As AI touches millions of new lives each day, Canada’s Artificial Intelligence ecosystem had proved immensely valuable and resourceful in addressing the pandemic. Right from fueling the genomic research, or active tracking and predicting of the outbreaks through AI analytics, Canada spearheaded the mining of existing and developing drugs for Corona.
Having said that, the Canadian Government is very technocratic in its approach. Proof of this is the 2017 Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy discussed further in this blog. 
The strategy infused $125 million into the country’s top AI research institutions which leveraged enormous support for research in machine learning making it the world’s first national AI strategy. This strategy projects Canada as a leading player in AI globally.
Canada’s AI adopted private sector succeeded to attract around $3 billion in new investment creating a mammoth of 50,000 jobs in around 670 AI-focused firms. All this, with the help of the AI ecosystem in the last decade. 
Canada impels its way to become a powerhouse of AI innovation. It is the producer of maximum AI patents per million population among G7 nations and China. In this blog series, we will showcase how AI impacts various industries in PAN Canada and its economy in general.
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The image below indicates that Toronto has attracted a highly concentrated cluster of AI startups.
Canada’s AI Undertakings and Private Sector Growth Prospects
Artificial intelligence businesses in Canada have emerged as innovation role models over the past ten years.
According to a report by IT World Canada , Canada steers the world with its approach to AI governance and digital technologies. The same report indicated that AI firms mold innovation models in Canada.
With AI and machine learning revolution in focus, Canada became the first-ever country to launch a $125M Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy in 2017. 
The main objective of this national strategy was:
Attracting and retaining renowned AI researchers by escalating outstanding AI researchers and skilled graduates in Canada.
Cultivating a unified AI ecosystem by establishing interlinked convergence of scientific excellence in three major centers for AI namely Edmonton, Montreal, and Toronto.
Supporting a national AI research community through training programs, workshops, and other collaboration opportunities will advance national AI projects.
Getting a thorough understanding of the societal implications of AI by cultivating global thought leadership on the policy, economic, ethical, and legal ramifications of advances in AI.
All of these combined strategies and government focus have lured direct foreign investments in Canada with a vertical growth year by year. 2019 saw a 42.5% rise which was greater than the 10-year past average. 
To continue fostering this growth and maintain its leadership position, Canada has increased the number of active AI firms (firms with a flagship product or service that implements AI) and doubled it in the past five years to over 660 as per the University of Toronto (UofT). 
“Canada stands poised to be the source of creativity and innovation in producing AI that is safe and beneficial for us all. In AI too, the world needs more Canada.” Gillian Hadfield, Executive Director, Schwartz Reisman Institute
The University of Toronto also initiates various AI startups which consolidates the country's AI initiatives.
Deep Genomics, 16 Bit, Blue J Legal  Phenomic AI, DNAstack, BlueDot, and BenchSci are some examples of AI ML startups founded by U of T professors, or alumni.
Scope of Foreign Investment - A Thriving Ecosystem for AI/ML
The AI ecosystem that has emerged in Canada isn’t just attracting investors, it is also bringing around a significant positive change. In 2019, the University of Toronto received a $100-million gift to accelerate the collaborative goals of economic growth and ethical development of technology.
These donations helped construct the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre, which is a complex designed to anchor the University’s leading AI scientists and biomedical experts.
The Institute facilitates cross-disciplinary collaboration and research and will draw insights from various sciences, humanities, and social sciences. It will further aid in exploring the social and economic benefits that AI, and other advanced technologies present for Canadians.
The Pan-Canadian AI Strategy's performance demonstrates that by putting money into people and research, the country has expedited business formation and economic growth in strategic and developing industries.
These strategic government investments have also inspired private sector activities and strengthened Canada’s global leadership in technologies. These are increasingly driving economic growth in the country.
The plan also shows how the federal government may help increase private R&D spending across the entire Canadian economy, thereby enhancing output and standard of living. 
If these strategies get implemented in other sectors, Canada can be at the forefront of demonstrating how the public and private sectors can collaborate on successful commercialization to increase global competitiveness.
We will discuss these possibilities in the upcoming blogs of this series. Stay connected with us here to know how Canada emerges to be at the center of the technological transformations that reshape our futures.