AI XPrize Transforming Montreal Into an AI hub – District 3 Innovation Center

AI XPrize Transforming Montreal Into an AI hub


By: Sofia Carbone, communications coordinator

Montreal’s artificial intelligence (AI) ecosystem has gained traction in the past few years, positioning our city as the hub for AI. The AI XPRIZE, a four-year global $5-million, open and global competition where teams must develop and demonstrate how people can collaborate and apply artificial intelligence to solve the world’s largest societal challenges. The competition is a great opportunity to showcase our talent and the strength of our city as an AI hub.

Montreal is leading the pack with the most teams entered in the competition, a total of 12! Yesterday, we heard our teams, including two from Ontario, pitch at Blakes Law Firm to the foremost experts and mentors in the AI field in Montreal.

Sydney Swaine-Simon, District 3’s AI Zone-Fellow, has been working hard for over the past year to promote, recruit, support and connect the teams with the major players in the ecosystem. It’s a privilege to support our talented teams throughout their journey!

Meet The Teams

1. Ubenwa

Birth Asphyxia is one of the top 3 causes of infant mortality in Africa, causing the death of about 1.2 million infants and severe lifelong disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, deafness, and paralysis) to an equal number annually. Ubenwa is developing a machine learning system that can take infant cry as input, analyse the amplitude and frequency patterns in the cry, to provide instant diagnosis of birth asphyxia.

2. SenseQuake

Sensequake is making cities safer and smarter by revolutionizing how engineers assess the integrity and natural hazard vulnerability of structures. Instead of visual inspection and traditional engineering practices, Sensequake technology performs smart assessments based on actual data from sensors—saving engineers time, effort and money—all the while providing superior results. Their project can be used to help and minimize risk of Building Collapses by providing a scalable product to do building risk assessment which is 80% faster.


3. Nectar

Nectar is a Montreal based, AI startup that gives nature a voice, starting with honey bees. Through conversational interface technology, they help beekeepers apply the right care at the right time, in order to raise healthy apiaries. The current iteration of the product uses multiple sensors which go into the hive and will have an app interface so that beekeepers minimize the amount of times they need to disrupt them. Although they are starting with bee colonies,  the product is scalable to work in other environments.


4. Dataperformers

DataperfomersX is building the Google map for disaster management. From a simple and textual query like “what is the best location for a temporary hospital?” DataperformersX provides a straightforward recommendation plans build from heterogeneous data sources and a decentralized autonomous mapping low cost drones.



5. Erudite

Meet Eri.AI, a chatbot that provides students all over the world one-on-one math tutoring, on demand. This is done by matching students, in real-time, with available tutors that have shown proficiency in the same subject. As a result, the student will have a better understanding of the topic, while the tutor will reach the tutoring level of a professional.


6. Innovie

Innovie’s solution is to provide physicians with a AI Real-Time Data Analytics platform which will be integrated with EMR/EHR’s and clinical research databases. Their system will be a fully automated real-time responsive diagnosis and provide time and cost efficiency for patients, physicians and clinic. This will lead to a reduction in defensive medicine practices and diagnostic errors.



7. Prëmo

Prëmo is an inter-connexion platform bringing individuals from distant networks together, much faster, helping them form communities closest to their needs and interests. Rosa is our master-piece AI-system finding the fastest ways for an individual to connect at any moment, for any need, with anyone, instantaneously.



AICARE aims to develop an intelligent application programming interface (API) that will receive real-time traffic video feed and any other data/information that could help improve traffic flow. A web platform is the fastest way to reach our potential users over the world. Once the data comes to that API, it will be processed by an intelligent agent able to return to traffic light controllers the optimal cycles of green light versus red light. By the end of the competition, their goal is to improve traffic reality in at least three cities


9. Alfred

AIfred is a clinical decision aid system for psychiatry. AIfred combines deep scientific research with cutting-edge machine learning to help reduce recovery times, increase treatment efficacy and allow better allocation of medical resources through more effective and efficient treatment plans.

10. Canadian Shield MVSS

Canadian Shield Military and Veteran Student Services (Canadian Shield MVSS) is a Federally Incorporated non-profit Corporation that is developing a Cognitive Computing based Veteran Transition Ecosystem to support former Canadian Armed Forces and RCMP members by providing a seamless end-to-end progression through the series of steps required to secure gainful civilian employment and meaningful participation in their new communities following a service related injury.


11. Cann Forecast

Cann Forecast is building a revolutionary artificial intelligence system called JENN. JENN is an AI based assistant capable of predicting the risk of microbiological contamination in water. Along with data provided by the cities, it also makes use of meteorological and environmental data in order to predict the risk of contamination up to 3 days ahead not only for recreational water, but also for drinking water sources.

JENN also comes with a graphical user interface so that decision makers can visualize the system’s predicted and historical data, along with performance metrics and confidence intervals so they can make more enlightened decisions.An API is also available for data access and integration with systems already in place.


12. Mr. Young

Mental health disorders affect more than 650 million people worldwide and cost more than 1 trillion dollars a year. It has also been found that younger generations are particularly affected by them. Although many human and technological resources exist, seeking the right kind of help can be a daunting and confusing task.

Mr. Young is an AI-powered chatbot designed to provide an “ear” that help those in need cope with anxiety, and connect them to the appropriate solution.


13. uOttawa AI

uOttawa AI is creating an AI system to help the visually impaired navigate their environment.  The aim is to improve the accuracy of video understanding by integrating more advanced audio, beep/vibration alerts. Their technology will aid the current methods and utilize smartphone features such as GPS and motion sensors.


14. Learn Leap Fly

Teaching the next generation to learn requires all of us, whether our expertise is with technology, with culture, with design, with psychology, with science, with art, or with community. If having experts in a single domain was sufficient, we would already be done. The challenges of global education remain despite having experts in all of the above areas. Our best solutions require the creative collaboration of expert learners, teachers, and makers across many problem domains.

At Learn Leap Fly, we seek out experts who are committed to lifelong learning and teaching, and bring them into a collaborative environment. We challenge them to find the places where their areas of expertise intersect those of others. We help them test their notions, and their preconceptions, and we do it all in a culture of respect, honesty, and experimentation.



WikiNet is a company specialized in the development of applications for the environmental sector. They are collaborating with IBM/Watson, the world leader in cognitive computing, to create intelligent applications that can learn from data and support decision-making. They give the opportunity to environmental companies to innovate and distinguish themselves in a highly competitive market by expanding their expertise with the cognitive technology. Winkinet provides decision tools for environmental companies to identify the best solutions for environmental protection and to support economic development.