Montréal-based artificial intelligence (AI) research institute Mila is partnering with AI Sweden, Sweden’s national centre for applied AI. The move is partly financed by Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova, though the amount was not disclosed.
Mila and AI Sweden joined forces in the fall when the latter took up space in Mila’s office. AI Sweden has placed staff at Mila, essentially giving it a physical presence in Montréal.
Mila has played an important role in helping to establish Montréal as a global hub for AI research and development. According to AI Sweden, this is what motivated the organization to partner with Mila.
Founded in 1993 by Université de Montréal professor Yoshua Bengio, Mila houses nearly 900 researchers who specialize in the field of machine learning. The AI research institute is the product of a partnership between the Université de Montréal and McGill University, closely linked with Polytechnique Montréal and HEC Montréal.
Bengio, who serves as Mila’s scientific director, said Sweden and Québec have “a lot” in common, adding that the partnership will allow Mila and AI Sweden to accelerate AI research and development in their respective communities.
Mila has actively pursued partnerships with a variety of different entities towards the goal of scaling AI research and application.
Most recently, Mila entered a three-year deal with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) to help businesses in the AI sector commercialize their offerings.
In 2020, Mila teamed up with IBM to integrate Mila’s open-source software, Oríon, with IBM’s Watson Machine Learning Accelerator, an AI model training and inference tool that the firm offers to businesses.
Other Montréal organizations have also recently entered partnerships to bolster the Canadian AI ecosystem.
Health-focused, Montréal-based Amplitude Ventures and Edmonton-based AltaML have penned what they call a “strategic alliance” in January to source investments as well as projects, as they look to fuel the development of more AI and biotech companies in the country.