Government of Canada announces contribution to next-generation robotic warehouse solution

News release

Investment will help position Canada as a world leader in the robotics industry

December 15, 2020 – Ottawa, Ontario

Canada is a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) research and development, and we are quickly charting the course in commercializing new technologies in this pivotal and fast-emerging market. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting innovative companies that are creating highly skilled jobs and developing new technology for the digital economy of the future.

Today, Ali Ehsassi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Innovation and Industry), announced a contribution of $34 million to Attabotics Inc., a robotics supply chain company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. This investment will help the company further develop and bring to market its robotics warehouse technologies and will continue to build on western Canada’s substantial strengths in transformative technologies, including clean technology, digital industries and precision agriculture.

This Canadian company initially received $6 million through the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and $5 million through Western Economic Diversification Canada for other projects before securing funds through the Strategic Innovation Fund for its $73.3-million project. Attabotics also recently announced that it has received $66 million in series C venture capital funding.

Attabotics’ system uses advanced manufacturing practices and automation technologies to offer the world’s first 3D robotics supply chain system for modern commerce. Through this project, Attabotics will maintain a minimum of 165 employees a year and create 449 new jobs by 2031.

Unlike traditional warehouses that require humans to physically store and access products in rows and aisles, Attabotics condenses an average warehouse into a single vertical storage structure that uses robotic shuttles travelling horizontally, vertically, on top of and underneath the structure to store and access goods. The company’s technology has the potential to significantly increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption compared to traditional large-scale centres.

This project supports the government’s Innovation and Skills Plan by growing Canada’s highly skilled workforce and advancing research in foundational new technology—a key component for future economic growth and innovation.

Quotes

“The hard-working people at Attabotics have made the company a great example of a Canadian success story. Today’s announcement will build on Canada’s global leadership in AI by supporting Canadian research and bringing a one-of-a-kind robotic technology to market that will create good jobs and boost Canadian economic growth. This investment will help restart Canada’s economy and help grow it back better in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Ali Ehsassi, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry (Innovation and Industry)

“Prosperity in the Prairie provinces depends on shipping resources and commodities, and continued growth will depend more and more on innovation, knowledge and enterprise. Congratulations to the entire Attabotics team on this investment. The Government of Canada recognizes the valuable contribution of this project to the Prairie economy.”
- The Honourable Jim Carr, Member of Parliament for Winnipeg South Centre

“We are so proud to be part of the evolving tech ecosystem here in Canada and are truly honored to have the support from the Government of Canada. The talent responsible for building Attabotics’ system from the ground up came from Calgary, and we look forward to using these funds to further grow our business and create even more opportunities for the local economy.”
- Scott Gravelle, Founder, CEO and CTO, Attabotics

Quick facts

  • The company’s system maximizes the full height of a warehouse, creating significant space, cost and energy savings while increasing efficiency, modularity and speed compared to other competitive systems on the market.

  • Attabotics has committed to investing hundreds of millions in R&D by 2038.

  • The contribution is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, a program designed to attract and support high-quality business investments across all sectors of the economy.

  • In addition to the Strategic Innovation Fund, there are hundreds of programs and services to help businesses innovate, create jobs and grow Canada’s economy. With its simple, story-based user interface, the Innovation Canada platform can match businesses with the most fitting programs and services in about two minutes.

Contacts

John Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
john.power@canada.ca

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
ic.mediarelations-mediasrelations.ic@canada.ca

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