A cumulative $25 million has been invested into six Scale AI projects, combining contributions from the governments of Canada and Québec, as well as the private sector.
Scale AI, one of Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters, is providing $9.3 million out of the total $25 million investment, with the rest of the funding coming from industry partners.
Montréal-headquartered Plusgrade, which offers an ancillary revenue platform for the global travel sector, has received $5.2 million in this cohort. Working with Air Canada, Plusgrade plans to use artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to provide a suite of indicators, predictions, and recommendations aimed at boosting passenger engagement, reducing perishable inventory, and maximizing the value of offers and overall revenues of travel industry players.
Toronto-based FreshBooks, which provides an online accounting software for business owners and accountants, has secured $2.8 million to develop a proprietary health score that models financial metrics to include and reflect the risk in a small-to-medium-sized enterprise’s entire network.
In collaboration with the MISCAN Lab at McMaster University, Oligomaster, and BeneComm, FreshBooks said the project will develop predictive models around supply chain network risk to help users better understand their supply chain health through a single score.
With $4.8 million, Day & Ross is developing an AI-driven decision support tool with Deloitte, MoovAI, and others to help analysts segment customers more easily, provide insights on clients with similar attributes, and build contracted customer tariffs more effectively.
Projects that also secured funding in this group include initiatives led by Saint Elizabeth Health and Plotly ($6 million), Maritime Employers Association ($3.1 million), as well as Larus Technologies ($800,000).
Formed in 2018, Scale AI is a co-investment and collaborative hub with industrial investment matched by funding from the federal and Québec government. Additional financing for Scale AI is obtained from the private sector through membership fees and strategic partnerships.
As one of the country’s five Superclusters, recently rebranded to Global Innovation Clusters, Scale AI invests in Canadian businesses to develop next-generation supply chains and promote Canada’s leadership in applied AI.
The federal government allocated a $60 million top-up over two years to the Global Innovation Clusters as part of Budget 2021. In this year’s budget, the five-year-old program was extended with an additional $750 million over six years and rebranded to ‘Canada’s Global Innovation Clusters.”
By the end of fiscal year 2022 to 2023, Scale AI said its own investments paired with contributions from the private sector will exceed $500 million.
In August, D-Wave Systems, Coveo, and Canada Drives were among the 12 companies that received a cumulative $17.3 million funding from Scale AI for separate projects. Earlier this year, Scale AI also announced it was investing $24 million to support five AI projects in supply chain operations.
Other Global Innovation Clusters have also made recent investments with the additional capital.
Along with Scale AI, Canada’s other Global Innovation Clusters include the Ocean Supercluster, which announced a $1.1 million diversity hiring project for the ocean industries this month, and the Digital Supercluster, which recently announced a co-investment of $5.2 million into Kitchener-based healthtech startup Cloud DX to create a novel, remote patient monitoring system.
Canada also has two other Global Innovation Clusters: the Protein Industries and Advanced Manufacturing clusters.
Featured image courtesy Scale AI.