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SCALE AI supports four new projects and reports another extraordinary year of AI investments in Canada, for a total impact since inception of more than $200M

·7 min read

MONTREAL, June 21, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Despite COVID-19's unprecedented impact on Canada's competitiveness and growth, SCALE AI's investments over the last 12 months have been nothing short of remarkable. Representing $35M in investments, the four projects unveiled today bring the total number of SCALE AI projects announced to more than 150, representing more than $200M of investments into AI industry-led projects, AI training initiatives and AI acceleration programs.

"Artificial intelligence is transforming the way people live, work and conduct business. Scale AI is leveraging this competitive advantage by advancing innovative and collaborative projects, such as those we announced today, to create a more resilient supply chain while strengthening Canada's position as a global leader in artificial intelligence," declared the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. "I am pleased to see Scale AI supporting companies looking to take advantage of this new technology in a responsible way and for the benefit of Canadians."

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, together with Elisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages came together today, on his behalf, to mark this milestone and highlight the impact of those projects for Canadians across the country.

"Canada's Scale AI Supercluster is accelerating the adoption of advanced artificial intelligence to help companies emerge as global leaders," said the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. "We are seeing first-hand how Canada's leadership in AI is having a positive impact on our economic recovery across sectors. Scale AI is connecting large corporations, innovative start-ups and researchers to shape a more competitive supply chain that leverages AI solutions and creates good jobs for Canadians."

"It is great to see so many partners from all across the country come together under the leadership of Scale AI for the benefit of Canadians from coast to coast," said Elisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. "We see with the projects announced today that artificial intelligence is not just for big urban centres; it can also be embraced by companies of all sizes in all sectors of the economy."

"In recent months, the strategic importance of supply chains has become more apparent than ever," Julien Billot, CEO of SCALE AI, pointed out."Artificial intelligence has demonstrated its crucial role in ensuring supply stability and efficiency. The industry-led projects in which SCALE AI is investing are prime examples of the technological transformation taking place across Canada. These projects also underline the strong potential of this sector in guiding economic recovery towards sustainable growth. Of course, SCALE AI's work towards strengthening Canada's AI ecosystem has only just begun."

Hélène Desmarais, Co-Chair of the SCALE AI Board of Directors, added, "The first companies that we have invested in are now witnessing the clear benefits of AI. While the entire business community is looking towards recovery. I believe artificial intelligence will be strategically positioned as an accelerator for the return to sustainable growth. As an innovation hub, SCALE AI has been building links between all the players and eliminating obstacles that might otherwise slow the adoption of artificial intelligence in Canada. SCALE AI is an example of Canadian innovation in action and demonstrates the value of the superclusters program to create global competitive ecosystems."

Four new projects representing investments of $35 million

From optimizing the real time supply chain for premium tissue & towel products to creating a data-driven AI solution that optimizes the allocation of physicians across various clinics, these projects are reflective of our ecosystem's endless possibilities.

→ Sherbrooke AI Digital Twin

Partners: Kruger Products, BCG, Osedea, Dataperformers, Polytechnique Montréal, Université Laval

SCALE AI's investment: $6.7 million

Total investment: $25.5 million

Kruger Products has built a greenfield manufacturing facility in Sherbrooke, Québec, to further propel its market position on premium tissue & towel products in North America. Using real-time data, the project will recreate the plant's entire supply chain virtually, adding an integrated set of predictive and prescriptive AI capabilities. This will allow the improvement of key operations from supply through processing to client shipping, in order to drive revenues, efficiency and agility.

Dino Bianco, Chief Executive Officer, Kruger Products: "The strategic intent is to make Sherbrooke a beacon within Kruger prior to rolling out the new AI capabilities across the Company's industrial network and making it a global benchmark for AI adoption in the pulp & paper and manufacturing industries."

→ Planogram optimization solution

Partners: Canadian Tire, Ivado Labs, Spacefile International Corp.

SCALE AI's investment: $2.2 million

Total investment: $5 million

Canadian Tire is one of the largest retailers in the country with over 500 stores from coast-to-coast. With a unique, multi-category assortment across its Automotive, Living, Playing, Fixing and Seasonal categories, Canadian Tire offers the products and services that prepare Canadians for life in Canada. This project will develop an AI solution that optimizes product lines by generating a customized planogram for each location, delivering solutions to effectively merchandise each Canadian Tire store through the use of real-time data optimizing operations and increasing sales based on customer behaviour patterns.

James Ryan, Senior Vice President, Store Sales and Operations, Canadian Tire: "The assortments available in Canadian Tire stores are tailored to the needs of each community, and this project enables our Associate Dealers to further respond to dynamic local markets, seasonality, and store space. Through the use of artificial intelligence, we will use data to enhance our merchandising capabilities and, most importantly, our customers' shopping experience."

→ Transportation optimization

Partners: Kemira, Global Attributes

SCALE AI's investment: $1.1 million

Total investment: $2.3 million

Kemira is a global leader in sustainable chemical solutions for water-intensive industries. It provides best suited products and expertise to improve our customers' product quality, process and resource efficiency. Focus is on pulp & paper, water treatment and oil & gas. For Kemira's customers, timing is key, as each plant only has limited storage capacity and would need to shut down operations once this capacity is reached. The AI-based solution will use all available data to optimize the transportation through Mixed-Integer Programming.

Serge Hudon, Projects Manager, Innovation, Integration, Training, Kemira: "This project will focus on optimizing the transportation routes and minimizing the costs. AI allows the solution to select the optimal combination of routes after an exhaustive evaluation of all possible options, while considering a wide variety of factors, such as driving hours, material compatibility, opening hours and even construction, along the way."

→ Patient clinical care pathway optimization

Partners: MCI Onehealth Technologies Inc., Polyclinic, Altima Dental, Khure Health

SCALE AI's investment: $0.8 million

Total investment: $1.8 million

MCI OneHealth is one of the largest technology-enabled primary care networks in Canada, serving more than 850,000 patients each year, working closely with several other healthcare institutions and technology providers towards a data-driven vision of better care. This project will create an AI solution to optimize the patient care path between virtual, in-person and specialist visits.

Saleema Khimji, Chief Innovation Officer of MCI Onehealth: "When we take a holistic view of community practices and networks, we find a great deal of opportunity to improve the logistics of how the patient proceeds down their care path. With this solution, we seek to offer better care to our patients and champion a holistic model for more integrated, personalized and cost-efficient healthcare delivery."

About SCALE AI (scaleai.ca)

As Canada's AI supercluster, SCALE AI acts as an investment and innovation hub that accelerates the rapid adoption and integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and contributes to the development of a world-class Canadian AI ecosystem.

Based in Montreal, funded by the federal government and the Québec government, SCALE AI has nearly 120 industry partners, research institutes and other players in the AI field. It develops programs aimed at supporting investment projects of companies that implement real-world applications in AI, the emergence of future Canadian flagships in the sector, as well as the development of a skilled workforce.



View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2021/21/c8087.html