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Office of Research & Development

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National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII)
with a Research and Development focus on Veterans

Why AI R&D in VA?

VA is the largest integrated health care system in the country, has the largest genomic knowledge base in the world linked to health care information, and trains the largest number of nurses and doctors in the United States. In fact, nearly three-quarters of all U.S. doctors receive training in VA. Given this, VA is uniquely positioned to advance AI research and development to the frontiers of science and health for our nation's Veterans, and the population at large.

What is the National Artificial Intelligence Institute (NAII)?

The NAII seeks to develop AI research and development capabilities in VA as a means to support Veterans, their families, survivors, and caregivers. The NAII designs and collaborates on large-scale AI R&D initiatives, national AI policy, and partnerships across agencies, industries, and academia. The NAII is a joint initiative by the Office of Research and Development and the Office of the Secretary's Center for Strategic Partnerships in VA. The NAII is dedicated to advancing AI research and development for real-world impact and outcomes to ensure Veteran health and well-being.

Gil Alterovitz

Dr. Gil Alterovitz
Director, NAII

Dr. Alterovitz is working to build AI R&D capacity to help Veterans. He has led national and international collaborative initiatives for developing novel informatics methods and approaches for integrating clinical, pharmaceutical, and genomic information, from research to point-of-care. He has produced over 50 peer-reviewed publications and three books in the field. "We envision a future where AI can give us tools to serve Veterans in the best way possible, as they did for our nation," says Alterovitz.

Ongoing Initiatives


The NAII will solicit, develop, and execute flagship AI R&D projects to demonstrate size, scope, and magnitude of capabilities that deliver positive real-world outcomes for Veterans. These flagship projects, with Veteran input, will emphasize particular AI areas, such as: deep learning, explainable AI, privacy-preserving AI, and AI for multi-scale time series.


The NAII leads "sprints" within VA using the "Government Innovation Award"-winning framework for empowering an AI-able ecosystem through voluntary incentives linking the ecosystem of federal, industry, academia, and nonprofit organizations around AI R&D. For example, one tool created in a recent sprint, among others, was designed to leverage AI to empower Veterans to find clinical trials and other experimental therapies. Furthermore, the NAII will explore potential partnerships with various federal and non-federal entities around AI R&D.


Even while the NAII helps VA build toward AI advances, VA researchers have already been tackling projects that use the technology. One of the first tasks the NAII took on was surveying the existing use of AI by VA researchers. For VA studies already underway in a few AI specialty areas, the NAII will examine options for helping them achieve their research goals, find new resources, and forge collaborations.


The NAII is also helping VA build AI R&D capacity from basic to clinical research. The NAII's efforts aim to train a new generation of AI scientists, practitioners, and clinicians to promote the health and well-being of Veterans. As a team of AI experts and researchers, the NAII is well-positioned to share knowledge, techniques, and lessons learned with the larger VA community. One such effort is the creation of an AI Tech Sprint handbook that will allow other teams and organizations to orchestrate a sprint to introduce new ideas and solutions.

Contact Us

We hope you'll join the exciting conversation about the intersection of AI and Veteran health and well-being. For questions and comments, please email

Questions about the R&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.