Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is partnering with Microsoft Canada to support the government’s sustainable development and climate action research with digital solutions.

Microsoft will offer AI Business School workshops to NRCan for department-wide skill development in the strategy, governance, operations and responsible use of AI.

“Deploying technology to support climate action is one of our greatest priorities. By placing solutions like Microsoft Azure AI at the core of its digital strategy, NRCan is creating a more sustainable and prosperous future for Canadians,” Lisa Carroll, public sector lead for Microsoft Canada, noted in a March 29 news release

The initiative is a first for NRCan, which is planning to leverage Microsoft AI for Earth partners and the tech giant’s AI Business School workshops for department-wide skill development in the strategy, governance, operations and responsible use of AI.

“Climate change is real. Combatting climate change requires innovation and collaboration. Microsoft’s digital technologies will support workers and the sustainable development of our natural resources. This is how we get to net-zero,” said Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources in the release.

NRCan cited three data projects it will collaborate with Microsoft on:

  • Energy Star Detective, developing a machine learning tool to identify online misuse, non-compliance and misrepresentation of the Energy Star name and mark.
  • Electric Vehicle Grid Readiness, using artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to identify patterns in electric vehicle charging data to provide insights for electric utilities on factors affecting electricity grid utilization.
  • Mining Risk Mitigation, producing an interactive map of mining locations across Canada with layers to represent different structures found on mine sites.

The federal agency also recently launched the Digital Accelerator, an initiative to grow the AI capacity of scientists and researchers, as well as explore the possibilities for advanced digital solutions in the natural resource sectors including energy, mining and forestry. 

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