Government of Canada welcomes DENSO Corporation’s Innovation Lab to Montréal, Quebec

News release

January 10, 2019 - Montréal, Quebec - Global Affairs Canada

Foreign direct investment is a critical part of Canada’s economy with benefits that stimulate the economy, create good middle-class jobs, spur innovation, improve productivity and support international market access.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification, joined François Legault, Premier of Quebec, and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montréal, to welcome the announcement by DENSO Corporation of the opening of a satellite R&D lab  in Montréal. The lab’s research activities will focus on innovations in advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Canada is a global leader in AI research, with 650 companies that focus on cutting-edge AI research and innovation. The Canadian AI community and governments at all levels have worked hard to position Canada as a centre for AI.

One of Canada’s main AI sector hubs, Montréal has over 9,000 students currently studying in AI-related fields, the highest number of students studying in this sector in any city in the world.

The Government of Canada, along with the governments of Québec and Montréal, is committed to this burgeoning sector, which promises job creation and unprecedented economic and social benefits for Canada and the world.

In December 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $230-million investment in the AI-Powered Supply Chains Supercluster, based in Québec. In addition, the Government of Canada earmarked over $1.3 billion in funding for AI research and development in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year.

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service supports the country’s AI sector by helping Canadian AI companies find international partners and access international markets. 


“Canada is a great place to invest and do business. We offer a culture of diversity and innovation with a talented, highly educated and diverse workforce, as well as access to cutting-edge technical talent and skills. Investment creates jobs and is a critical component of our Canadian economy.”

- Jim Carr, Minister of International Trade Diversification

“Increasingly, artificial intelligence influences all of our human activity. It promises tremendous opportunity for Canadians and a far-reaching, positive impact on our citizens. Canada is a global leader in AI research and the Government of Canada is committed to continued support of this important sector.”

- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

“DENSO has had a presence in Canada for 46 years. Moving forward, we are glad to deepen our relationship with Canada by opening this lab with the great city and people of Montréal as we build the community and future of mobility.”

- Kenichiro Ito, Chairman of DENSO’s North America Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of DENSO’s North American Headquarters

“Montréal’s unique, interconnected and collaborative AI ecosystem, supported by some of the greatest and brightest minds in AI, makes Montréal an obvious choice for this satellite R&D lab. The representatives of the Consulate General of Canada in Detroit, Michigan; Investissement Québec [investment Quebec]; and Montréal International were instrumental in supporting our site selection.”

 - Pat Bassett, Vice President, DENSO North America Research and Engineering Center

Quick facts

  • Canada is a world leader in AI, and fostering Canada's advantage in digital technologies is one of the pillars of the government's economic growth strategy.

  • In Canada, there are approximately 650 AI companies; most are start-ups.

  • Montréal and Toronto-Waterloo, Ontario, are the main AI hubs in Canada, with secondary centres in Edmonton, Alberta, and Vancouver, British Columbia. 

  • Canada’s AI sector received $333 million in private investment in 2017, surpassing the previous record of $209 million in 2015. 

  • The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service supports the country’s AI sector by helping Canadian AI companies find international partners and access international markets. 

Associated links


Ann-Clara Vaillancourt
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
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