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Canada is Increasingly a Global Hub for AI Foreign Investment: New ICTC Study

By 5 August 2020 No Comments

Ottawa, August 5, 2020—Canada is considered an attractive destination for Artificial Intelligence (AI) investment by some of the world’s top business leaders because of its highly skilled talent base, strong AI-education offerings, and an immigration policy that attracts skilled mid- and senior-level AI talent for critical roles.

A new ICTC study, Betting on Red and White: International Investment in Canadian AI, examines Canada’s opportunities for leveraging these strengths in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to attract high-quality foreign direct investment (FDI), supported by primary research.

Most of the international industry experts interviewed for this study were aware of the vigorous AI developments in Canada’s major regional AI hubs. Toronto’s Vector Institute, Montreal’s Mila, and Edmonton’s Amii were identified as critical bodies in supporting Canada’s AI ecosystem growth and ability to attract top AI researchers and FDI.

Cited stumbling blocks to FDI attraction included Canada’s slow AI regulatory practices, unclear regulations, and AI business scale-up challenges.

Betting on Red and White: International Investment in Canadian AI also assesses recent domestic and international AI developments and explores AI applications across sectors such as digital technology, agriculture, and life sciences. Key informant interviews with industry leaders from over eight countries and seven sector verticals provide insight on core business needs filled by AI and the country’s desirability as a destination for AI-based investment.

The study also explores the following:

· Canadian AI research and commercialization;

· Opportunities and barriers to continued AI expansion;

· A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis of Canada’s AI-based FDI-attraction strategy

“There has never been a better time to unlock the full potential of AI applications across all industry verticals. Asserting Canada’s leadership in this space will reap strong economic gains at a time when this technology is seen as a critical enabler for advancing the course of industrialization around the world,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO.

(This study does not directly take into consideration the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.) Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with a vast network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.

For media inquiries or further information about Betting on Red and White: International Investment in Canadian AI, please contact Paul Stastny at [email protected] or 403.351.0138 Ext. 823.

This study was funded by Invest in Canada.

A copy of the study can be accessed here.

A French-language version of this press release is available here.