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Press Release

EMILI Applauds Government of Canada Selection of PIC as Supercluster Winner

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February 15 2017 | WINNIPEG, Manitoba

EMILI (Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative), a CEO-led, not-for-profit headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, combining Canada’s industrial strengths in artificial intelligence and agriculture applauds Minister Navdeep Bains’ announcement that the Government of Canada has selected Protein Industries Canada (PIC) as a winner in the Innovation Superclusters Initiative. EMILI congratulates the PIC leadership and its partners for their vision to develop a modern agricultural economy. This is the culmination of two years of hard work and collaboration across the Prairie Provinces.

Key components of the EMILI proposal and over 40 member companies were an important contribution to the final PIC proposal from the first round of the supercluster initiative, bolstering PIC’s protein company base and capabilities in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data sovereignty and intellectual property governance. EMILI’s venture partners provided support for the PIC proposal and together they created a new standalone venture capital initiative. This is an exciting complement to the supercluster and will provide necessary capital to accelerate and commercialize innovation developed through the supercluster.

“Together, PIC and EMILI members create a powerhouse supercluster, with tremendous knowledge and capacity to develop Canada as the best source of plant proteins and co-products, supported by leading edge technologies,” said Frank Hart, Chair of Protein Industries Canada. “EMILI’s venture partners and their breadth of expertise elevates the commercialization and scaling results PIC will achieve for Canada.”

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are contributing to record-breaking accuracy across different industrial sectors. Canada has been a leader in this field through the development of deep learning and reinforcement algorithms at Canadian universities. Winnipeg has a growing hub of commercially focused Canadian AI companies, including Sightline Innovation. “It is the combination of these two Canadian assets - agriculture and AI - that will transform the agricultural sector in Canada, and propel us to the pinnacle of global leadership in both markets, said Ray Bouchard, EMILI Board Chair and President and CEO of Enns Brothers Ltd. “Intelligent technologies are causing disruption across all sectors. Canadian agricultural businesses, in collaboration with Canadian technology companies can leverage our experience and expertise to develop the most advanced economy in the world.”

About PIC
The PIC consortium, which includes over 120 partners, was recently shortlisted in the Federal Government’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative, which will invest up to $950 million over five years to support select superclusters that can be engines of economic growth for the country. PIC and EMILI, a consortium that was formed in response to the supercluster initiative, announced in November that a number of their members and supercluster components would be integrated into PIC for the final proposal.