Alberta investing $100 million to attract AI high-tech companies

Program intended to create more than 140 new companies, give Albertans new skills

Mario ToneguzziThe Alberta government says it is investing $100 million to attract more artificial intelligence-based high-tech companies to invest in the province.

“Innovation is a critical tool for competitiveness in nearly every sector of the economy, including energy. By investing in technology and the talent that powers it, we are ensuring Alberta continues to be a world leader in clean, efficient energy production and that our economy is more resilient and diversified for the future,” said Premier Rachel Notley in a news release.

The government added that last year it invested $50 million to create 3,000 new high-tech training seats at post-secondary institutions across the province.

“The province’s investment in technology will build the industry and business capacity needed to help talented Albertans find jobs here at home. This investment in both Alberta Innovates and the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute (Amii) will leverage partnerships with Alberta’s leading research universities and support long-term research and job creation,” said the government.

The government said the overall investment is estimated to result in:

  • more than 6,000 trained, skilled Albertans;
  • the creation of over 140 new companies;
  • over 30 new multinational offices, labs in Alberta;
  • over $207 million in leveraged investments by industry;
  • increased competitiveness and productivity of at least 150 Alberta businesses through the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

“By investing today, we are setting Alberta up for long-term economic diversification and success, while creating thousands of jobs and generating millions in value in the near term,” said Deron Bilous, minister of Economic Development and Trade, in a statement.

The government said an initial investment of $27 million will allow Alberta non-profit Amii to develop a new program that supports companies looking to build their in-house AI capacity, incorporate innovative solutions and drive benefits. It also means the Edmonton-based organization can expand its presence and open a new Calgary office. This new investment, along with the federal government’s commitment of $25 million, will accelerate the positive impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning on the Alberta economy, it said.

– Mario Toneguzzi for Calgary’s Business


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