Alberta allocates $30 million to AI as part of new innovation strategy

Edmonton
Amount part of $73 million total promised to provincial tech plan in 2022 budget.

The Government of Alberta has earmarked $30 million CAD over the next three years towards artificial intelligence (AI).

Through this funding, Alberta intends to support AI research and development in the province, calling advancing AI “a key objective” of its new innovation strategy.

The province called advancing AI “a key objective” of its new innovation strategy.

This $30 million for AI is part of the larger $73 million CAD amount that Alberta committed to the Alberta Technology and Innovation Strategy (ATIS)—a new plan to bolster the province’s tech sector and diversify its energy-reliant economy—over three years, in its 2022 budget.

With ATIS, which Alberta unveiled earlier this month, the provincial government aims to turn Alberta into an internationally-recognized tech hub with leadership in areas like AI and quantum science.

“Alberta is home to some of the best and brightest talent, world-class post-secondary institutions and one of Canada’s three centres of AI excellence,” said Doug Schweitzer, Alberta’s minister of jobs, economy, and innovation. “We have what it takes to continue to accelerate artificial intelligence and commercialize solutions that can be applied to key sectors of our economy including health care, smart agriculture, clean energy, manufacturing and more.”

A Government of Alberta spokesperson told BetaKit that the province plans to share more details on how exactly this $30 million will be spent and announce specific initiatives in the near future.

As part of ATIS, Alberta stated plans to establish a new public sector AI lab. The Alberta government said it will serve as the anchor tenant of this lab, which will develop talent, produce new AI solutions for the government, and help create commercialization opportunities for innovators.

RELATED: Alberta launches new innovation strategy focused on attracting tech talent, capital

When the Government of Alberta first revealed ATIS, it promised to share more information regarding how the $73 million total will be allocated “in the coming months as initiatives are finalized.” The province has yet to share how the remaining $43 million will be allocated.

Through ATIS, Alberta hopes to create 20,000 new jobs in the province and help Alberta tech companies generate $5 billion more in annual revenue by 2030. To achieve these goals, the province plans to focus on five “key” pillars: expanding its tech talent pool, attracting more capital, commercialization support, optimizing Alberta’s innovation ecosystem, and promoting itself as a tech destination to the rest of the world.

“Alberta has a strong legacy of leveraging our assets to drive our economy and today’s announcement recognizes that we have the opportunity to do the same as a globally recognized leader in AI,” said AtlaML co-founder and co-CEO Cory Janssen.

Alberta is home to a growing AI ecosystem that includes support organization Amii—one of Canada’s three centres for AI excellence (alongside the Vector Institute and Mila)—and companies like AltaML, Attabotics, Samdesk, and PainWorth.

Feature image from Wikimedia Commons.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling and breaking Canadian tech and innovation stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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