Government of Canada boosts Canada’s leadership in global artificial intelligence market
New investment will position Canada at the forefront of the commercialization of artificial intelligence
November 30, 2022 – Vancouver, British Columbia
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative technologies in the world. As a global leader in innovation, Canada is developing and using technologies like AI to shape a better future for all Canadians.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, announced an investment of $30 million in Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corporation, an innovative AI and robotics company headquartered in Vancouver. This investment, which is being made through the Strategic Innovation Fund, will support a $120.8 million project to develop the world’s first functioning human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots. The Government of Canada is committed to making sure Canadians can make the most of their ideas, so it continues to provide funding to Canadian intellectual property–rich firms.
Sanctuary’s new project will develop robots that are human-like, both physically and cognitively, allowing them to function in different jobs across different sectors and perform physical labour. This would enable remote workers to control general-purpose robots to complete physical work tasks that would otherwise present danger to people—including in areas such as nuclear/chemical facilities maintenance or mining, military and space operations—and perform tasks in industries facing labour shortages, such as health care and manufacturing. Deploying robots in some of these fields could save human lives.
This project further cements Canada’s global leadership in AI by supporting advanced Canadian research in innovative technologies that boost our economy. Sanctuary will directly employ more than 160 people through this project, as well as hire 120 co-op students to work under this initiative.
This investment reflects the government’s commitment to not only accelerate the responsible adoption and commercialization of AI across the Canadian economy but also enable established industries to be more productive and competitive.
“As a leading digital nation, Canada is taking ambitious steps to harness the potential of artificial intelligence. By investing in companies like Sanctuary, we are leveraging Canadian expertise in AI to develop and commercialize innovative technologies. This initiative will help maximize the economic potential of AI for Canadians and further cement our AI leadership on the global stage.”
– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Many labour-related challenges are outside the scope of current specialized AI and robotics technology. We appreciate the contribution from the Government of Canada and we are working hard to make work safer, more accessible and, ultimately, more productive.”
– Geordie Rose, Co-founder and CEO, Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corporation
Founded in 2018, Sanctuary Cognitive Systems Corporation is a Vancouver-based firm on a mission to create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots that will help us work more safely, efficiently and sustainably, helping to address the labour challenges facing many organizations today.
Sanctuary’s work will help build and drive Canada’s global leadership in AI by supporting advanced Canadian research in innovative technologies, while creating highly skilled jobs and boosting our economy.
Canada ranks fifth on the Stanford Global AI Vibrancy Index and third among G7 nations.
Senior Manager, Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
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