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Retail & Supply Chain

Scale AI and partners invest $29m in Canadian AI efforts

by Chuck Martin
Article ImageFive projects receive funding - with focus on supply chains, retail, and logistics

Scale AI, the Canadian investment and innovation hub, and its partners are investing $29 million in five new projects.

This follows investments of more than $120 million from Scale AI through a collaboration of established Canadian companies during the Montreal-based organization’s first year.

“Scale AI projects are bringing together partners across industries ranging from metallurgy to retail, including 20 small and medium-sized enterprises,” said Navdeep Bains, Canadian minister of innovation, science, and industry. “These collaborations are sustaining Scale AI’s momentum, driving innovation and contributing to Canada’s leadership and growth in the emerging field of artificial intelligence.”

Money for innovation

Scale AI is a co-investment and innovation hub that uses public sector funding matched by contributions from the private sector. So far, the government of Canada has pledged $230m to the effort, and the government of Quebec – another $83 million.

In the recent wave of funding, Distribution Pharmaplus, which uses AI through its Alter Ego Pharma solution to manage pharmaceutical products in the healthcare system, received $2 million.

Find.AI, which develops a cloud-based platform with a predictive AI engine to manage retail inventory, received $5 million.

The Montreal Port Authority received $3 million to further its data-driven approach to using AI and predictive analytics to improve visibility into the rail and marine supply chains.

Fleet Complete, which makes an AI-based prediction platform to improve supply chain efficiencies, received $4 million.

The largest investment of nearly $17 million went to Groupe Optel, to enable the digitization of the mineral and metal value chain.

“Now we see the first concrete results and how the success of the early adopters has inspired new projects on an increasingly large scale,” said Julien Billot, CEO of Scale AI. “Our team is enthusiastic about the diversity of the projects in which we have invested, coming from all sectors. The five projects illustrate this trend and the accelerated pace of growth in all our programs.”

Scale AI has more than 100 industry, research, consultancy, and business partners in the field of AI.

“Scale AI’s mission is to create the conditions for a sustainable AI ecosystem in Canada,” said Hélène Desmarais, co-chair of the prganization’s board of directors. “With more than $120 million in investments since the launch of our co-investment programs, the leveraged effects are even greater than anticipated as companies commit beyond our expectations.”

“Artificial intelligence will fundamentally transform industrial processes and the global economy in the coming years,” added Pierre Fitzgibbon, minister of economy and innovation of Quebec.

“The related technologies can be applied in a multitude of fields and will have major repercussions. Fostering growth means enabling companies to take advantage of new technologies and become more competitive in foreign markets.”

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