YOUR INNOVATION DETONATOR FOR AI RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
YOUR INNOVATION DETONATOR FOR AI RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
The last decade has propelled Quebec to the world-stage as a beacon of the global AI revolution. Our innovation community of researchers, entrepreneurs, policy and institutional actors have mobilized to ensure that everyone can benefit from this surge in interest and resources in AI.
At Prompt, a consortium that forges and funds high-impact industrial R&D partnerships, we pioneer a new model of collaborative innovation, where frontline actors work with experts to invent the future together.
We bring together some key ingredients. Research-driven universities. Local businesses. Major global companies. Multiple communities in healthcare, 5G, AI, cybersecurity, UX, telecom, digital media, and more. Frontline users and actors. And spaces for them to work together. With these pieces in place, we multiply people’s ability to make their dreams a reality
We are proud to have been a key financial partner for the next round of AI innovators in Quebec, many of which are featured in this very book. In 2019 – 2020, our AI programs have funded 48 projects, amounting to almost 13,3 M$ in total funding from Prompt. 73 different businesses collaborated with 22 institutional and academic partners to produce this new frontline in artificial intelligence. These projects leverage AI and machine learning in new and exciting ways, helping construct and maintain Quebec as a key innovation hub on the world-stage.
This year, we are participating alongside our fellow RSRI in a new round of funding for AI Projects. The new funding program, named, PARTENARIA, is offering up to 600,000$ in financing for business-led projects and up to 350,000$ to academic-led projects.
Prompt makes collaborative innovation happen. We bring together the right people, the right projects, and the right opportunities, and we help governments fund multi-million research and development (R&D). Our work creates university-industry R&D partnerships that increase the competitiveness of the Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) industry across Quebec.
Prompt funds cutting-edge AI projects
QOHASH – Protecting sensitive data for financial institutions
Through the Programme d’innovation en cybersécurité du Québec, PROMPT funded the company Quohash to develop a new cybersecurity platform, called Qostodian. It is presently almost impossible to track the large volumes of sensitive information circulating daily between different applications and devices within financial institutions. The noisiness of all this accumulated and circulating data presents considerable risk. The Qostodian platform allows security analysts to find sensitive data, understand who has access to it and take corrective measures depending on the risk. The platform is based on modern security strategies and is adapted to the business context of large financial institutions to offer performance, relevance and precision. For example, the platform allows analysts to perform tasks that previously took several hours in minutes.
LOGIAG – Helping farmers make better informed decisions
Logiag is an agri-environmental consulting firm that was funded through the Partenar-IA program at PROMPT. Logiag has been building detailed datasets with its 3500 agricultural producers: cultivation of each field over the last 10 years, habit of using fertilizers, application of lime, habit of spreading manure, etc. It is now using this massive database to develop a predictive tool that will be able to help producers make better informed decisions. The tool will advise agricultural producers for biomass production, fertilizer management, soil health/fertility and environmental protection. The tool will propose different types of predictions to producers: (1) Crop prediction (based on crop succession history); (2) Prediction of manure, chemical fertilizer, lime use (based on crop history, soil analysis, company phosphorus balance, etc.); and (3) Prediction of soil test evolution and fields analyzed.
Since the 1980s, the market for pre-filled syringes has continued to grow and is now entering a period of strong expansion. However, quality control of manufactured syringes is often problematic. Through the process of ordering, transporting, conveying and filling syringes, contaminants such as plastic/ rubber/other particles can sometimes be found inside the cylinder, which obviously must be controlled before shipment. In order to perform systematic inspection of the syringes produced, large manufacturing companies use automated inspection systems from global suppliers such as Korber, Bosch and Seidenader, easily costing more than $1 million. Companies unable to justify such a large investment will alternatively opt to hire employees who sit alongside the production line and visually inspect the syringes that quickly pass in front of them. Obviously, this solution is inefficient and will tend to worsen with the labour shortage. In order to solve this problem, HAXIO et Multi-Axes are developing the first automated inspection system, powered by artificial intelligence, for the inspection of pre-filled syringes. Ultimately, this innovation will allow syringe-filling facilities to automatize contaminant-detection for a fraction of the cost, as compared to the Korber and Bosch solution, which promised to be a game-changer in the industry.
Prompt spearheaded the creation of the CAMP DÉCOUVERTE TECHNO, a day camp for Quebec-based teenagers who want to learn more about cuttingedge technology. With the help of our partners, campers are taught the basics of different programming languages, Arduino boards, facial recognition, vocal recognition, cybersecurity, and much more.
In 2020, over 140 teenagers from everywhere in the province participated in our first 100% virtual camp. Adapting rapidly to the difficult context presented by the global pandemic, the Camp was awarded the ADRIQ Relève Technoscience prize for the 2020 edition. This edition also counted over 30 girls amongst our campers. This highlights a strong ambition the Camp has set for itself: to work towards a better representation of women in STEM fields.
The Camp can also count on the help of important partners such as MILA, ADRIQ, Imagia, IVADO, CEIM and the Réseau Synchronex. With the help of such partners, the Camp was able to organize virtual and in-person visits of important businesses and labs working in cutting-edge innovations in Quebec.