The $283 million publicly funded innovation cluster SCALE AI yesterday announced $8.5 million in support for McCain.
• Also read: Ottawa is investing another $40 million in artificial intelligence
The Canadian multinational prides itself on being “the world’s largest producer of frozen potato products”.
“We are honored that SCALE AI’s investment committee has recognized the ambition of this program,” said Attila Tamer, chief manufacturing operations officer, McCain Food, in a statement.
Speaking in Montreal, McCain Vice President Caroline Morissette praised the benefits of integrating artificial intelligence into the potato processing supply chain.
Basically, the $35.9 million project, backed by $8.5 million from SCALE AI, will enable McCain, among other things, to “minimize grower spoilage and reduce waste [et d’]Increase in throughput and quality of end products”.
Remember that SCALE AI is a public and privately funded cluster that aims to “bring artificial intelligence out of the lab” to help businesses.
Photo Le Journal de Montreal, Martin Alari
Hélène Desmarais, Co-Chair of the Board of SCALE AI
Several other projects
The announcement was made yesterday morning at SCALE AI’s Montreal offices in the presence of François-Philippe Champagne, Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry (ISED).
“If we apply it, for example, to a sector like McCain, you will understand that it can then apply to the entire agri-food industry,” explained the minister when asked about the relevance of funding business projects like McCain’s Has 49 factories with sales of $11 billion.
“Yes, you have the impression that there are many large companies, but the reality is that 70% of the money we give goes to SMEs,” emphasized Julien Billot, CEO of SCALE AI, taking the lead.
“Even though the project appears to be led by a large company, the money goes to SMEs that develop solutions and own the intellectual property. We’ll take care of that,” he added.
Yesterday, SCALE announced AI projects totaling over $97 million, including one with Coveo and IVADO LABS worth $25.4 million, in which SCALE is investing $9.3 million.
Other projects in the fields of automobile sunroofs, crane optimization, circular production, aircraft parts, intelligent warehouses and steel structure systems were also presented.
At the beginning of the press conference, Minister François-Philippe Champagne commended Hélène Desmarais, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of SCALE AI, for her leadership in the field of artificial intelligence.
The latter refused to give the journal an interview yesterday.
Hélène Desmarais is co-chair of the board of SCALE AI and chair of the board of IVADO LABS, whose offices are on the same floor of a building in Mile-Ex. There is also the NEXT AI incubator, of which Paul Desmarais III, son of Mrs. Desmarais, sits on the advisory board.
PUBLIC FUNDS ON A SCALE AI
Ottawa: $230 million
Quebec: $53 million
Total: $283 million
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