“Turbo charged” SNC-Lavalin joins AI research supercluster

Boosted by the high-tech capabilities of Atkins, Canadian contractor SNC-Lavalin has joined an "artificial intelligence-powered supply chain supercluster" planned by Canada to boost innovation.

The company wants to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) into the finance, design and construction stages of building projects.

Neil Bruce, the chief executive of SNC-Lavalin, said in a press statement: "Our ultimate goal is to contribute to Canadian world leadership in intelligent and sustainable supply chains, enabled by best-in-class applied AI R&D capabilities. Our recent acquisitions of Atkins and Data Transfer Solutions means we have enhanced capabilities in this area."

One of the aims of SNC-Lavalin’s acquisition of UK engineer Atkins for US$2.8bn last year was to acquire its digital capability.

In an interview last summer, Bruce said Atkins had developed "really good stuff", such as and AI-enabled passenger authentication system at Heathrow Airport. He added that he hoped to "turbo charge" that digital technology "so that we can do it twice as big and three times as fast".

The Montréal-based company hopes to benefit from the growth of that city as a hub for AI and machine learning.

SNC-Lavalin said it would contribute expertise to the supercluser in the areas of digital engineering, digital asset management, intelligent mobility, big data and predictive analytics, as well as virtual and augmented realities.

The company hopes to make contacts in the AI world with the aim of integrating the finance, design and construction stages of a project.

The supercluster has been incorporated as SCALE.AI (Supply Chains and Logistics Excellence.AI), an industry-led consortium that hopes to shape a global supply-chain platform.

Image: SNC-Lavalin is planning digitally integrated smart projects (Nanalyze)

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