merck Canada to Vector’s sponsor community.  Together with Vector, Merck’s strong commitment to innovation in health will help realize AI capabilities that can be life-changing for patients,” said Tony Gaffney, President and CEO, Vector Institute.

About Merck      

At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than 130 years, we have brought hope to humanity through the development of important medicines and vaccines. We aspire to be the premier research-intensive biopharmaceutical company in the world – and today, we are at the forefront of research to deliver innovative health solutions that advance the prevention and treatment of diseases in people and animals. We foster a diverse and inclusive global workforce and operate responsibly every day to enable a safe, sustainable and healthy future for all people and communities.

In Canada, Merck markets a broad range of vaccines, pharmaceutical and animal health products and is one of the top R&D investors in Canada, with investments totaling more than $90 million in 2022 and more than $1.6 billion since 2000. Based in Kirkland, Quebec, Merck employs approximately 635 people across the country. For more information about our operations in Canada, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn and X @MerckCanada.

About the Vector Institute

Launched in 2017, the Vector Institute works with industry, institutions, startups, and governments to build AI talent and drive research excellence in AI to develop and sustain AI-based innovation to foster economic growth and improve the lives of Canadians. Vector aims to advance AI research, increase adoption in industry and health through programs for talent, commercialization, and application, and lead Canada towards the responsible use of AI. Programs for industry, led by top AI practitioners, offer foundations for applications in products and processes, company-specific guidance, training for professionals, and connections to workforce-ready talent. Vector is funded by the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada through the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, and leading industry sponsors from across multiple sectors of Canadian Industry.