http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/technology/canadian-ai-accelerator-joins-supply-chain-supercluster/article/515078

Canadian AI accelerator joins supply chain 'supercluster'

Posted Feb 16, 2018 by James Walker
NEXT Canada is joining the SCALE.AI Supply Chain Supercluster. SCALE.AI is a consortium aiming to develop a global supply chain platform based on artificial intelligence and emerging technologies. It was launched by the federal government last year.
File photo: At a Social Media meeting.
File photo: At a Social Media meeting.
Digital Journal
Announced in a press release this week, the addition of Ontario-based AI accelerator NEXT Canada to SCALE.AI will improve the organisation's ability to create its ambitious AI-powered supply chain. The project is one of several Canadian AI "superclusters" using the technology to develop new global solutions.
Ontario-based NEXT Canada already operates NextAI, an AI accelerator that's located in Toronto. As a partner of Montreal-based SCALE.AI, it will operate from a physical presence in Quebec for the first time. NEXT Canada will also launch its existing NextAI accelerator in Montreal, described as a "launching point" for a wider expansion of the successful initiative.
SCALE.AI's aim is to develop an industry-led global supply chain platform that uses AI and other technologies to foster innovation and collaboration. Currently operated as a partnership between the Canadian government and prominent AI industry members, the project aims to transform the supply chain to enable an expansion of economic growth. This will help businesses take advantage of disruptive technologies while expanding Canada's lead in AI and data science.
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The consortium is currently made of over 120 organisations, including large enterprises and new startups. Over $700m has been raised in funding to develop the foundational technologies needed for an AI-powered supply chain. Work is currently focused on three verticals, targeting businesses in the retail, manufacturing and infrastructure sectors.
"By harnessing Canada's preeminent research capabilities and sizeable talent pool, SCALE.AI and NEXT Canada will work together to fuel economic growth and increase the health and vitality of communities across the country," said Sheldon Levy, CEO of NEXT Canada. "NEXT Canada is thrilled to strengthen our footprint in Quebec and deliver our programming in Montreal, one of the global hotbeds for artificial intelligence."
NEXT Canada is now beginning an expansion of its wider AI projects as it heads to Montreal with SCALE.AI. It's preparing to launch details on its NextAI Montreal program "in the coming weeks," targeting early-stage AI startups looking to accelerate the development of their business. Previous NextAI ventures include energy tech company Unsist, food demand forecasting service Deepnify and talent acquisition provider Karen.ai