Canadian Manufacturing

Feds invest in tracing steel supply chain

Funding for two firms will support a proof of concept for a digital tracing system for the steel supply chain

January 24, 2020  by CM Staff

Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, and Mary Ng, minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, announced that two Canadian companies will develop a proof of concept for a digital tracing system enabled by blockchain and artificial intelligence for the Canadian, and possibly North American, steel supply chain.

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada says this digital tool seeks to capture activities across the steel supply chain to provide government and industry users with better information on supply and demand, origin, and the quality of inputs and outputs.

Peer Ledger Inc., based in Halifax,, and Mavennet Systems Inc., based in Toronto, will each receive an investment of up to $150,000 through Innovative Solutions Canada, a program that invites Canadian small businesses to develop solutions to address government challenges.

The funding will support research and development activities to build a prototype specific to the steel supply chain. If selected to continue to the program’s next stage, one of the two companies could receive up to $1 million over two years to refine its prototype.

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Bains said in a statement, “Our government is leveraging its significant purchasing power to help Canadian small businesses become more competitive. With this challenge, we’re looking for a tool to better trace the steel supply chain and provide information on product supply and demand, instant verification of origin, and quality of inputs and outputs. By turning to Canadian innovators for their best ideas, we’re accessing quality products to solve some of our most pressing challenges while helping businesses grow and create good jobs.”