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Evolving the Canadian AIoT Ecosystem

By Frank Rayal posted 05-16-2022 08:37


AIoT Canada has gathered 36 industry, government, and academic leaders to identify what a national Canadian AIoT strategy needs to address. In the course of the workshop, the participants discussed the opportunities and challenges of AIoT and zoomed-in on a few solutions they deemed critical to evolving Canada’s AIoT market.

The key takeaway of the workshop is that building a viable ecosystem is fundamental to drive innovation in the Canadian AIoT market. The broad nature and diversity of AI and IoT are bound to develop friction among the various parts which dampens the adoption rate. Reducing this friction requires a well-functioning ecosystem that stimulates and sustains the players.

I highlight here some of the key outcomes from the event.

AIoT workshop May 5, 2022

The Challenges and Opportunities

AI and IoT bring about improvements in productivity and efficiency for industry and individuals alike. To realize these benefits, one has to overcome a number of challenges. These include:

  • Validating the business case and determining the true value of benefits, costs and return on investment.
  • Establishing rules, processes and even markets related to data management, privacy, residency and sharing.
  • Working through the complexity and variety of networks and systems, and the need for interoperability among the elements of IoT networks.
  • Regulations across the end-to-end value chain which could lead to complex processes, or slow adoption.
  • Possessing the deep knowledge and expertise in specific vertical segments and application use cases.
  • Establishing trust and ensuring the security of networks and systems.
  • Developing human capital; education and training.
  • Developing a vision and a corresponding leadership to instil a sense of urgency and drive the implementation of solutions.

Advancing the Canadian AIoT Market

The challenges reflect the diverse nature of AIoT: it’s broad across a wide cross section of functions, disciplines and players. The participants made different suggestions on how Canada could further develop its AIoT sector. They also selected the top three in importance, which in order are:

  1. Develop, nurture and sustain the AIoT ecosystem.
  2. Establish a vision for AIoT in Canada.
  3. Enable access to data and develop the necessary frameworks for data management, security and privacy.

Building the AIoT Ecosystem

Developing the AIoT ecosystem reflects the diverse nature of IoT and AI. A well-functioning ecosystem reduces the friction inherent in the diversity of players and elements that make up AIoT. These elements cut across a wide range of fields and functions, such as technology, markets, operations, policy, standards and regulations. A viable ecosystem enable players to overcome such inherent friction to improve the adoption of AIoT and reap the benefits for the Canadian economy.

To develop the AIoT ecosystem, the participants pointed to the following:

  • Map the ecosystem to understand the different players and their roles; identify areas of strength and weaknesses, etc.
  • Bridge multi-disciplinary communities to reduce the effects of silos.
  • Contribute to developing a national roadmap to help guide the ecosystem.
  • Participate in developing standards and frameworks that reduce the barriers to adopting IoT and AI technologies.
  • Enable the collaboration among companies, academia and government to realize the benefits of AIoT.
  • Develop the deep expertise which AIoT requires for successful adoption.
  • Provide the appropriate incentives for the ecosystem to execute on issues critical to the well-being of our society.

Concluding Thought

Having reflected on the event and the choices made by the participant, I find the resulting suggestions highly complementary in nature and along with the current mission of AIoT Canada. The vision establishes the objectives and framework for the ecosystem which needs the appropriate environment to grow, while the data represents the lifeblood of AIoT through the information it, data, contains.

For additional information on the workshop, visit:

Keynote presentations:

1 comment



05-26-2022 11:21

Towards strenthening our National Ecosystem. 

Several of you are asking me what were the conclusion of the National Round Table we hosted on May 5th in Kanata. I would strongly urge you to read the Summary prepared by @Frank Rayal.


At our upcoming AGM, on June 15th, we will launch a national call for actions. Your enterprise or yourself would like to get know more about it? let us know!! ​​​