SCALE AI is announcing investments of more than $20 million in 5 AI projects for intelligent supply chains

Montreal, Quebec - September 28, 2023

SCALE AI announced today, during Canada’s ALL IN event, investments totalling more than $20 million for five AI projects across key economic sectors. By strengthening the supply chains with AI-powered technologies, these solutions enable companies of all sizes to increase their productivity and efficiency.


Led by ALDO Group, EllisDon, ATS, Visual Defence, and Cléo, these collaborative projects show that Canadian AI technology provides a global competitive advantage for businesses. By supporting these five projects, SCALE AI pursues its role of building a stronger AI ecosystem with investments that accelerate the demand for AI by Canada-based companies. 

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, says: “When applied by human intelligence and vision, AI has the potential to positively impact the entire supply chain. Since its creation, SCALE AI has invested in concrete artificial intelligence applications to encourage the growth of leading Canadian companies in many sectors. This announcement shows a continued dedication to this growth, with each project announced today helping to build a more resilient and efficient supply chain in Canada.”

Julien Billot, CEO, SCALE AI, explains: “SCALE AI investments generate benefits by helping Canadian companies create more innovative and efficient supply chains. Through the funding announced today, SCALE AI contributes to further advancing AI commercialization for Canada’s small and medium enterprises.  

Hélène Desmarais, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors, SCALE AI, adds: “SCALE AI continues to accelerate the integration of AI, reshaping business models, enhancing decision-making models, and elevating workforce performance so that organizations, big or small, can reach their full potential.”

5 new projects representing total investments of $20.3 million

Revenue Management for Retail & Supply Chain Through Artificial Intelligence

Partners: ALDO Group, IVADO Labs, Retailogists, ITL Group

SCALE AI investment: $3.6 million

Total investment: $9.3 million

The ALDO Group, a leading Canadian fashion retailer, is currently using AI to develop a comprehensive solution aimed at automating key processes, as well as providing real-time analysis and optimization. It will integrate with existing systems and workflows.

Furthermore, the organization is now partnering with leading Canadian-based technology and supply chain players to implement an intelligent Revenue Management System that maximizes supply chain and retail revenues and profitability using machine learning and operational research techniques.

The consortium will work together to optimize order fulfillment and markdowns based on forecasted demand and inventory levels.

Matthieu Houle, Chief Information Officer, ALDO Group : “The system will not only improve the ALDO Group’s overall supply chain, but will also act as an intelligent extension of our current retail capabilities, enabling data-driven business decisions and thereby contributing to our long-term competitiveness and growth. This AI project will facilitate effective management of demand, pricing, inventory and customer satisfaction.”

→ AI-Driven Subcontractor, Labour and Equipment Management

Partners: EllisDon Inc., Yeji Data Lab, Guild Electric Limited, Stephenson Rental Services, VR Mechanical Services

SCALE AI investment: $1.8 million

Total investment: $4.6 million

EllisDon is a Cradle to Grave construction company, with services ranging from pre-construction financing to post-construction asset management. The primary objective of this AI initiative is to create a predictive tool to accurately estimate the costs of activities and identify potential risks related to construction projects and subcontract work. The predictive tool will analyze 4+ years of available historical project data to predict two key KPIs concerning project health, risk related to cost overrun and risk of delay. In addition, the tool will automatically surface past similar projects and delay reasons to PM teams to help improve efficiency.

Brandon Milner, Senior Vice-President, Data & Digital, EllisDon: “EllisDon is happy to leverage technology in every aspect of its business to push beyond traditional industry positions and drive change. As subcontractors account for over 80% of total supply chain costs in construction, improved planning and budgeting for subcontract work can enhance overall supply chain efficiency in the Canadian construction industry.”

→ Autonomous Procurement Pricing System

Partners: ATS, Demtool Inc., Waterloo Analytics, University of Waterloo (Vision Image Processing Lab), OERP Canada

SCALE AI investment: $0.9 million

Total investment: $2.5 million

ATS is an industry-leading automation solutions provider to many of the world’s most successful companies globally. ATS is looking for an AI-based component costing tool to deliver cost predictions that aid supply selection. These predictions will support system design optimization through intelligent component selection and deliver efficiencies during vendor selection and parts procurement processes. A successful solution could drive down procurement lead times, improve communications with suppliers, and create new domestic supply opportunities. 

Steve Emery, Vice-President Global Procurement, ATS Corporation: “Our unique track record of innovation and passion for excellence sets us apart as the world’s leader in automation. Ultimately, this AI project will improve our ability to optimize costs in an inflationary cycle, deliver improved purchase order turnaround, and maintain our competitive advantage as a leading provider of automation solutions at a global operating scale.”

→ Resilient Supply Chains Through Well-Maintained Transportation Systems

Partners: Visual Defence Inc., The Regional Municipality of York, City of Windsor, Prof. Michel Gendreau (Polytechnique Montréal), Keenline Innovation Technology & Training Inc.

SCALE AI investment: $0.9 million

Total investment: $2.3 million

Visual Defence is an award-winning Canadian company and an industry leader in the use of smart cameras for automated road inspections using artificial intelligence. For this AI project, Visual Defence has partnered with innovative Canadian municipalities and subject matter experts to develop a broader range of inspections and optimize road maintenance activities, allowing cities to accomplish more with their existing resources. The project will use data collected from the smart camera technology in combination with other data sources to provide further operational insights aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of road maintenance activities.

Roy Tal, CTO, Visual Defence: “This project will improve the overall supply chain of municipal road maintenance activities by providing operational recommendations, insights and tools powered by the AI algorithms which will be developed. We are excited to partner with ScaleAI and help Canadian cities to not only find the issues better, but address them faster and in a more cost-efficient manner.”

→ Predicting Usage Cycles for Electric Vehicles

Partners: Cléo, IVADO Labs, Autobus Séguin, Transco

SCALE AI investment: $0.4 million

Total investment: $1.6 million

Dedicated to accelerating the clean energy transition for commercial fleets, Cleo offers invaluable support to operators as they embark on their electrification journey. From infrastructure design to dynamic day-to-day charging management, Cleo helps fleet operators seamlessly and sustainably transition to electric vehicles.

Cleo is taking the lead in developing additional functionalities within its smart platform for clients operating electric school bus fleets. This innovative platform provides users with the necessary tools to optimize vehicle charging schedules, ensuring reliable charging for planned routes while minimizing energy costs and reducing demand on the grid. The primary goal of the project is to predict bus usage cycles, enabling the efficient utilization of its charging plan optimization model. To achieve this, Cleo’s smart platform leverages historical trip data and external factors such as weather forecasts and academic calendars using unsupervised machine learning techniques. Key outputs include automatic trip detection, prediction of trip start and end times, energy consumption estimates, and an assessment of the likelihood of irregular trips occurring. The fact that Cléo is a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec further strengthens its commitment to sustainable electrification solutions.

[Stéphane Bélair, VP, Development and Product Evolution, Cleo]:  “Through our partnership with IVADO Labs and investments from Scale AI, we’re elevating the efficiency of our optimization models, ultimately leading to substantial cost savings for our clients. This project harnesses the power of AI to automate the input and upkeep of crucial client data, mitigating reliability concerns that could otherwise impact vehicle charging and operational continuity. “


Made possible through the
financial support of
Gouvernement du Québec
Gouvernement du Canada