DarwinAI, today announced that it has received a $750,000 USD investment from Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) under the Industrial Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy. This investment enables DarwinAI, the explainable AI company located in Waterloo, Canada, to operationalize their COVID-Net initiative, which diagnoses COVID-19 using chest X-ray scans.
“In these challenging times, it is imperative to take advantage of opportunities to strengthen Canada’s economy,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “It is encouraging to see that the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy, which already has a considerable impact on job creation and Canada’s economic growth, now also has the added benefit of helping to solve the problems that the pandemic presents, and potentially save lives.”
Lockheed Martin’s investment is a result of the ITB obligations associated with Canada’s purchase and associated In-Service Support of 17 CC-130J Super Hercules aircraft, which were delivered to the Royal Canadian Air Force in 2010.
DarwinAI released COVID-Net on March 22, 2020, in response to the severity of the pandemic. The team’s decision to open source the project elicited a significant response from international researchers, several of whom leveraged the technology for local diagnostics. The initiative has evolved considerably since then, most recently through COVIDNet-S, which can diagnose the severity of the disease by analyzing key visual indicators in an X-Ray scan.
The resulting investment will enable the DarwinAI team to operationalize the project in a manner that makes it accessible to clinicians and healthcare professionals. Key milestones will include creating a front-end User Interface to simplify ease-of-use and integrating with PACS, the standard medical imaging technology used by hospitals.
DarwinAI CEO Sheldon Fernandez, expressed his delight with the news. “The funding from Lockheed Martin is an important catalyst in getting COVID-Net into the hands of as many people as possible. Since its inception, the aim of the project is to give healthcare professionals a tool in combatting the pandemic. We are thankful to the Lockheed Martin team that facilitated this investment which will help us realize this goal.”
“At Lockheed Martin Canada, the work we do is laying a foundation for decades to come in terms of innovation, job growth, STEM development, economic prosperity and security. Partnerships play a critical role in this effort, just like this exciting and timely initiative with DarwinAI,” commented Lorraine Ben, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin Canada. “In a most challenging year, it is inspiring to see how Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy drives enduring investments for Canadian industry and how it can accelerate solutions to the most complex challenges.”
DarwinAI has already begun their work and anticipate the first iteration of the UI system will be used in numerous hospitals by the end of the year.
DarwinAI is an explainable AI company, founded by renowned academics at the University of Waterloo that enables enterprises to build AI they can trust. Their Generative Synthesis technology is based on years of distinguished scholarship and helps accelerate advanced deep learning development. To learn more about DarwinAI, visit their website at www.darwinai.com or follow them @darwinAI on Twitter.
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Ottawa, Lockheed Martin Canada is the Canadian unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation, a global security and aerospace company that employs some 110 000 people worldwide. Lockheed Martin Canada has been Canada’s trusted defence partner for over 80 years, specializing in the development, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. The company has over 1000 employees at major facilities in Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Calgary, and Victoria, working on a wide range of major programs spanning the aerospace, defence, and commercial sectors.