Artificial intelligence is key to advancing cleantech

As part of the SOSCIP-Mitacs Cleantech Call for Proposals, and in alignment with our commitment to clean technology and its adoption throughout Ontario and Canada, we recently asked two leading experts to talk about the intersection of artificial intelligence and clean technology.

 

Ivette Vera-Perez is the Team Lead for Mitacs’s Account Management group with expertise in clean technology. Ivette serves on the board of directors of the Ontario Clean Technologies Industry Association (OCTIA).

 

 

 

Tibor Turi is the executive director of SOSCIP, a consortium of academic and industry members that supports collaborative research projects through partnership-building services and access to leading-edge advanced computing platforms.

 

 

The following is an excerpt of the full discussion, which you can find on Mitacs’ website, here.

 

Key Takeaways

  • AI is optimizing existing cleantech practices and setting the benchmark for the future.
  • AI and Machine Learning bring an opportunity to achieve industrial efficiency and decarbonization across multiple industries.
  • Both small and large companies are utilizing artificial intelligence to reduce their carbon footprints and build a greener future.

 

What is the current state of AI serving cleantech? What kinds of innovative ways are cleantech companies using AI, and why is that important?

Tibor: The current state of AI serving cleantech is both exploratory and operational. It is exploratory because cleantech and AI are both interested in solving critical real-world problems that push researchers and entrepreneurs right to the very edge of innovation. Adopting technologies that can transform the world is built right into the core of what cleantech and AI are about. It is operational because AI is already widely used in clean technologies. From energy to water, to waste and beyond, AI is busy optimizing existing cleantech practices and setting the benchmark for the future.

One example that I find particularly interesting is the use of AI in designing new materials. By applying artificial intelligence to uncover novel ways of combining atomic and sub-atomic structures, we can develop the materials that we will need to build the next generation of clean technology breakthrough products more efficiently and sustainably. SOSCIP supports projects like this, and there are a couple of examples in our research projects database that I’ll point to here and here.

Ivette: AI is at the center of the current industrial revolution, and its relevance for the cleantech industry will certainly increase in the coming decade. Enabling technologies, including robotics, AI, and Machine Learning bring an opportunity to achieve industrial efficiency and decarbonization across multiple industries. This also opens a tremendous opportunity for cleantech companies to grow, and for traditional industries to implement clean technologies, as the need to keep up with automation becomes crucial for industry to compete.

Climate risk assessment is an area where AI is being applied, with tremendous potential for more. The environment and climate space is highly complex, with large data sets that often make it difficult to find important signals among the noise. AI-driven tools make these tasks achievable and more accurate.

 

The full discussion, which you can find on Mitacs’ website, is available here.