BCG a partner in disruptive government-backed AI initiative

13 March 2018 3 min. read
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Global consulting firm The Boston Consulting Group has announced that it will be advising an AI consortium seeking to boost digital growth in Canada. The SCALE.AI supply chain consortium has received backing from the Canadian government as part of a federal bid to expand the nation’s AI capacity, while reinforcing its position as a leading player in the rapidly advancing field.

The Government of Canada selected AI-powered supply chain consortium SCALE.AI (Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence.AI) as one of five winning industry proposals in its Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The consortium’s success will see it benefit from federal coffers for the next five years, giving SCALE.AI access to a total investment pot of $950 million.

According to the federal government, the initiative represents a significant new opportunity for Canada to strengthen its leadership in AI – one of the country’s most promising technological capabilities. The country’s political leadership hopes that its financial investment will stimulate economic growth and job creation in highly innovative industries, while helping Canadian companies position themselves as market leaders. Experts predict that AI will usher in a new frontier in supply chains, revolutionizing productivity and shaking the foundations of the industry.

BCG supports disruptive AI consortium backed by Canadian government

Nearly 120 industrial partners, enabling organizations, and research institutions have joined forces to create the SCALE.AI consortium. Altogether, partners have already committed a significant level of investment – a total of $700 million so far – in support of the initiative. Among the founding partners of the supply chain coalition is global management consultancy The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), which has been at the forefront of the initiative, on a pro-bono basis.

BCG has been working to elevate the research on, and applications of, AI for some time now through BCG Gamma – its advanced analytics and AI solutions division. According to the firm, BCG Gamma has already demonstrated the immense value that artificial intelligence can add to business and their ecosystems. Positive early results have left the consultancy eager to pursue AI and machine-learning further.

Tech Leadership

BCG operates a number of offices across Canada, including key locations in Toronto, Montreal, and Calgary. The firm’s expertise in data science, technology, and AI leave it well-positioned to take on the leadership of the new SCALE.AI initiative in its formative stages. Tristan Mallet, a Principal at BCG in Montreal has been seconded to SCALE.AI as its interim CEO.

Speaking about the initiative, Mallet remarked, “We want to bolster the competitive advantages of our industry leaders in retail, manufacturing, and logistics and transportation; strengthen Canada’s leadership in applied AI; and ultimately bring sustained economic impact to the country.”

Senior Partner at BCG in Montreal Michael Gilbert added, “We are proud to have been a key driver in setting up one of the most promising engines for socioeconomic growth in Canada, which will undoubtedly have positive repercussions for our globally advantaged position in leveraging AI in all sectors.”

The Canadian government has been ramping up its support of technological projects in recent months. The federal government recently picked rival consultancy Accenture to help develop a new Canadian border security application. The digital program will allow for ‘known travelers’ to pass between the borders of Canada and the Netherlands more quickly, using their smartphones.