Can Swedish technology be key in Canada's AI journey?

Article · 2022-10-13

On the other side of the Atlantic, Canada is a pioneering country in terms of research, development and investment in AI. The Canadian government has high goals to strengthen the country's welfare and competitiveness with the help of AI. And here is a great opportunity for Automation Region's members to contribute.

Malin Rosqvist, Program Strategist at PiiA, presented the investment in Swedish IndTech. Potential for exchange and collaboration was discussed at the subsequent workshop.

For three days – Sweden Canada Innovation Days – Peter Barkenskiöld and Ulf Olofsson from Automation Region visited Toronto together with a number of companies, including Algoryx, CDE, Repli5, Prevas and the strategic innovation program PiiA. The purpose was to investigate the conditions for new collaborations and businesses between Swedish and Canadian companies.

"The Canadian structure in the business world is similar to the one we have in Sverige with an important base industry in, for example, forestry and mining," says Ulf Olofsson, business developer at Automation Region. We have similar climates with clear seasons, and even culturally, are we close to each other," he adds.

Canada stands out

However, Canada stands out with major investments in AI. In Toronto, participants got to visit Vector Institute, a research institute focused on AI affiliated with the University of Toronto. The institute has 1400 researchers and students and is considered a world leader in the field.

"Several of the Swedish companies were impressed about the fact that Canada is investing so heavily in AI. An establishment such as Vector Institute means increased opportunities to attract international experts and to market products and services on a global market, says Ulf.

Automation Region's members consist of both large and small players who are active in several different sectors. Already today, a lot of collaborations takes place within the network where, for example, the smaller companies complement the larger players' international offerings. These collaborations will be further structured and strengthened while targeting the Canadian market, where smart manufacturing, the mining industry and 5G, among others, were hot topics during the visit.

"Industrial initiatives like this one are very good for promoting the climate of collaboration and finding the right bureaucracy in a new country. In this way, we can complement each other and find pathways forward. In many ways, it is about people trusting people and by meeting each other, new doors are opened for new business, Ulf summarizes.