The Montreal-headquartered SCALE AI supercluster will invest $1 million over the next two years in projects that will raise awareness about career paths for Canadian youth. Specifically, career options in AI, data science, or other STEM fields.
The program will include “diversity and inclusion criteria,” with a particular focus on initiatives that seek to engage groups including women and youth from diverse communities.
SCALE AI is a Canadian supercluster specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), acting as an investment and innovation hub. It is funded by the federal government and the Quebec government, and has nearly 120 industry partners, research institutes and other players in the AI field.
“The artificial intelligence sector is a driver of long-term growth, providing Canadians with high-quality, high value–added and well-paying jobs. In order to grow this sector, we must promote equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM professions as well as educate youth about the opportunities available in these occupations,” said Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
“Creating and maintaining quality jobs in Canada is a priority for us,” said Julien Billot, SCALE AI’s executive director. “The Youth Awareness program is part of our long-term vision to enable high school students and those who must make a career choice to assess all the opportunities offered by careers in the overall STEM family, in general, and AI in particular.”
“If Canada is to maintain and strengthen its position in artificial intelligence on the global stage, we must progressively address labour force issues. This means creating the conditions for an increasingly large and diverse pool of experts to meet the needs not only of today, but also those of the coming decades,” added Hélène Desmarais, co-chair of the SCALE AI board of directors.
Organizations (NPOs and educational institutions) wishing to submit a project and obtain funding can visit SCALE AI here.
(PHOTO: OLIVIER JEAN, LA PRESSE)