The Government of Quebec Grants $23.4 Million to Scale AI

Scale ai Will Contribute to the Development of Quebec’s Artificial Intelligence Talents

MONTREAL, Quebec – July 15, 2019 – scale ai is pleased to announce that it has received $23.4 million in funding for the 2019-2023 period from Quebec’s Ministère du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale (MTESS). This financial support confirms scale ai’s commitment towards the development and qualification of Quebec’s workforce in artificial intelligence (AI).

"We are at a key moment of research and innovation in artificial intelligence. By developing cutting-edge training in this field, we ensure that our economy’s transformation will take place in an efficient and sustainable manner. This project will make it possible to adapt the current workforce and support companies in the implementation of solutions that compensate for labour shortages and increase their productivity. I am proud to support scale ai's initiative," said Minister Jean Boulet, ministre du Travail, de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité sociale du Québec.

Thanks to this funding, scale ai will support training activities for Quebec workforce on AI-based business challenges, tools and techniques. Over 25,000 professionals, managers and executives will take part in these training programs by 2023 in order to update their skills and prepare them to respond to economic and business transformations. scale ai’s academic partners will deliver these courses.

"This tangible support from the Government of Québec will help propel Quebec businesses of all sizes into the future, giving them and international head-start. SMEs and large companies will be equipped to face the revolution resulting from the introduction of AI," declared scale ai CEO Julien Billot. "Developing IA expertise ensures an increase in productivity for our businesses and thus benefits Quebec’s entire territory," added Billot.

Academic Collaboration

Quebec has developed university research centres in the field of artificial intelligence that are envied around the world. However, AI is still confined to only certain parts of the Quebec economy that are in direct contact with these research centres. "It is absolutely essential to deploy this knowledge so that all economic actors in Montreal and across Quebec can benefit from it," says scale ai Board Co-Chair of the Hélène Desmarais. The objective is to mobilize universities, research centres and Cegeps in the main economic centres of Quebec in order to offer a wide array of AI training courses that are adapted to the changing needs of the market for individuals and companies.

"The presence of leading AI researchers, particularly at IVADO, MILA and its affiliated institutions including HEC Montréal, Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University, provides a strong influence and a major vehicle for attracting new talent and leadingedge training. We must take advantage of the presence of these leading university research centres to train future AI teachers from academic institutions in the major regions of Quebec that are able to offer AI training," added Desmarais.

About scale ai

scale ai an investment and innovation hub based in Montreal. One of Canada's five innovation superclusters, its mission is to develop the next generation supply chain and promote Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence applied to the industry. The Canadian supply chain now represents about one million jobs and more than 10% of GDP.

Nearly 120 world-class industrial partners, research institutions and other ecosystem players have joined forces to create this innovation consortium. Together, these partners have committed to more than doubling Government of Canada funding to support this unprecedented initiative.


Scale ai announces the selection of innovative projects in artificial intelligence applied to supply chains

Montréal - June 27, 2019 - scale ai, the AI-powered supply chain supercluster, today announced the selection of its first collaborative projects representing an investment of $5.1 million, including $2 million co-invested by scale ai. Further reinforcing scale ai’s mission, these projects aim to make Canada an international leader in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) applied to supply chains. The announcement was attended by the Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

Each industry-led project is composed of 3 to 7 partners collaborating to address supply chain challenges through the application of artificial intelligence. Each of the project teams brings together a consortium of partners, and may include industry adopters, technology leaders, small and mediumsized enterprises, universities and research centres.

The projects will tackle core issues identified by various sectors, including retail, manufacturing, agriculture and transport, by implementing artificial intelligence models. Ultimately, these projects will deliver concrete innovative solutions that will, among other benefits, improve product routing and traceability, increase demand forecasting accuracy, optimize task assignment for field employees, and increase planning efficiency to avoid overstocking and waste.

The selected projects will provide the following solutions:

  • Decision support system for operation planning, storage allocation and crane scheduling (RayMont, SimWell et Ivado Labs)
  • Forecasting the complexity of field repairs and technician management (Bell, Exfo, VuPoint Systems, Ivado Labs)
  • Community co-loading platform for farmers (Local Line, Flanagan FoodService, Ontario Fresh, collective of 7 farmers)
  • Intelligent platform for agile customization (Nulogy, Mars Canada, Schenker Canada, Alliance, Linsey Foods, LakeCityFoods, Menasha)

“With these first selected projects, scale ai is entering its operational phase,” says Julien Billot, CEO of scale ai. “Since the official launch of our activities a few weeks ago, we have received a significant number of project submissions and are working with our partners to select other projects very soon. I encourage all companies interested in applying AI into their supply chain to contact our teams to present their project proposals.”

 

scale ai is just getting started transforming the AI sector, creating good jobs here at home and establishing Canada as a global leader in AI. These projects will capitalize on this leadership to produce -30- tangible benefits for other sectors of the economy. These projects are part of a game-changing initiative that will dramatically reduce industry costs on a range of services, including shipping and inventory.” – The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

 

“As the largest investor in communications R&D in Canada, Bell is proud to contribute our expertise to the ground-breaking work under way at scale ai,” said André Beaulieu, Bell’s Senior Vice-President, Corporate Services. “We look forward to working with our technology partners EXFO and VuPoint Systems to develop innovative AI solutions to increase efficiencies in field services management at Bell and across the communications sector.”

 

“In a context of globalization, the development of international trade inevitably involves the optimization of our supply chain” said Charles Raymond, CEO of Ray-Mont Logistics. “At Ray-Mont Logistics, it is this tireless will to always innovate and to include artificial intelligence in our processes that allows us today to be a world expert in this field. As a founding member of scale ai, we are proud to see that our smart terminal project is part of this shared vision of propelling the supply chain to another level. We have the ambition, the expertise and the creativity to build on this momentum by continuing to offer flexible, innovative and high quality solutions to our customers and partners.”

 

About scale ai

scale ai (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence AI) is an investment and innovation hub based in Montreal. One of Canada's five innovation superclusters, its mission is to develop the next generation supply chain and promote Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence applied to the industry. The Canadian supply chain now represents about one million jobs and more than 10% of GDP.

Nearly 120 world-class industrial partners, research institutions and other ecosystem players have joined forces to create this innovation consortium. Together, these partners have committed to more than doubling Government of Canada funding to support this unprecedented initiative. More information: scaleai.ca


The scale ai supercluster and industrialists start the work and launch their call for projects

Montreal, June 4, 2019 - scale ai - the AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster announced on May 31, at the National Congress of the Supply Chain Management Association of Canada, that it is fully operational and ready to distribute funding to the industry. scale ai therefore launched a call for collaborative projects that combine machine learning, operational research and data science applied to supply chains.

scale ai, which received $230 million from the Government of Canada and $30 million from the Government of Quebec, aims to make Canada an international leader in the field of artificial intelligence applied to supply chains.

To respond to funding requests and needs expressed by industries, scale ai has surrounded itself with specialists and an independent project evaluation committee to select the most relevant ones. The granting of funds is based on several key factors such as the level of collaboration, the integration of artificial intelligence, the involvement and participation of SMEs in projects and the development potential for companies.

scale ai is launching today a call across Canada for industries with issues in their supply chains to propose collaborative projects that will have an impact on the future of their sector.

"With this launch, scale ai will be able to implement the elements of its strategy by funding collaborative projects that will position Canadian industry as one of the most advanced in the world" - Julien Billot, President and CEO of scale ai

"We have spent several months working with industry and we are very happy to launch our first activities that will call for many more in the near future" - Hélène Desmarais, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of scale ai.

About scale ai

scale ai (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence AI) is an investment and innovation hub based in Montreal. One of Canada's five innovation superclusters, its mission is to develop the next generation supply chain and promote Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence applied to the industry. The Canadian supply chain now represents about one million jobs and more than 10% of GDP.

Nearly 120 world-class industrial partners, research institutions and other ecosystem players have joined forces to create this innovation consortium. Together, these partners have committed to more than doubling Government of Canada funding to support this unprecedented initiative. More information: scaleai.ca


$290 Million in support for SCALE AI, the AI-powered supply chains Supercluster

Montréal, Québec – December 6, 2018 – The conclusion of a $230-million contribution agreement between the Government of Canada and SCALE AI, the Artificial Intelligence (AI)–powered Supply Chains Supercluster, was announced today at the G7 Multistakeholder Conference on Artificial Intelligence taking place in Montreal.

The announcement by the federal government follows the selection last February of SCALE AI as part of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which will see $950-million invested in five superclusters across the country by 2023.

The amount pledged will enable SCALE AI to pursue its operations and initiate collaborative transformation projects that will accelerate development and early industry integration of supply chains powered by AI.

The Government of Québec has also announced a $60-million financial contribution to support the activities of SCALE AI and its IVADO LABS laboratory, an organization created to provide support and guidance to companies in implementing projects developed as part of the supercluster.

“With this major funding, we will initiate projects that combine machine learning, operations research and data science, affirming Canada’s leadership in the industrial application of these leading-edge technologies,” said Hélène Desmarais, Co-Chair of the Board, SCALE AI, Chair of the Board, HEC Montréal, and Chair of the Board and CEO, Centre d’Entreprises et d’Innovation de Montréal (CEIM).

“SCALE AI will kickstart digitization of supply chains, which is of critical importance in making Canadian companies more competitive. With our innovative and sustainable solutions, we will be contributing concretely to the international reach and influence of our companies,” added Louis Roy, Co-Chair of the Board, SCALE AI, and President, OPTEL.

“SCALE AI is a critical enabler to bring AI technologies from the lab to the field, and to boost the skills and diversity of our talent pool. Thanks to the investment by the governments and industry partners, we will build up a strong pipeline of future talent, reinforce the links between academia and the industry, and upskill the industrial workforce in new technologies,” said Pearl Sullivan, Vice-Chair, SCALE AI, and Dean of Engineering, University of Waterloo.

About SCALE AI

The AI-powered Supply Chains Supercluster is incorporated as SCALE AI (Supply Chains And Logistics Excellence AI), an industry-led consortium headquartered in Montreal and centered in Quebec and Ontario. One of the five Canadian innovation superclusters, its mission is to build the next generation supply chain in Canada and bolster Canada's leadership in artificial intelligence. The Canadian supply chain provides almost a million jobs and makes up 10% of our GDP.

Close to 120 industrial partners, research institutions and other world-class enablers of the AI ecosystem have joined forces to create this innovation consortium. Altogether, these partners have committed to more than doubling the Government of Canada’s funding in support of this ground-breaking initiative.


scale ai supports the Canada – France vision of Artificial Intelligence

SCALE AI welcomes the Canada - France proposed creation of an international study group to promote a vision of artificial intelligence (AI) which will benefit society at large.

This joint initiative was announced on June 7, ahead of the G7 meeting in Charlevoix, Quebec. The study group’s mission will be to support and guide the development of ethical and inclusive AI technologies, aimed at shaping a better future for all.

Innovation and adoption of AI technologies are accelerating very rapidly and have the potential to deliver massive social, societal and business value. The study group will provide foresight, expertise, and an international cooperation platform to help seize this major opportunity and address the challenges that go with it. It will bring together leading experts from the scientific, technology, and business communities, as well as representatives of the civil society.

The SCALE AI supercluster supports this proposal which addresses a critical need at the crossroads of innovation, policy-making, and socio-economic development. SCALE AI looks forward to contributing to and learning from the work of the study group in the delivery of its mission.

SCALE AI is Canada’s artificial intelligence supercluster, dedicated to building the next-generation supply chain, powered by AI. It is a business-led and not-for-profit consortium which mission is to drive sustainable economic growth and jobs creation, bolster Canada’s leadership in the global innovation landscape, and put AI to the service of all Canadians. To date, SCALE AI gathers 120 partners including 80 industrial firms, a network of 12 academic institutions coast-to-coast, and 28 enabling organizations.

 

See the full details on the announcement


The intelligent supply chain, leveraging AI in Canada’s supply chains

On February 15 2018, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains, announced that SCALE AI, our artificial intelligence-powered supply chain supercluster proposal, would share in the $950 million allocated for the Innovation Superclusters Initiative.

The Canadian supply chain provides almost a million jobs and makes up 10 percent of the country’s GDP, so advancements in this field have the potential to make huge impacts that can improve Canadian living standards and create employment. Our 78 industrial partners in SCALE AI have already committed $700 million in support, and, when combined with the government’s contribution, will provide a sizable pool to drive real innovation. It will then enable artificial intelligence (AI) to make an immediate impact on the evolution of Canadian supply chains and the country’s economy.

Read more.


SCALE.AI, the AI-Powered Supply Chain Supercluster, to Receive Funding from Innovation Superclusters Initiative

OTTAWA, February 15, 2018 - SCALE.AI is proud to have been selected by the Government of Canada as one of 5 superclusters to receive funding allocated through the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The announcement was made today by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada, the Honourable Navdeep Bains.

This outcome could not have been accomplished without the generous contribution of time and effort by the academic research institutions, IVADO and University of Waterloo, with the support of a dedicated project team staffed on a voluntary basis by professionals and organizations such as BCG, CGI, Norton Rose Fulbright, OPTEL GROUP, PwC Canada and SCMA.

Close to 120 industrial partners, enabling organizations and world-class research institutions have joined forces to create this Canadian industry-led innovation consortium. Altogether, partners have already committed $700 million in support of this ground-breaking initiative.

The contribution agreement to be concluded shortly with the Government of Canada will enable SCALE.AI to launch its operations and collaborative transformation projects leading to the accelerated development and early integration of next-generation, AI-powered supply chains in our economy.

The Canadian supply chain provides almost a million jobs and makes up 10% of our GDP. Increasingly, supply chains are being disrupted by digital technologies and artificial intelligence (AI). SCALE.AI will seize this opportunity to empower Canada as an applied-AI powerhouse and the nexus for global trade.

Quote:

“Supply chains are the backbone of the economy and propel all industries. Combined, AI and supply chains will generate immense business value. Our mission is to increase the wealth and quality of life of Canadians through technology-driven, sustainable and inclusive economic growth." - Louis Roy, President, OPTEL GROUP and Co-Chair SCALE.AI

“SCALE.AI will build something unique: bolster Canada’s leadership in AI and data science, and define the new supply-chain platform, deeply impacting the retail, manufacturing and transport sectors. SCALE.AI will drive economic growth, create highly-skilled jobs and boost our talent pool, putting AI at the service of all Canadians.” - Hélène Desmarais, Chairman HEC Montréal, Executive Chairman CEIM and Co-Chair SCALE.AI

“Our strength lies in the diversity and complementarity of our partners, all of them, eager to work together for the success of this global impact regional innovation ecosystem. SCALE.AI will empower Canada as a global hub for industrial AI and intelligent supply chains.” - Luc Pinard, Executive VicePresident, Corporate Performance CGI

“Supply chains are a key focus area of IVADO’s applied and collaborative research activities. Our leading capabilities in machine learning, operations research and data science will equip Canadian firms with next-generation technologies.” - Gilles Savard, CEO, IVADO

“Digitization of supply chains require technology integration between AI, robotics, autonomous systems, data analytics, connectivity and IOT. Waterloo is known for research, training, industry collaboration and start-ups in these areas; with Quebec and Ontario collaborating this will have an enormous economic impact.” - Pearl Sullivan, Dean of Engineering, University of Waterloo

“This country was built by supply chains, and investments from the government and industry partners represent a bold new direction for supply chain innovation in Canada.” - Christian Buhagiar, President and CEO, SCMA

About SCALE.AI: The AI-powered Supply Chains Supercluster is incorporated as SCALE.AI (Supply Chains And Logistics Excellence.AI), a business-led consortium headquartered in Montreal and centered in Quebec and Ontario. Its mission is to shape a new global supply chain platform and bolster Canada’s leadership in artificial intelligence (AI). For more information: SCALE.AI


AI-powered supply chains initiative: a key focus of the CCMM* strategic forum on artificial intelligence

MONTREALJan. 15, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - More than 120 industrial firms, enabling organizations and world class research institutions, join forces to create SCALE.AI (Supply Chains And Logistics Excellence.AI), a Canadian industry-led Innovation consortium. Together they commit $700 millions in support of collaborative transformation projects leading to the accelerated development and early integration of next-generation AI-powered supply chains in our economy.

SCALE.AI is one of nine projects shortlisted by the federal government as part the final application phase of the Innovation Superclusters initiative. The two co-chairs of SCALE.AI, Helene Desmarais, CEO CEIM, and Louis Roy, President OPTEL GROUP, join with Mark Boyajian, President at CGI, SCALE.AI's technology program coordinator, to acknowledge the strong participation of partners of the consortium in this strategic forum chaired by Michel Leblanc, President and CEO Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal* (CCMM).

Read more.


Liberals narrow list of contenders for 'supercluster' innovation hubs to 9

Government received 50 proposals from more than 1,000 firms and 350 participants

The Liberal government has whittled down the list of contenders eligible for a piece of its $950-million "supercluster" program, an initiative to foster innovation and create jobs in five specialized hubs across the country.

The nine finalists on the government's short list include partnerships in ocean and digital technologies, artificial intelligence, transportation, manufacturing, mining, agri-food and infrastructure.

Read more.


AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster Now Shortlisted

MONTREALOct. 10, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, announced today that nine applicants have been shortlisted in the second phase of the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. Among them, the AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster, co-chaired by Louis Roy, President of OPTEL GROUP and by  Hélène Desmarais,  Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of the Centre d'Entreprises et d'Innovation de Montréal (CEIM) and Chairperson of Board of HEC Montréal, was selected for the final phase of the initiative.

"Integrating artificial intelligence into supply chain management will enable Canadian companies to increase their competitive advantage. The implementation of intelligent, ethical and responsible supply chains will help create numerous quality jobs while ensuring sustainable growth for our businesses," states Louis Roy.

Read more.