Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, today announced an $8-million investment to develop a first-of-its-kind robotic platform called ADA that uses artificial intelligence to accelerate the development process for new energy efficient materials.
“We’re proud to support such an exciting, cutting-edge project that will position Canada as a leader in clean energy innovation and will bring us one step closer to the low-carbon economy we all want,” said Sohi.
“Canada will continue to work with partner countries, international organizations and the private sector on innovative projects that will drive economic growth and contribute to our climate change commitments.”
Funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Energy Innovation Program, chemists at the University of British Columbia are building the platform, called the Autonomous Discovery Accelerator for Materials Innovation.
ADA—essentially an AI-driven materials scientist—will be capable of designing, performing and learning from experiments efficiently and autonomously. ADA’s transformational approach to materials discovery will enable Canada to significantly accelerate the time it takes to bring clean energy materials to market.
“We’re honoured to have had our program selected by Natural Resources Canada,” said UBC chemist Curtis P Berlinguette, whose lab developed the platform in conjunction with UBC colleague Jason Hein and the University of Toronto’s Alán Aspuru-Guzik.
“Our project represents a bold initiative that will accelerate the discovery and development of new clean energy technologies by leveraging cutting-edge robotics equipped with artificial intelligence. We’re very excited to be at the forefront of this innovative movement in materials science. We’d like to also thank North Robotics, our small business partner, and the University of British Columbia for their support.”
This project engages a Canadian business in the fabrication of robotic components, contributing to more jobs for qualified personnel, and will foster economic growth and position Canada as a global leader in this rapidly growing technology.
Project ADA is a Canadian-based international collaboration, supporting Canada’s commitments to Mission Innovation, a global initiative of 23 countries committed to doubling their clean energy R&D investments within five years.
Canada co-leads with Mexico on Innovation Challenge 6 under the Mission Innovation banner, which seeks to accelerate the exploration, discovery and use of new high-performance, low-cost clean energy materials.