Amii secures $3 million from PrairiesCan to fuel AI adoption in the Prairies

Alberta AI hub aims to give SMBs tools and knowledge to leverage AI.

Through Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), the federal government is investing more than $3 million CAD into an Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) project.

This funding will help Amii support up to 30 Prairie-based SMBs in the next three years. 

Amii plans to use this funding to help small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba adopt artificial intelligence (AI).

According to Amii, the PrairiesCan investment will allow the Edmonton-based AI research and development (R&D) hub to provide tailored support to up to 30 Prairie-based SMBs over the next three years. 

In a statement, Amii CEO Cam Linke called the investment “a significant step towards driving innovation and growth in the Prairie provinces,” adding that it will help Amii provide SMBs “with the tools and knowledge they need to leverage AI effectively [and] compete in an evolving market.”

AI has been a focus for the Government of Canada recently. In April, the feds committed $2.4 billion towards AI computing power, startups, and safety through Budget 2024 to help “maintain Canada’s competitive edge” in AI and boost AI adoption among SMBs.

Minister of Northern Affairs Dan Vandal, who is responsible for PrairiesCan, said in a statement of his own that the funding will help Prairie-based companies access the talent and expertise they need to integrate AI into their businesses.

RELATED: Google Canada provides $2.7 million in research grants to major Canadian AI institutes CIFAR, Amii, CEIMIA

For Amii, it comes shortly after the AI hub secured grant funding from Google Canada to support research into sustainability and responsible AI development.

Amii is a non-profit institute focused on the fields of AI and machine learning—which together make up machine intelligence. Created in 2002 as a joint effort between the Government of Alberta and the University of Alberta, Amii supports machine intelligence research and helps translate scientific advancements to industry. 

The AI R&D hub is now one of Canada’s three federally-backed centres of AI excellence under the Pan-Canadian AI strategy, alongside Toronto’s Vector Institute and Montréal’s Mila.

Feature image courtesy Amii.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

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

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