AI Innovation Investment will support economic growth

AI and Technology
Published On
April 15, 2024

The Liberal government announced a $2.4 billion investment in AI innovation in Canada. The investment was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a visit to a Montreal AI firm on April 7th.  

The funds will be allocated across different areas, with $2 billion to support a computing infrastructure fund and $200 million allocated for AI adoption in various sectors. In addition, $100 million will be invested in the NRC IRAP AI Assist Program to help small to medium-sized businesses scale up and increase productivity by building and deploying new AI solutions. Another $50 million will be allocated for workers impacted by AI for the Sectoral Workforce Solutions Program, which will provide new skills training for workers in sectors that are deploying AI. A $50 million fund for a Canadian AI safety institute and $5.1 million for an AI and Data Commissioner office will be established. 

A global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), the Edmonton region is home to the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) which is part of the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy and one of Canada’s three centers of AI excellence. Amii has 471 active researchers and teams and 43 Amii Fellows at universities across Western Canada. These federal investments in AI research, infrastructure, and regulation will help the Edmonton region continue to solidify its position as a hub for AI excellence, attracting talent and investment from around the globe. 

“Taking Canada’s AI competitive advantage for granted is not an option. We need to deepen our commitment to AI—a domain in which we are poised to lead, must lead, and will indeed lead. Today’s announcement is another step forward: investing in Canada’s AI community, laying down a framework for global excellence by fostering collaboration, pursuing diligent research, and ensuring responsible deployment. We look forward to working with our colleagues here in Alberta and across Canada to continue to grow Canada’s AI leadership,” Cam Linke, CEO—Amii.  

This injection of funds will spur growth and innovation across various industries that the Edmonton region is already competitive in, driving AI adoption in a number of traditional sectors. These sectors benefit from the tech talent pool in the region which is not only more abundant but also more affordable compared to other tech hubs in America. Because of its high-ranking post-secondary institutions and high quality of life, the region continues some of the brightest minds in AI and tech. Ranked 2nd in North America in AI research and a global leader in ML, the University of Alberta attracts students from around the world, ensuring a steady pipeline of skilled professionals. 

Much of this talent will be taking part in Amii’s Upper Bound next month,  an annual AI conference that dives into the application of AI across various sectors. The conference will include an impressive and knowledgeable speaker lineup and engaging discussions on AI. Learn more about Upper Bound here.

Alyssa Linford