NRCan’s Digital Accelerator: Revolutionizing the way Natural Resources Canada serves Canadians through digital innovation

By: Curtis McKinney, Natural Resources Canada; Anjuli Szawiola, Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has a strong foundation integrating advanced analytics in its science and research programs. This expertise makes the department an authority in areas such as geospatial data and projecting ecosystem disturbances in Canada’s forests. NRCan aims to lead the digital transformation of the natural resource sector. To that end, the Digital Accelerator was formed to explore innovative applications of digital solutions and develop strategic partnerships to augment NRCan’s expertise.

What is the Digital Accelerator?

The Digital Accelerator is a team of data scientists and analysts who provide a cross-functional, client-centric service to science and policy experts throughout NRCan. The Accelerator takes a hands-on approach to growing the department’s artificial intelligence-related competencies by delivering tangible products in collaboration with partners and identifying opportunities to share knowledge, expertise and resources.

For example, researchers from NRCan, Transport Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, the University of Waterloo and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology are collaborating to provide tools and knowledge to utility planners, policy makers, university researchers and consultants to better inform electrical grid management. The Digital Accelerator is utilizing a variety of datasets—including techno-economic factors, environmental considerations and drivers’ social behaviour—to develop machine learning models to analyze the optimization of electric grids and charging infrastructure for mass vehicle penetration. This analysis will help forecast the impact on charging infrastructure, future grid extensions and utilities generation capacities.

These types of strategic partnerships are fundamental to accelerating the adoption of advanced analytics and providing more value to Canadians. The Digital Accelerator is excited to announce three new partnerships with data science teams from Statistics Canada, Microsoft Canada and Google Canada. These collaborations represent a new way for departments and technology firms to work together and keep pace with the rate of advancements in AI.

Are you interested in learning more or collaborating? Check out the NRCan website or email them today!

Project team and contributors:

Alida Rubwindi, Natural Resources Canada; Lisa VandenBerg, Natural Resources Canada

Date modified: