Supply chain issues can play a significant role in impeding Canada’s growth in the global market. To help rectify these problems, the Government of Canada established the Scale AI Supercluster. This program gathers the collective power of numerous industries to further developments in supply chain AI. With assistance from the Scale AI Supercluster, Canadian businesses can take products and services to market quickly and elevate that nation’s status as a global leader.
What is the Scale AI Supercluster?
The primary objective of the Scale AI Supercluster is to transition artificial intelligence (AI) from labs into the field, where it can make a positive impact on the supply chain. A partnership of academic institutions, growing startups, research groups, and private organizations, the program provides funding opportunities and expertise on AI integration to businesses of all sizes. It also facilitates collaborative efforts across sectors that aim to bring creative solutions to supply chain challenges.
Since the Scale AI Supercluster began, investment in the program has been substantial. It has received approximately $230 million and $53 million in funding from the federal government and Quebec provincial government, respectively. Over the next six years, the program is expected to add over $16.5 billion to the Canadian GDP and create more than 16,000 job opportunities.
By supporting technological research and helping companies increase productivity, this type of funding for AI helps ensure Canada keeps up with the latest advancements. Additionally, the program helps enterprises scale up, strengthening the Canadian economy and enhancing global knowledge about emerging AI technologies.
How Does the Supercluster Resolve Supply Chain Issues?
The Scale AI Supercluster helps Canadian corporations and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) achieve AI adoption, create more effective supply chains, and boost the economy. Some of the most significant benefits of this program include:
Accelerated Growth of AI Startups
The Acceleration program of the Scale AI Supercluster funds the growth of Canadian AI SMEs and startup companies. Rather than finance these enterprises directly, it supports separate organizations that intend to scale up AI startups dedicated to enhancing the supply chain.
By encouraging the growth of AI startups, the Acceleration program prompts the adoption of digital intelligence in supply chain problem-solving across various industries. It drives the commercialization of AI-powered products and services used in supply-chain management. Additionally, the Scale AI Supercluster seeks to make both processes easier by compensating businesses up to 50% of costs for approved initiatives related to the adaptation or commercialization of supply chain AI.
Advanced Training Programs
While AI is integral to the supply chain, the industry still needs a skilled workforce to operate effectively. The Scale AI Supercluster funds artificial and digital intelligence training programs for thousands of individuals to ensure businesses have experienced workers.
The Supercluster’s workforce development program helps individuals and businesses obtain better digital intelligence training. Individuals receive funding to cover 50% of the registration fees for AI training courses at accredited teaching institutions, and companies receive grants to provide their teams with customized AI training programs. As the number of professionals with AI training grows, more creativity can infuse the supply chain industry.
COVID-19 Pandemic Response
The COVID-19 pandemic created new hurdles for supply chains, making 2020 the ideal time to incorporate AI into the industry. To help Canada withstand the public health emergency, the Scale AI Supercluster invested $15 million in 16 projects led by AI organizations researching solutions to the unique challenges COVID-19 presented.
From a supply chain perspective, the Supercluster helped advance the production of mRNA vaccines and personal protective equipment (PPE). The program also enhanced food supply chains, reducing food insecurity and waste and improving sanitation measures in warehouses. The goal of these developments is to help supply chains adapt quickly when other crises occur in the future.
Intellectual Property (IP) Protection
Every industry and business faces unique obstacles while setting up a supply chain. When companies find successful AI algorithms, they obtain knowledge and experience that becomes their IP. Organizations must know how to recognize and safeguard IP to retain a competitive advantage and scale up their business.
To help protect IP, the Scale AI Supercluster provides practical training that enables enterprises to implement IP strategy into everyday operations. The program works with businesses to ensure they have an adequate level of protection and delivers customized assistance to SMEs. It also provides a registry containing foreground IP for all projects, which participating organizations can use to gain leverage.
Fund Innovative AI Efforts with Easly
Since AI dwells within the technology sector, many businesses that participate in the Scale AI Supercluster are research and development (R&D) enterprises. If your business receives support from the Scale AI Supercluster for R&D activities, you may be eligible to receive additional funding from the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program. The Government provides tax refunds through this program to Canadian companies advancing technical or scientific knowledge through R&D.
At Easly, we finance these tax credits and provide Canadian organizations with on-demand and non-dilutive funding through our Capital-as-a-Service platform. Your enterprise can use this capital to boost support from the Scale AI Supercluster and other investors. Easly will also consider advancing your Scale AI Supercluster grants, allowing you to get a head start on your projects.
Speak with one of our experts today to learn more about how Easly can help boost your cash flow.