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Montréal Wins World Summit AI

World Summit AI Americas Announces Montréal as Host City for 2019, 2020, 2021

Inspired Minds, the organizers of the World Summit AI, whose second edition is currently taking place in Amsterdam, have announced that they will be holding a similar event Montréal for at least three years.

Tourisme Montréal has signed a four-year agreement with Inspired Minds, the London-based firm behind Word Summit AI. The fact that Montréal was selected to host the Americas version of the event confirms the destination's leadership in artificial intelligence (AI). The event is expected to attract 6,000 participants, which will amount to 32,500 room nights in Montréal hotels during this period.

"I am delighted that the collaboration between Tourisme Montréal and Inspired Minds has led to this exciting announcement. I would like to thank the entire AI community in Montréal, and in particular Yoshua Bengio from the University of Montréal and Element IA for helping make this possible," said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.

In the past few years, Montréal has become a global hub for research and excellence in AI. The city boasts a strong academic base, particularly at McGill University and the University of Montréal, where Professor Yoshua Bengio, the leading expert in the field, works. Montréal is also home to the Institut de valorisation des données (IVADO), and has attracted major digital players such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Samsung, Thalès and Facebook, all of which have set up AI research labs in the city.

It was a presentation during London Tech Week by Business Events Canada that first raised interest in Canada.

“Business Events Canada is helping grow Canada’s share of international events by showcasing our country’s strength across a variety of key economic sectors,” says Virginie de Visscher, director of business development, economic sectors, Business Events Canada. “Our participation in the acclaimed London Tech Week, and the opportunity to present Canada’s AI ecosystem helped inspire the bid discussion that ultimately led to the site selection process and Montréal being awarded this prestigious, multi-year conference.”

From initial inspiration to closing the deal — winning the World AI North America Summit was a collaborative effort from the start.

“Our team, together with the Canadian High Commission in London, uncovered the bid opportunity for Canada, but it was the collaboration between Tourisme Montréal and Montréal’s AI community that solidified the win,” says Chantal Sturk-Nadeau, executive director of Business Events Canada “Proof, yet again, that when we all work together great things can be accomplished.”