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Showcasing Alberta’s AI advantage

Provincial Press Release September 18, 2020 @ 10:15 AM published at 10:29 AM

Alberta’s government is supporting artificial intelligence and machine learning, with $9 million in funding for the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii).

The funding includes $4 million from Alberta Innovates and $5 million through the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system, and will allow Amii to continue its world-class research and accelerated commercialization of new technologies. Amii will also help Alberta companies use artificial intelligence and machine learning to find and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy and agriculture sectors.

Through the government’s Investment and Growth Strategy, developing Alberta’s technology sector has been identified as a top priority as it will make way for investment and innovation in other industries, including agriculture, aviation, health sciences and energy.

“Alberta is already a world leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning, which creates a strong foundation for our province moving forward. Rest assured your government is here to make sure that Alberta attracts high-growth technology and innovation companies that will diversify our economy and create jobs for today and for the future.” Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation

“The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute at the University of Alberta is in the top five in the world for artificial intelligence research facilities, and works with technology leaders like Google, IBM and Microsoft. Our investment demonstrates that Alberta’s government recognizes the important role that Amii and the University of Alberta plays in creating a stronger economy.” Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“For Alberta to reach its full economic potential, we need a strong technology sector with players like Amii, who are at the heart of the artificial intelligence expertise in Alberta. Alberta’s government is taking action to ensure that we are a destination of choice for more innovators and inventors like Amii, where they can develop their ideas into companies and create good-paying jobs.” Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta

Alberta’s government and Alberta Innovates have been longtime supporters of Amii and its world-class work, such as their recent work with OKAKI, a Calgary-based health technology company working to predict and prevent opioid overdoses.  

Thanks to its innovative and leading-edge approach, Amii has also been able to attract research funding through the private sector, Western Economic Diversification, and $25 million over five years from the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.  

“Amii exists in large part thanks to crucial investments made by the Government of Alberta, CIFAR and Alberta Innovates – and our partnership with the University of Alberta. With renewed funding, we’re able to continue our trajectory of long-established excellence in AI and machine learning and leverage scientific advancement to speed industry adoption, job creation and innovation for Alberta’s most forward-thinking organizations.” Cam Linke, CEO, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute

“A century ago, Albertans could never have imagined how innovations like oil sands SAGD technology would yield billions of dollars of economic wealth to the province. The government’s support of technology – including artificial intelligence – has that same potential to bring new jobs, businesses and wealth to Alberta in today’s $16 trillion global artificial intelligence market.” Laura Kilcrease, CEO, Alberta Innovates

“Today’s funding announcement for Amii will unlock tremendous opportunity across our province. Alberta is a global powerhouse in energy, agriculture, life sciences, and manufacturing – we’re also home to the University of Alberta, ranked third in the world for AI research. That combination makes us unique – globally! As a direct result of the province’s funding, Amii will not only drive results for existing businesses, it will be incredibly powerful in attracting the international investment community. This is outstanding news.” Malcolm Bruce, CEO, Edmonton Global

“These investments in Amii will be key to ensuring Alberta is poised for success. We have incredible potential to diversify the economy, create jobs and strengthen our communities by building on our world-class artificial intelligence and machine learning expertise.” Janet M. Riopel, president and CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

The Investment and Growth Strategy is part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan – an ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs, now. By building schools, roads, and other core infrastructure, we are benefiting our communities by putting Albertans back to work. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for economic growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the COVID-19 curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow back our businesses, and thrive as a province.

Quick facts

  • Amii is an Alberta-based non-profit institute that supports world-leading research in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and is one of Canada’s three centres of AI excellence.

  • Amii’s mission is to make artificial intelligence and machine learning the primary drivers of economic growth for Alberta – through great research, advisement and education.

  • Alberta’s government is developing sector-specific strategies for diversification that will build off the province’s existing technology and innovation strengths. These include:

  • Agriculture and forestry

  • Aviation, aerospace, and logistics

  • Culture and creative industries

  • Energy

  • Financial services and fintech

  • Technology and innovation

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