Artificial Intelligence for Logistics Supercluster Support Program


scale ai is a technology supercluster headquartered in Montreal that aims to enable logistics and supply chain excellence in Canada through the adoption and use of artificial intelligence (AI) powered tools.

The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is committed to supporting the scale ai supercluster through its Artificial Intelligence for Logistics program, which includes convener support in supply chain and logistics. The program also provides R&D expertise focused on next-generation technology issues to ensure Canadian excellence in logistics for the longer term. Using its national reach, the NRC program is creating linkages between stakeholders, and enabling the advancement of the technologies and firms that will make supply chain and logistics excellence a competitive advantage for Canada.

Focus areas and projects

The AI for Logistics program focusses on 4 R&D themes designed to support scale ai’s technology development goals.

Theme 1: Transportation and warehousing


  • Artificial intelligence (AI) for road freight in the Canadian Prairie and North
  • Self-landing uncrewed aerial vehicles (UVAs)
  • Augmented reality system with artificial intelligence (AI) modules for efficient remote guidance of drones
  • Multi-sensor odometry with deep learning based map building and mode adaptation for vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle
  • Crowdsourcing framework for last-mile delivery by leveraging artificial intelligence and blockchain
  • Building a multimodal transportation network database and exploring data collection technologies to support transportation operations in the Canadian North
  • Smart route recommendation system for transporting goods in extreme weather
  • Medium-range sea-ice presence forecasting using AI approach
  • Winter road logistics – Constitution of multimodal Northern transportation database
  • Continuous action, time, and space (CATS) reinforcement learning
  • Biologically inspired online novelty detection
  • Adaptable AI tools for safe and reliable remote operation of aerial manipulators interacting with their environment

Theme 2: Condition of infrastructure and goods


  • AI for rail infrastructure thermal stress condition assessment
  • Towards smart and sustainable pavement structures in Canada
  • AI-enabled tools to reduce risks to first responders in responding to freight-transportation fire incidents

Theme 3: Cybersecurity for logistics


  • Secure and resilient fog computing framework for intelligent transportation systems
  • Security of data provenance and machine learning for the internet of things
  • Internet of things device profiling in smart transportation pathways
  • Self-landing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)

Theme 4: Canadian logistics AI‑powered modelling

This later-stage theme will support multi-modal, multi-provincial / territorial logistics improvement activities.

NRC program convenor theme

This theme supports ecosystem development and responsible data activities, especially in the area of logistics.  Program activities in this area will be centred on events and outreach, primarily involving linkage enablement and responsible data initiatives.


The program organizes events that bring together stakeholders from industry, government and academia to discuss themes that impact intelligent logistics research.

  • February and March 2021: NRC forum on responsible data – Online (upcoming)
  • April 22, 2020: COVID-19 Logistics Impacts - Online (past)
  • February 18, 2020: NRC AI for Logistics Workshop, University of Waterloo, Canada (past)
  • June 11, 2019: NRC Intelligent Logistics Workshop, Ottawa, Canada (past)
  • Other informal sessions may also be possible

Please contact us if you would like to join or host a session.


We invite scale ai members, cademic and public-sector researchers, shippers and transporters of all kinds, and highly innovative firms to express their interest in collaborating with NRC researchers to apply AI and data analytics to solve current and arising logistics challenges.

Organizations collaborating with the NRC in support of the program's objectives can apply to the NRC's National Program Office for grant and contribution funding towards eligible research costs. Eligible recipients of this assistance include academic institutions, small to medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

If you are interested in collaborating with us, in making investments in this area, or if you have any questions, please contact:

Contact us

Margaret McKay, Program Leader, AI for Logistics supercluster support program
Telephone: 613-991-6853

Industry sectors

Logistics, transportation, warehousing, shipping, rail, trucking, aerospace, manufacturing, retail, civil infrastructure, information technology.