Ontario AI snapshot: The state of the province’s AI ecosystem in 2020-21

October 20, 2021

Blog Trustworthy AI

October 21, 2021

Vector Institute’s latest Ontario AI snapshot finds that Ontario’s AI ecosystem continued to grow in size and strength in 2020-21, responding nimbly and effectively to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report, published annually by Vector in collaboration with Deloitte, assesses the health of the province’s AI ecosystem between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. The 10 metrics tracked in the report cover areas such as AI job creation and retention, investment, application, and commercialization—and serve as benchmarks for measuring the progress of governments, businesses, and institutions in strengthening Ontario’s AI ecosystem. 

Report Graphic

Among this year’s report highlights:

  • Ontario is creating good, well-paying AI jobs. More than 7,200 new AI jobs were created in Ontario, nearly double last year’s figure. Nearly 3,000 of these new jobs are held by highly qualified AI program graduates and pay more than $70,000 a year.
  • Ontario’s supply of trained AI talent is growing. More than 1,400 students began their studies in AI-related master’s programs in Ontario—an increase of 270 from last year. And over 700 AI master’s students graduated. 
  • More investment is flowing into Ontario’s AI ecosystem and AI R&D.  $2.16 billion in venture capital investment flowed into Ontario’s AI ecosystem, up $254 million from the previous year. Estimated median spending on AI research and development grew by a factor of 5.5 to 6.3 compared with last year. 
  • AI is playing an increasingly pivotal role in Ontario business. More than half (51%, up from 44%) of business executives surveyed say that AI plays a strategically important role in achieving their company’s business objectives or that their company has implemented a formal AI strategy within all business units. 

Read the report to learn more about the state of the Ontario AI ecosystem.

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