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Supporting Canada's Superclusters

AI Technology Is Improving Supply Chains and Fostering Economic Growth

Cargo ship at the dock
Sponsored by:
Cargo ship at the dock
Sponsored by:
Julien Billot_Scale AI

Julien Billot

CEO, Scale AI

Scale AI, Canada’s AI Global Innovation Cluster, empowers industries to optimize their performance, strengthen their competitive advantage and create business opportunities by leveraging AI technologies.


Canada has invested in advanced AI research for decades and is excelling at producing talents in AI. Now’s the time to commercialize the breakthroughs, pushing boundaries and redefining what is possible with AI in the supply chain.

As the central pillar of Canada’s AI ecosystem, Scale AI facilitates the adoption of AI technologies to tackle some of our industries’ biggest challenges while creating meaningful advancements and reinforcing the backbone of Canada’s economic growth.

At Scale AI, key focuses include:

  • Creating productivity gains across industries with AI-powered optimizations.
  • Generating intellectual property (IP) and new business opportunities for Canada.
  • Strengthening Canadian supply chains through innovation and AI integration in products and services.
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Driving concrete industry investments to accelerate economic growth

“The goal of Scale AI is twofold,” says Julien Billot, CEO of Scale AI. “First, we facilitate the adoption and integration of AI in companies’ operations, and second, we support the development of new AI-powered products and services.”

As a business-led consortium, Scale AI was created to drive economic growth, but also to bolster Canada’s AI leadership in the global innovation race, support the building of world-class AI businesses and create highly skilled jobs.

Thanks to the government’s contribution, this cluster supports concrete projects and generates industry investments of almost two dollars for every dollar invested by the cluster.

Scale AI supports concrete projects and generates industry investments of almost two dollars for every dollar invested by the cluster.

Fostering unique partnerships to maximize economic opportunities

Scale AI connects and strengthens collaboration among businesses, research centres, universities, and other supporting organizations, as well as experts from all regions of the country. “We are creating unique opportunities for collaboration; it is a fundamental part of every project we fund. Without collaboration, there’s no value creation, knowledge sharing, or IP creation for Canada.” says Billot.

By enabling partnerships and leveraging the power of collaboration, Scale AI encourages companies to build capabilities faster and more effectively than they would be able to achieve on their own.

Canada’s AI global innovation cluster is breaking down silos across industries and driving meaningful change. It’s proud to work with mostly SMEs — Billot notes that “over 69 per cent of project participants are SMEs, which is very important because we don’t want AI to be exclusive to big businesses”.

Scale AI’s inclusive approach benefits all parties including Canadian startups that act to accelerate AI innovation. To date, the organization has funded over 100 industry projects and more than 200 startups in 30 accelerators and incubators across the country.

Scale AI infographic

Working together to make our industries smarter

“We’ve been able to empower organizations across multiple industries and verticals: manufacturing and transportation but also retail, mining, agriculture, energy and health care,” says Billot.

As an example, the second-largest port in Canada, Port of Montreal has led multiple AI projects over the years to establish itself as a leader in the field of smart ports. This intermodal hub handles all types of goods: containerized and non-containerized cargo, liquid bulk, and dry bulk. The Port of Montreal worked with Scale AI to build a smart port that would navigate the movement of containers through a network driven by a complex web of information exchanges between numerous stakeholders. This was important for prioritizing critical shipments during the pandemic, for example. The Maritime Employers Association also worked jointly with Montreal-based startup Airudi to develop an AI solution to predict how many people would be needed to staff the port on any given day based on ships coming in, timing, availability of equipment and expertise required.

Scale AI has also financed an AI project with Toronto-based retail leader Canadian Tire to optimize product placement based on specific constraints and elements, such as responding to local market needs, seasonality, store space, inventory supply, and desired assortment, all in an effort to improve the customer shopping experience.

In the manufacturing sector, Scale AI has supported Kruger Products to further propel its market position on premium tissue & towel products in North America. Using real-time data, the AI Digital Twin project recreates the new Sherbrooke plant’s entire supply chain virtually, adding an integrated set of predictive and prescriptive AI capabilities.

Accelerating commercial AI solutions

Alongside industry and commercialization projects, Scale AI is also supporting software companies in creating new layers of AI for future
applications.

“For example, we’re helping software developers like Montreal-based AlayaCare to improve its suite of products to change the healthcare services sector and give them the ability to sell their solutions globally,” says Billot. “We also support the quality control solution developed by Toronto-based CrossWing to facilitate predictive maintenance through computer vision.”

Best of all, Scale AI is building a strong AI ecosystem that will continue to develop and leverage this critical technology for the future. Creating optimized supply chains involves reshaping business models, enhancing decision-making and elevating workforce performance. Unleashing improved processes and better efficiencies can all be achieved by harnessing and amplifying the power of AI.

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