$100M for a new Quebec research cluster in AI

Credit: Amélie Philibert

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A 12-member steering committee co-chaired by Claridge CEO Pierre Boivin and UdeM Rector Guy Breton will guide the process.

The Quebec government today announced the creation of a steering committee to develop a strategic plan for the creation of a $100-million research cluster in artificial intelligence based in Montreal.

Premier Philippe Couillard and Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister Responsible for Digital Strategy, made the announcement at Université de Montréal.

Co-chaired by Pierre Boivin, President and CEO of Claridge Inc., and Guy Breton, UdeM's Rector, the committee willl be composed of 12 members of Quebec's business and academic worlds, including Marie-Josée Hébert, the university's Vice-Rector of Research, Discovery, Creation and Innovation.

The steering committee will guide the creation of the new AI cluster and ensure the development of a strategic plan to stimulate research and innovation in artificial intelligence, operational research, business creation and the roll-out of applications across Quebec. The initiative will contribute to the elaboration of a uniquely Quebec vision of AI and the essential role it plays in Canadian research.

A total of $100 million over the next five years will be dedicated to the creation and development of the Quebec AI cluster, which will draw on the expertise developed by the Institute for Data Valorisation (IVADO).

"I salute the vision and determination of Professor Yoshua Bengio, who, with his team, has gone from fundamental research to partnerships with a wide range of companies, all the while preserving his humanistic approach to advances in technology," Breton said.

"Today we are at a crucial stage that fills me with hope, the hope to see a dream that I have cherished for many years finally come true, the dream of creating an 'AI Valley' here in Montreal, rather than in California," added Bengio, IVADO's scientific director and a professor in UdeM's Department of Computer Science and Operational Research.

"I am touched and enthusiastic to feel the support of so many people, including those in government, who believe in this dream and contribute to its realization."

More on the announcement

Read the communiqué (in French) on the website of the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation.

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