Where Investment Thrives

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Industry Profile

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Alberta is a world leader in artificial intelligence and machine learning research and development.

In recent years, Alberta’s AI ecosystem has seen an incredible upswing in growth with the attraction of various research labs and an increased number of AI startups. Alberta is home to 1 of 3 Canadian AI hubs, which includes numerous artificial intelligence startups, research labs/institutes, accelerators/incubators, and investor organizations.

Alberta's Strengths

DeepMind

Google DeepMind

  • In 2017, Google DeepMind, a world leader in artificial intelligence research owned by Alphabet Inc., opened its first-ever international AI research office in Alberta.
  • DeepMind is best known for developing AlphaGo, software that has beaten the world’s best players at the strategy game Go.

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Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii)

  • The Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii), affiliated with the University of Alberta, is ranked in the top five in the world for artificial intelligence and machine learning (source: CSRankings Computer Science Rankings).
  • A number of companies including Google Brain, Google Research, Microsoft Research, IBM Research, and Volkswagen Data Lab conduct collaborative research through Amii.
  • The Royal Bank of Canada and Mitsubishi Electric have also opened new research labs in Alberta in order to partner with research institutes such as Amii.
  • Alberta is home to a number of world-class researchers in artificial intelligence including Amii fellow Dr. Richard S. Sutton (http://incompleteideas.net/), the pioneer of Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) and author of the textbook Deep Reinforcement Learning.

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Strong Post-Secondary and Research Capabilities

  • Along with Amii, advanced research and development in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning is also conducted at the University of Calgary across a number of sectors.
  • The University of Calgary developed MyHEAT, which uses urban thermal remote sensing technology to detect heat loss in homes and won the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) grant prize for global climate change solutions.

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Demonstrated Government Support

  • Alberta is part of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, a $125 million strategy funded by the Government of Canada to advance and grow Canada’s AI ecosystem.
  • In the last 15 years, Alberta has invested over $40 million towards artificial intelligence and machine learning within the province (source: Alberta Advanced Education).

AI News

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Business Support Programs - Government of Alberta

Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC) - https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-investor-tax-credit.aspx
AITC is a tax credit for encouraging investment in non-traditional sectors with strong job-creation potential.

Alberta Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit Program - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/scientific-research-experimental-development-tax-incentive-program.html
A tax credit for businesses conducting R&D leading to new, improved, or technologically advanced products or processes.

Alberta Innovates Funding Programs - https://albertainnovates.ca/funding/
Funding programs for Alberta businesses doing research and development in a variety of sectors.

Research Capacity Program - https://www.alberta.ca/research-capacity-program.aspx
The RCP funding program supports post-secondary institutions in acquiring small equipment and large research infrastructure.

Alberta Export Support Fund - https://www.alberta.ca/export-support-fund.aspx
The Export Support Fund reimburses up to 50% of costs on approved export activities for Alberta’s small and medium sized enterprises.

Cybera Rapid Access Cloud - https://www.cybera.ca/services/rapid-access-cloud/
Cybera officers free cloud computing resources to Alberta-based academics, researcher, non-profits and SMEs.

Business Support Programs - Government of Canada

Industrial Research Assistance Program - https://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/eng/irap/
IRAP provides innovation and funding services to accelerate business growth through innovation and technology.

Strategic Innovation Fund - Federal - https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/programs/strategic-innovation-fund.html
This program allocates repayable and non-repayable contributions to firms of all sizes across all of Canada's industrial and technology sectors.

Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit - https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/scientific-research-experimental-development-tax-incentive-program.html
SR&ED is a federal tax incentive program designed to encourage Canadian businesses of all sizes and in all sectors to conduct research and development in Canada.

CanExport - http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/funding-financement/canexport/index.aspx?lang=eng
CanExport provides financial support to SMEs for development of new export opportunities.

Canadian Technology Accelerators - http://www.international.gc.ca/trade-commerce/cta-atc/index.aspx?lang=eng
This Government of Canada initiative helps Canadian companies with an existing technology, product or service explore opportunities in foreign markets.

Support Organizations

University of Calgary Department of Computer Science Research Areas - https://www.ucalgary.ca/cpsc/research/research_areas
UofC computer science research areas include data science and visual computing, information security and systems, mathematical foundations of computing, and people centric computing.

Reinforcement Learning and Artificial Intelligence Group - http://spaces.facsci.ualberta.ca/rlai/
The RLAC research program at the University of Alberta uses reinforcement learning to research artificial intelligence and engineering problems.

Bionic Limbs for Improved Natural Control (BLINC) - https://blinclab.ca/
An interdisciplinary lab where medical, science, and engineering researchers collaborate to improve the control and performance of robotic prostheses.

Alberta Innovates - https://albertainnovates.ca/
Alberta Innovates is a catalyst for innovation. Innovators, businesses and researchers can easily tap into our collective assets – cross sectoral knowledge and expertise, funding, networks and research facilities.

TEC Edmonton - https://www.tecedmonton.com/
TEC Edmonton helps to accelerate the growth of emerging technology-based companies in Edmonton.

Calgary Technologies Inc. - https://www.calgarytechnologies.com/
CTI helps accelerate the impact of innovation-driven ventures by providing access to space, programs, mentorship and capital.

Alberta Business Incubators - https://www.agric.gov.ab.ca/app68/biia?cat1=type&cat2=Mixed-use
A list of business incubators in Alberta for a variety of industries.

Accelerate Fund - https://www.acceleratefund.ca/
The Accelerate Fund supports early-stage Alberta technology companies with a venture capital fund that matches angel investment.

Edmonton Research Park - http://www.edmontonresearchpark.com/
ERP provides access for startups and growing companies to workspace, programs, and research communities. They also make land available to companies building research facilities in biotechnology, nanotechnology, clean energy and oil and gas support.

Startup Edmonton - http://www.startupedmonton.com/
Startup Edmonton supports local entrepreneurs through the provision of mentorship, programs, co-working space and community events.

Startup Calgary - https://www.startupcalgary.ca/
Startup Calgary provides a variety of events and programs for entrepreneurs in the startup phase.

Edmonton Economic Development - http://www.eedc.ca/
EED supports economic development in the city of Edmonton.

Calgary Economic Development - https://www.calgaryeconomicdevelopment.com/
CED supports economic development in the city of Calgary.

Online Directories

Connectica - https://www.connectica.ca/i3/
A directory of funding, programs, and services for Alberta innovators.

Business Link - http://businesslink.ca/service-provider-directory
A directory of service providers for Alberta businesses.

Innovate Canada - https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/scr/innovation/list-liste/a38d3341e44c4327
The Government of Canada’s directory of business support programs.

Start Alberta - https://startalberta.com/
Start Alberta provides a database of companies, investors, and organizations in Alberta.

Alberta Innovators Ecosystem - http://albertain.com/
AlbertaIn is a community owned online directory of innovation sector service providers.

Contacts

Investor Contact
Mei Huang, Senior Director, Invest Alberta
Email: mei.huang@gov.ab.ca 

Alberta Business Contact
Tim Olsen, Senior Director, Technology Partnerships and Investment
Email: tim.olsen@gov.ab.ca 
Phone:  780-644-4970