2020-05-11

Projects

Cars in parking lot

Industry-led projects

Get funding that can help you surge ahead of the competition and accelerate your path to success.

Your goal is our goal: To bring AI out of the lab and into the field, where real applications can make real differences in supply chain effectiveness.

Scale AI helps companies enhance their AI-based product and service offerings, as well as assists with AI go-to-market strategies to boost revenues.

Our mission is to make the adoption of AI easier across industries, driving productivity and boosting competitiveness.

We reimburse up to 50% of expenses for approved projects that target the adoption or commercialization of AI for supply chains.

Who we fund

We invest in companies across a range of industries that are deploying AI to enhance their supply chain.

We look for innovative, collaborative projects that are leveraging AI to help make supply chains more intelligent and more efficient, such as:

  • Supply chain operators
  • Supply chain solutions providers
  • AI and digital technology providers

What we look for

  • Augmented sourcing and procurement
  • Demand forecasting and planning
  • Automated in-plant logistics/warehousing
  • Capacity, resource utilization and inventory planning
  • Scheduling and predictive disruption analysis
  • Real-time data integration traceability and visibility


By investing in companies financially and with other valuable resources, we’re helping establish Canada’s position as a leader in intelligent supply chains.

FAQ

  • How do I submit a project and apply for funding?

    If you’re already a Scale AI member, you can apply for project funding by following these steps:

    1. Submit your initial project proposal to Scale AI, who will assess its eligibility
    2. Work with the Scale AI team to prepare and submit a detailed proposal

    Non-Scale AI members can submit a project for evaluation, but must become members in order to receive funding for an approved project. Members also benefit from guidance from the Scale AI investment and intellectual property teams, and can tap into opportunities to partner with other Scale AI members as potential clients and service providers.

    Download project submission guidelines

  • When is the next call for proposals?

    You can submit your project to Scale AI for assessment at any time.

  • How much funding is available per project?

    There is no minimum or maximum investment allocated per project. For specific inquiries about project funding, please contact the Scale AI team.

  • What is the maximum duration of a project?

    While there is no maximum duration, projects typically last from 12 to 18 months.

    However, there is no maximum duration for a project; however, all projects must be completed on the timeline set out in the project agreement.

  • What types of projects does Scale AI fund?

    Scale AI funds projects that contribute to our strategic objectives, such as AI adoption and the commercialization of AI-based products. You can learn more about the types of projects we fund here.

  • What criteria do Scale AI use to evaluate projects?

    Scale AI uses six eligibility conditions to ensure a transparent and objective assessment. To be considered for selection, your project must align with them:

    1. In scope: Project must align with Scale AI’s strategy.
    2. Incremental to regular business: Project must be new, not funded by another government entity, and able to demonstrate that Scale AI funding would help bring it to life.
    3. Multiple participants: Project must include more than one participating entity.
    4. SME involvement: Project must involve at least one SME.
    5. Readiness: Project must have the endorsement of the applicant’s CEO or other executive and must be ready to launch shortly after an investment decision is made by Scale AI.
    6. All project-oriented work must be executed in Canada.

    Scoring criteria are divided into four categories:

    1. Team and project management plan (25%)
    2. Business impact (20%)
    3. Strategic alignment to Scale AI’s strategic plan (30%)
    4. Ecosystem impact (25%)
  • How many participants are required in order for a project to be considered?

    In order to be considered for funding, a project must have more than one participant and at least one participant must be a SME.

  • How are projects funded?

    You can learn about funding and more by joining one of our twice-weekly information webinars. Sessions are held every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:00 p.m. EST. Register here [LINK].

    For those projects that are selected, a predefined portion of eligible project expenses are reimbursed on a quarterly basis. Eligible expenses are those that are considered essential to the project. These include:

    • Salaries, wages, or contracts for carrying out project activities
    • Costs of purchasing or renting equipment, supplies, or services critical to the project
    • Dissemination costs vital for performance of the project
    • Capital expenditures linked to the objectives of the project agreement and vital for the success of the project

    You can learn about funding and more by joining one of our twice-weekly information webinars. Sessions are held every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:00 p.m. EST. Register here.

  • Will Scale AI help me find partners?

    Yes. Scale AI is committed to developing the AI ecosystem by encouraging collaboration between its members. As a member you’ll have the opportunity to connect with other potential project partners, both through the Scale AI platform and at networking events hosted by Scale AI.

  • Who can apply for funding?

    Scale AI funding is available to supply chain operators and AI solutions providers across a broad range of sectors, including but not limited to:

    • Consumer goods and retail
    • Industrial goods and manufacturing
    • Transport and logistics
    • Healthcare
    • Infrastructure and construction
  • How long does the selection process take?

    Scale AI is committed to providing a business-friendly and efficient application process. The length of the selection process depends mainly on project teams’ responsiveness and speed of iteration on feedback provided by the Scale AI investment team. Once a comprehensive, detailed submission is provided, our selection process will take about one month to complete.

  • Do we have to pay back any funding that our project receives from Scale AI?

    No. The money invested by Scale AI is in the form of a grant. You do not need to repay it.

  • Do I need to become a member before submitting a project?

    Non-Scale AI members can submit a project for evaluation, but if your project is selected, you must become a member in order to receive funding. Scale AI members also benefit from guidance from the Scale AI investment and intellectual property team, and can tap into opportunities to work with other Scale AI members as potential clients and service providers.

  • Who will own the intellectual property (IP) created in my Scale AI project?

    The project members have complete flexibility to decide who will own the IP created in their projects. Neither the Government nor Scale AI will own any of the IP.

  • Will I have to give others permission to access or use the intellectual property (IP) or data generated in my SCALE AI project?

    No, you do not have to give anyone outside the project access or permission to use your IP or data. But remember – Scale AI’s mandate is to develop Canada’s AI ecosystem so, in selecting new projects for investment, we assess how you propose that the new IP and data generated in your project can benefit more than just the project participants.

    For example, can the results be made generically available for use by other Scale AI members who are not your competitors? Or, is there another way your project will provide concrete benefits to other Scale AI members, such as through sharing lessons learned or other experiences developed in your project?

  • Intellectual property (IP) is complicated. What if I don’t know how my newly-created project IP could be safely leveraged by others?

    We understand that IP is complicated and that you may have lots of questions. That’s why we have an experienced IP lawyer on staff to help coach you. Our IP lawyer is not a replacement for getting your own solid IP legal advice, but together with our investment directors, Scale AI’s IP lawyer can help you put together a project submission that can protect your IP and still find ways to allow your IP to be safely leveraged by others in the Scale AI ecosystem.

  • What kinds of intellectual property (IP) might be created in a Scale AI project?

    A key piece of IP usually created in Scale AI projects are the trained AI models. These can be protected as secrets (sometimes called trade secrets, confidential information or proprietary information) or some choose to make them available to others as open-source software (OSS) or by other means of publishing, such as through white papers. It is also possible in some circumstances to file for patent protection of AI-related inventions, such as methods of training models or other methods relating to developing, training, validating or using AI models.

  • Which is the best way to protect my project’s IP?

    The best approach for protecting your project’s IP will depend heavily on (i) your business model (how you make money) and (ii) the nature of the new IP created in the project. Our experienced IP lawyer is available to help you understand the options.

  • Can I share my project’s IP while still protecting my commercial interests?

    A full answer to this question will depend on the details of your IP and your situation, however all types of IP (e.g. trade secrets, confidential/proprietary information, patents, copyrights, etc.) can be licensed to others, whether through open-source licenses or regular commercial licensing. In legal terms, “licensing” just refers to granting permission to someone to use your IP.

    The commercial terms that accompany the license (e.g. whether it is open-source, or there are royalties, or a cross-license granted back, time or geography limits, market restrictions, or other costs or restrictions) can be tailored to meet just about any business need.

  • Will Scale AI expect me to submit any patent applications to protect my new IP?

    No. While we will encourage you to use all available IP tools available to protect your IP (because it just makes good business sense to do so!), you remain in control of how you choose to protect your IP.

  • How do I protect my confidential information and IP while meeting with potential project partners?

    You should never discuss or disclose confidential or proprietary information to potential project partners (or others!) without first having a signed non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in place. Second, even once an NDA is in place, use the “need-to-know” principle to guide what you disclose to the other company. Third, it is always a good idea to mark each page of sensitive documents with a “Confidential Information of [Your Company]” marking to make it clear to others that the document must be handled confidentially (this step alone, however, is not usually enough to protect you).

    These 3 simple steps, together, will make all the difference to protecting your confidential information.

  • Do I need an NDA with Scale AI before submitting a project proposal?

    Although an NDA should be entered before disclosing your confidential information to anyone, rest assured that Scale AI will protect your submission as confidential even without an NDA. That said, if you would like us to sign an NDA, we will be happy to enter a suitable NDA covering your proposal.

  • How can I contact someone at Scale AI?

    You can reach Scale AI by email at info@scaleai.ca. We also hold twice-weekly information webinars with our investment directors, to offer you a first touchpoint and to explain in greater detail how Scale AI might support your project. Sessions are held every Wednesday and Thursday at 3:00 p.m. EST. You can register for a webinar here.

    You’re also invited to join the Scale AI online community in our Portal. There, you can make connections with other members, leverage resources, apply to become a member, learn more about our programs, and submit a project for consideration.

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