BCG supports disruptive AI consortium backed by Canadian government

13 March 2018 3 min. read

Global consulting firm BCG has announced it will support an AI consortium vying to boost digital growth in Canada. The SCALE.AI supply chain consortium is backed by the Government of Canada, as the nation hopes to expand its AI capacity and strengthen its position as a thought leader on the matter.

The Government of Canada selected AI-powered supply chain consortium SCALE.AI as one of five winning industry-led proposals in its Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The consortium’s success will see it benefit from Ottawa’s for the next five years, giving it access to a total investment pot of $950 million.

According to the Canadian Government, this represents a significant new opportunity for Canada to strengthen its leadership in AI, one of the country’s most promising technological capabilities. The country’s leadership also hopes that such investment will accelerate economic growth and job creation in highly innovative industries, while helping Canadian firms to position themselves as market leaders. The potential applications of AI are thought to effectively represent the next frontier for breakthroughs in supply chain productivity.

BCG supports disruptive AI consortium backed by Canadian government

Nearly 120 industrial partners, enabling organisations, and world-class research institutions have joined forces to create the innovation consortium under Canadian industry leadership. Altogether, partners have already committed a significant level of investment, to the tune of $700 million, in support of the initiative. Among the founding partners of the coalition is global consulting firm, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which has been at the forefront of the initiative on a pro-bono basis from the get-go.

BCG has been working to elevate the research and applications of AI for some time now, through BCG Gamma. According to the firm, BCG’s advanced analytics and data science practice has already demonstrated the potentially immense value that artificial intelligence can add to clients and their ecosystems, leaving the consultancy keen to pursue AI and machine-learning further.

BCG Canada

The firm holds numerous offices across Canada, including key locations in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. This has positioned the firm well to take on the leadership of the new SCALE.AI initiative in its formative stages, with Tristan Mallet, a Principal at BCG in Montreal now seconded to SCALE.AI, as its interim CEO.

Speaking about the initiative, Mallet said, “We want to bolster the competitive advantages of our industry leaders in retail, manufacturing, and logistics and transportation; strengthen Canada’s leadership in applied AI; and ultimately bring sustained economic impact to the country.”

Marc Gilbert, a Senior Partner at BCG in Montreal, added, “We are proud to have been a key driver in setting up one of the most promising engines for socioeconomic growth in Canada, which will undoubtedly have positive repercussions for our globally advantaged position in leveraging AI in all sectors.”

Canada has made the development of technology a key goal in recent months. Elsewhere, the Canada’s Federal Government has sought the help of rival consultancy Accenture to help the nation develop a new border security application. Upon the launch of its pilot, the digital programme will allow for ‘known travellers’ to pass between the borders of Canada and the Netherlands more quickly, using their mobile devices.