Ottawa, September 28, 2021—Capitalizing on Canada’s strengths in AI calls for a clear and coordinated industrial AI strategy that builds on the existing Pan-Canadian AI Strategy but further prioritizes IP ownership and commercialization, AI talent development, and responsible AI principles.

Budget 2021 started the process towards an AI strategy by earmarking up to $443.8 million over 10 years to renew the Pan-Canadian AI Strategy, along with other significant investments in AI.

This paper, Maximizing Strengths and Spearheading Opportunities: Towards an Industrial Strategy for Canadian Artificial Intelligence, provides research and insight into the realm of possibilities to bolster Canadian AI commercialization and market growth, as well as enabling a responsible and sustainable future in this domain.

The paper explores the following:

  • The economic imperative for commercializing AI R&D and the groundwork needed for AI commercialization, including the legal and technical infrastructure for data sharing, affordable broadband, data storage and processing centres, and high-performance computing resources
  • The required current and future AI skills and talent—direct skills for designing, building, delivering AI; indirect skills in ethics and legal oversight; the need for multidisciplinary talent; and establishing Canada as an attractive destination for global AI talent
  • The need for responsible AI governance and relevant modern privacy legislation and industry standards, conformity assessments, and other governance tools

“AI applications have the potential to drive significant market leadership and growth for Canada in an increasingly global and competitive landscape. Paving the way for heightened AI commercialization will spur further innovations, adoption, and economic growth,” said Namir Anani, ICTC President and CEO.

The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policy makers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 25 years.