Canada: twelve new AI projects and $50M investment for SCALE AI

Canada: twelve new AI projects and $50M investment for SCALE AI

Canadian supercluster based in Montreal, SCALE AI acts as an investment and innovation hub to accelerate the adoption and rapid integration of AI in Canada. This Monday, August 22, it unveiled twelve new projects aimed at optimizing production and transportation through AI. With the goal of addressing critical challenges currently facing supply chains, including the impact of the pandemic, labor shortages, and environmental requirements, it will provide $50 million in unprecedented financial support.

Funded by the federal and Quebec governments, SCALE AI brings together the retail, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors to build smart supply chains. The supercluster has nearly 500 industrial partners, research institutions and other AI players with whom it develops programs to support investment projects by companies implementing concrete AI applications. It is one of the pillars of the pan-Canadian AI strategy, the second phase of which was launched by the Canadian government last June.

François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, said:

“Canada is home to more than 50 international AI research centers, nearly 1,000 AI startups and thousands of talented researchers, making it a global leader in artificial intelligence. Through our government’s investments in AI, we are making Canada’s economy healthier, more competitive and more resilient. The 12 projects announced today by SCALE AI are proof that Canadian companies are using artificial intelligence to compete on a global scale.”

The 12 new funded projects:

Improving Food Saver supply chains through AI-based demand forecasting

Partners: Save-On-Foods, D-Wave Systems, ThoughtsWin Systems, White Box Analytics, OpsGuru, Deloitte

SCALE AI investment: $2.8M, total investment: $7.2M.

An assessment of Save-On-Foods’ strategic opportunities identified two high-priority opportunities to improve customer service and operational efficiency: demand forecasting and online delivery scheduling. Utilizing the expertise of several service partners, Save-On-Foods will build and integrate multiple AI solutions to develop a demand forecasting model with the goal of ensuring the right products are in the right place at the right price for their customers. In addition, an optimized algorithm will automate e-commerce delivery scheduling to improve productivity and align with customer demand.

Chris Allen, vice president of information technology, Save-On-Foods, states:

“The retail grocery industry in Canada is highly competitive and Save-On-Foods is committed to providing an additional service to our customers in Western Canada and the Yukon. The AI project supports our efforts to improve the supply chain and ensure we have the right products at the right time for our customers.”

Blue Duck

Partners: Flybits, TD Bank, CEVA Freight Canada Corp, mimik, City University of Toronto

SCALE AI investment: $2M, total investment: $9.2M.

In response to the digital transformation of the financial services industry, Flybits, TD Bank Group, mimik and the City University of Toronto, in collaboration with a consortium of companies and institutions, are developing a data ecosystem and predictive solution to help companies in the supply chain today and in the future. disruptions and crises. By leveraging a unique privacy-preserving data access protocol as well as some advanced AI and machine learning-based inference capabilities, the program can help improve knowledge sharing and increase efficiency, revenue, and cost reductions for business ecosystems around financial institutions.

Hossein Rahnama, founder and CEO, Flybits, states:

“One of the biggest challenges of using data and AI to help create effective and sustainable business relationships is the availability, mobility and effective use of confidential data. This can be especially beneficial for companies working in supply chain and logistics, which have many interdependent relationships with suppliers, vendors and customers.”


Partners: Logibec, CHUM, Moov AI, Analog Research Chair

SCALE AI investment: $2.4M, total investment: $5.5M.

Logibec’s DAL-IA project (Artificial Intelligence for Management, Procurement and Logistics) aims to develop a solution to avoid stock-outs in hospitals by better forecasting the consumption of over 50,000 essential products. The solution will also provide availability forecasts for potentially late or incomplete orders. It will be integrated with Logibec’s existing material resource management solution, which is already used in more than 70% of Quebec’s healthcare institutions.

Anne Nguyen, Director of Products, Analytics and Innovation, Logibec, states:

“This project will move hospitals into a proactive mode of inventory and supply chain management using predictive technology. Artificial intelligence is a powerful tool for improving hospital performance, eliminating waste and achieving significant cost savings. These benefits will also translate into peace of mind for healthcare professionals who will know that the equipment to treat their patients will always be available in time, quantity and quality.”

AI for critical commodity exploration and development

Partners: Enersoft (GeologicAI), Kirkland Lake Gold, Casino Mining Corporation, Fireweed Zinc, Tech-X Resources, Yukon Geological Survey, Ontario Geological Survey

SCALE AI investment: $1.6M, total investment: $7.1M

The metals and minerals supply chain touches almost every industry sector, providing the physical inputs needed to manufacture countless goods and deliver most services. To meet future demand, mining companies must allocate and utilize scarce resources and equipment as efficiently as possible to find and develop new mineral resources, which are essential to the global energy transition. This requires a detailed geological understanding of the mineral deposits at new sites that can be supported by AI.

Yannai Segal, Chief Strategy Officer, Enersoft, states:

“This project will bring together Calgary-based technology SME Enersoft, also known as GelogicAI, and four mining companies in collaboration with relevant government agencies to develop machine learning models that use new multi-sensor rock analysis data to enable faster, more accurate and cost-effective analysis of the sample core. The project also has the potential to create a significant number of direct jobs with additional continuing education opportunities.”

Forecasting, inventory optimization and rental asset behavior

Partners: Simplex Tool Rental, Mind in a Box, CGI, Maya HTT, Mathieu Equipment, Construction Bugère

SCALE AI investment: $1.3M, total investment: $2.7M

Simplex specializes in the rental of tools and equipment in various sectors such as construction, industrial, manufacturing, government, events and cinema. The project aims to maximize supply by optimizing inventory and transportation planning. It focuses on two critical parts of the Simplex supply chain: inventory, by predicting availability and required shipment, and transportation, by estimating the probability of success for each pickup, delivery or transfer in a queue.

Euclide Véronneau, CEO of Simplex Tool Rental, states:

“With this solution, our customers, from all walks of life, will benefit from increased access to a more relevant product inventory, as well as a simplified and faster program. Leveraging the expertise and integrated Equipment-as-a-Service (EaaS) solutions of our partner Mind in a Box, this new collaboration fits perfectly with the acceleration of our customer experience-centric digital transformation that began in June 2020.”

Project Galactic

Partners: Ravel le CF, Coveo Solutions Inc, Gensquared Inc, Konrad Group Inc, Matt and Nat SE, The Silver Mountain LTD, QE Home | Quilts Etc, Ann-Louise Jewelers Ltd.

SCALE IA investment: $1.2M, total investment: $5.3M.

The rapid growth of e-commerce has led to digital transformations and supply chain implications for all retailers. Customers expect complete visibility and access to a retailer’s inventory, regardless of channel or location. To meet these expectations, CF’s Ravel innovation team developed an application that aggregates, standardizes and recommends millions of consumer products from hundreds of Canadian retailers in 18 Cadillac Fairview shopping centers. The Galactic project builds on a previously funded AI project to improve search, the most important way to connect shoppers and retailers.

Laura Manes, senior vice president of innovation, Ravel le CF, explains:

“The project supports the development of an innovative shopping tool to help Canadian retailers show consumers their full product offering and in-store availability in real time in a personalized and easy-to-use way. use the means of knowing how to use an app. This functionality should help consumers more easily find the products they are looking for. In turn, the data generated from these interactions will help retailers measure product demand and drive customer conversion in-store and online, as well as make better inventory management decisions.”

Apollo AI

Partners: Ray-Mont Logistics International, Volume Freight, IVADO Labs, Faimdata

SCALE AI investment: $1.2M, total investment: $2.5M.

Ray-Mont Logistics is a key link in the North American international and domestic supply chain, and relies on AI to optimize operations at its transshipment terminal. The Apollo.AI project will improve its decision support systems by recommending quotes to customers based on transportation and transshipment capacity and cost forecasts. Every day, Ray-Mont assists dozens of major exporters and importers across North America and fulfills orders for many customers that involve complex routing plans and multi-modal transportation. The AI-based decision support system will enable better customer service and more accurate order fulfillment estimation.

Luke Mireault, director of innovation, Ray-Mont Logistics, assures:

“This dynamic freight pricing and routing system will improve supply chain flexibility while leveraging Ray-Mont’s unloading, rail, ocean line and ground capabilities. As a result, the company’s customers and sales teams will benefit from reduced lead times and greater flexibility.”

Supply Chain Optimization Platform

Partners: Adastra, Taiga Building Products, Standard Building Supplies

SCALE IA investment: $1.1 million, total investment: $2.8 million.

The building materials distribution supply chain is fragmented and involves manual business processes that rely heavily on human capital. The overall goal of this initiative is to use readily available data in disparate systems and leverage advanced AI techniques to solve three of the most pressing bottlenecks in the building materials supply chain: accurate demand forecasting, truck load optimization, and warehouse optimization.

Darren Edery, CEO of Adastra, states:

“Using AI to enable data-driven decisions on critical aspects of Taiga’s supply chain will have a direct impact on consumers: lower inventory, lower costs, and greater product variety. Standard Building Supplies, one of Taiga’s retail customers, will participate in the project and provide real-time data that will complement Taiga’s just-in-time inventory model to create a tangible impact on the entire building materials supply chain.”

Self-learning channel optimization

Partners: Routific Solutions, Flashbox, Fleuriste

SCALE AI investment: $1M, total investment: $2.4M.

Routific Solutions is a route optimization and delivery management platform for small and medium-sized delivery companies, currently working with over 1,300 customers worldwide. The company is developing new machine learning algorithms to predict better arrival time estimates, using historical traffic data that takes into account day of the week and time of day when optimizing routes. By incorporating traffic characteristics and driver behavior, this solution will more accurately estimate travel times, thereby increasing delivery efficiency.

Marc Kuo, founder and CEO, Routific Solutions, explains:

“Algorithm-based routes increase profits by making more stops per route, without adding new drivers. With the new features we plan to integrate into our machine learning solution, Routific’s customers, most of whom are small and medium-sized delivery companies, will experience positive benefits that will increase their drivers’ efficiency, as well as their competitiveness and growth.”

Supply chain knowledge and optimization

Partners: AMG Medical, KPI Digital, Alpine Pacific Agencies, GDK Marketing Inc.

SCALE AI investment: $1M, total investment: $2.3M.

AMG Medical Inc. manufactures and distributes home care and professional medical products throughout North America. In response to growing consumer demand, the goal of this AI project is to improve buying and selling decisions in AMG’s supply chain. The proposed solution integrates with AMG’s existing technology solutions to provide better information to the organization’s leaders.

Janick Coulombe, vice president of finance and administration, AMG Medical, states:

“As a Quebec-based manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment, we are proud to modernize our technology throughout our supply chain. In addition to the expected improvement in AMG’s business performance, it will also improve coordination with distributors, as we do with the two organizations involved in the project as well as with other suppliers.”

AI-driven vehicle operations suite

Partners: Canada Drives, Canada Black Book, Infostrux Solutions, UBC Saauder Business School, ProCogia.

SCALE AI investment: $0.9M, total investment: $2.2M.

Through a combination of technology and customer service, Canada Drives enables consumers to store, buy, finance and sell vehicles entirely online. To deliver this value and convenience, Canada Drives must forecast market prices and reconditioning costs to provide accurate and fair pricing to sellers and buyers and optimize its supply chain. Canada Drives will use SCALE AI funding to gain insights in the form of data and machine learning models, fund the development of consumer-focused solutions, and deepen its relationships with ecosystem partners.

Andrew Hall, VP of data and analytics, Canada Drives, assures:

“We provide a service that offers consumers the easiest way to buy or sell a car, often the second most important financial decision, with a fast, seamless and fun experience. By launching this project, we are increasing our ability to provide the best supply for rapidly changing demand, at the right price, in a unique approach that combines our expertise with the best of AI technology.”

A machine learning

tool for procurement policies
Partners: Logistik Unicorp, Inmind Technologies (Mind in a Box solutions), SimWell, City of Montreal, Dristex, Polytechnique Montreal

SCALE AI investment: $0.7M, total investment: $1.5M.

Logistik Unicorp is a leader in the integrated management of some of the world’s most customized uniform programs. Logistik Unicorp employs over 650,000 people worldwide in a variety of government and large corporate organizations. Logistik manages more than 250,000 Storage Units (SUs) with 90% of the volume characterized by variable and intermittent demand.

Such a business model makes demand forecasting, and thus optimizing production flow, inventory management and on-time delivery of complete orders, a constant challenge. In order to eliminate stock-outs while maximizing item turns, this AI project, based on anticipated demand, will integrate a predictive and automated model with the purchasing management system.

Karine Bibeau, vice president of customer experience, Logistik Unicorp, states:

“This artificial intelligence project will have a positive impact on all our customers and will revolutionize our supply chain! All of our manufacturing partners, over 436 Canadian suppliers, will see significant benefits that will allow them to maximize their efficiency and foster their growth.”

Translated from Canada : douze nouveaux projets d’IA et 50 M$ d’investissement pour SCALE AI

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