French tech consultancy Axionable opens AI research lab in Montreal

11 April 2019 Consulting.ca

Paris-based Axionable, a consulting firm specializing in enterprise data and artificial intelligence strategy, has announced the opening of a research lab in Montréal. The lab will hire 50 new employees over the next two years.

"Opening a facility in Montréal was a natural choice for us," Gwendal Bihan, Axionable CEO, said at the World Summit AI conference in the Quebec metropolis. "The city is now one of the top global centres of artificial intelligence (AI) research. We are eager to work alongside the world's most renowned researchers and to be part of a booming ecosystem that includes industry leaders as well as promising start-ups."

Axionable was founded in 2016, and has approximately 50 employees across offices in Paris and Lille. The firm provides high-demand consulting services in data analysis and AI, with expertise in image and video analysis, natural language processing, and prediction. Axionable also delivers a full range of support services, from needs identification to performance-improving AI solutions. The firm supports clients across financial services, media, distribution, and industrials, and has worked with notable organizations such as Michelin and Crédit Agricole.

French tech consultancy Axionable opens AI research lab in Montreal

"We are undertaking this international expansion phase not long after the company was founded, and it would not have been possible without the support of organizations like Montréal International, Investissement Québec, and Business France,” Bihan said.

Montréal is a burgeoning hub for AI, with firms such as McKinsey’s advanced analytics company QuantumBlack recently moving into the city. Montreal’s world-class AI research is centred around McGill University and l’Université de Montréal, as well as the Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms which was cofounded by the two educational institutions.

"Quite a number of foreign companies are investing in the area,” Hubert Bolduc, president and CEO of Montréal International, the city’s economic development agency, said. “The team has supported over 30 AI projects in the past two years, totalling $500 million. Montréal stands out not only due to its concentration of deep learning researchers, but also by how much consideration it gives to the social and ethical impacts of AI."

Axionable has already started the recruitment process for its Canadian AI lab, searching for experts in automatic learning, deep learning, information technology, and communication. The lab will work on defining and implementing AI and data strategies for clients in North America and Europe.

"This new lab will provide further stimulus for the technological revolution taking place in Québec and create a great many highly specialized jobs,” Pierre Gabriel Côté, Investissement Québec president and CEO, said. “We are proud to have played a role in showcasing the advantages of choosing Montréal for this key player in the AI industry and to have provided help and guidance with investing here."


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