December 1, 2020
British Columbia has one of the largest artificial intelligence (AI) hubs in Canada. Our AI companies are continuing to grow, with 40% of them looking to expand outside of North America for a primary market. Established international technology companies like Amazon, Fujitsu and Tableau are also turning to B.C. to grow their AI capacity and they are helping to enhance the province’s reputation as a hub of digital technology and innovation.
The Government of British Columbia offers a range of initiatives to support the AI sector, including the $100 million BC Tech Fund, which provides early-stage capital to emerging tech companies, including D-Wave, the world’s first commercial supplier of quantum computers. The Canadian government is also investing in AI with the federal Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, the world’s first national AI strategy, which aims to help the sector flourish with $125 million in funding.
Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster collaborates between the private and public sectors on data-driven innovation in big data collection, analytics and visualization. One of the earlier projects involved using AI-powered medical imaging software to fast-track diagnoses and expedite care for patients with skin cancer. A similar partnership between business and academic leaders in British Columbia formed The Artificial Intelligence network of British Columbia. Its goal is to unify AI communities and to establish B.C. as a national and global AI leader by 2022. The network runs a variety of programs such as Athena Pathways, which aims to help women forge paths into an AI or a data science career.
Vancouver-based EPIC Semiconductors has developed a microscopic AI sensor chip called Smart Dust for energy harvesting, eliminating the use of batteries and bidirectional non-magnetic wireless communication. Its miniscule size means it can be embedded in many everyday objects.
B.C. based company, Quantum Data Technologies, specializes in machine learning and AI. Its technology is used in fintech for trade and risk analytics to help enterprises optimize speed, efficiency, tracking and performance. Another Canadian company with ties to Vancouver, Finn AI, leverages AI and banking expertise to create an AI-powered chatbot to boost banks’ and credit unions’ self-service capacity.
In September 2020, Trade and Invest B.C. was the official virtual roundtable partner for the NASSCOM Xperience AI Summit. Our trade and investment representative participated in insightful discussions with AI thought leaders in the India market.
British Columbia is one of the world’s most multicultural, safe and dynamic places to live and do business. AI companies are attracted to our exceptional talent pool, business-friendly environment, supportive government programs and the cutting-edge research generated by its universities and research labs. To follow what is happening in the British Columbia tech sector, be sure to connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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