DIGITAL Celebrates 5-Year Impact of $190 Million Applied AI Investments & $30 Million Horizon AI Program Launch

Since 2018, DIGITAL has co-invested in over 40 initiatives totaling $190 million in applied artificial intelligence (AI) solutions. These investments are building on Canada’s reputation as a global center for AI R&D with a focus towards advancing global commercial pathways for Canadian companies. Across the over 300+ organizations DIGITAL has worked with on these initiatives, some of the most innovative Canadian SMEs are achieving real impact towards improving access to quality health care; productivity and customer service; discovering novel and better human coronavirus antiviral medicines; and ensuring Canada has the supply and diversity of tomorrow’s AI industry leaders.   

Led by Quebec City-based, in partnership with Cognitive3D, Masterpiece Studio, Toronto Metropolitan University, Babcock Canada, and HMCS Venture, the consortium has leveraged spatial computing and machine learning to create the perfect set of tools for quickly building immersive environments. These environments offer adaptive and interactive scenarios, tailor-made to meet the specialized needs of organizations in sectors such as naval, aviation, and safety and security. OVA’s AI-driven solution collaborates with users during the virtual world-building process, suggesting creative problem-solving ideas and eliminating non-creative tasks. This allows users to focus on what’s truly important, making the solution especially valuable for industries requiring rapid content creation and decision-making. By streamlining remote collaboration and training, as well as tackling other logistically complex situations through a multi-user setting, they are rendering operations in these sectors entirely cost-effective.

OVA has always been about pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the realms of virtual reality and augmented reality. The support from DIGITAL has been instrumental in scaling our technology and reaching a wider audience.” – Harold Dumur, CEO & Co-founder of

Lululemon athletica has partnered with Toronto-based SME Wysdom.AI, Queen’s University and Microsoft to lead a project which is developing a model to understand wellbeing and human interactions to deliver an immersive and personalized experience of wellness coaching. The goal is for individuals to leverage Conversational AI to benefit from the combination of wellness assessment and coaching to achieve their personal goals. Through this project, lululemon has become the first commercial business to leverage Wysdom.AI’s conversational AI optimizing and management technology. The impact of this promising technology will further lululemon’s goal of providing access to wellbeing tools for 10 million people by 2025. Wysdom.AI is dedicated to championing Conversational AI as it has the potential to revolutionize the customer experience. They firmly believe that incorporating this cutting-edge technology can greatly benefit any user. Lululemon and Wysdom’s partnership is also a great example of cross-Canada collaboration that is creating opportunities for both Canadian SMEs and championing Canadian unicorn companies. 

Powered by Vancouver-based Variational AI’s proprietary EnkiTM generative AI platform with support from adMare BioInnovations and the Vancouver Prostate Centre (affiliated with the University of British Columbia), the Raven2 initiative is using generative artificial intelligence to rapidly discover novel and better COVID and human coronavirus antiviral medicines. Trained on experimental and computational drug discovery data from the consortium partners, publicly available, and proprietary sources, Variational AI’s EnkiTM platform is being used to generate novel and better small molecules more quickly than current methods. In January 2023, Variational AI filed two U.S. provisional patents for potential COVID-19 drugs as a direct output of the Raven2 initiative, representing a key milestone of Canadian innovation driving the applicability of generative AI to drug discovery and better health outcomes.

The Raven2 project has generated valuable IP that will be commercialized into oral COVID-19 antiviral pills representing a true made-in-Canada therapeutic option for Canadians and the global community. Without the Supercluster’s support, this would never have happened.” – Handol Kim, Co-founder & CEO of Variational AI

Led by AInBC in collaboration with BCIT, Careteam Technologies, D-Wave, MetaOptima, UBC, Microsoft, Northeastern University – Vancouver, the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology, Teck Resources, KPMG, Simon Fraser University, the Immigrant Employment Council of BC and the Vancouver Economic Commission, the Athena Pathways and Digital Leaders programs provided Canadian girls and women, from middle to post-secondary students as well as professional and leaders, with training, internships, mentorships and hiring partner connections for careers in AI, machine learning (ML) and data science (DS). The programs focused on developing over 530 women that are now on the path to become leaders in Canada’s natural resources, retail and manufacturing industries. Talent development initiatives such as Athena Pathways and Digital Leaders are reinforcing Canada’s strength in AI expertise while connecting graduates through to Canadian employers upon program completion to keep their talents close to home.

DIGITAL Investing $30 Million to Advance AI Commercialization Across Canada

With $30 million received under the Commercialization Stream of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy, DIGITAL has launched Horizon AI: our specialized, national program focused on capturing economic potential from applied AI. By building a commercially focused AI ecosystem through Technology Commercialization, Global Advantage and upcoming Talent streams, DIGITAL is helping Canadian organizations create a global competitive advantage that enables market leadership and accelerated revenue growth.

Considering AI as essential to Canada’s future industrial productivity and economic prosperity, DIGITAL’s vision is for Canada to be a source of world-class AI-enabled products, services and technologies. DIGITAL’s co-investment model to mobilize and leverage innovation investment in enabling the creation, demonstration, launch and adoption of AI-driven products, services and platforms are helping drive the ongoing potential of Canadian companies like, Variational AI, Wysdom.AI and the prioritization of Canadian employers to build their leadership capacity in Canada’s most economically impactful sectors.