Tracing the Steel Industry Supply Chain

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Tracing the Steel Industry Supply Chain Deadline: 2019-02-15
Award: $1,000,000 CAD
Open to: Incorporated Canadian Businesses*

Steel products and inputs are not being comprehensively or securely traced with modern digital systems. Access to information related to the steel supply chain is also worsened by a lack of a standardized information-sharing mechanism which can result in delays in acquiring relevant data impacting government operations and steel business profitability. Currently there are no known applications of artificial intelligence analytics on Canadian steel sector information. Moreover, tools for trade and border activity are not optimizing tracing (blockchain) and AI technology in the steel sector.

The challenge is to develop a digital tool that would trace inputs and outputs in real time in the steel supply chain — up stream and down stream — using blockchain technology, and apply artificial intelligence enabled data analytics on this information, to better capture activities across the steel supply chain. ISED would directly benefit from such a technology as it would facilitate and enhance evidence-based policy making. Moreover, it could also be used by government to ease and digitize customs clearance procedures.

For industry, in particular downstream firms, it would offer product supply and demand predictions, instant verification of origin and quality of inputs and products (allowing for confirmation of responsible sourcing), reduced costs, increased efficiency and productivity, and predictive insights about inputs, use and demand metrics.

An opportunity exists for the Canadian steel industry to implement a new, cutting-edge approach to the sourcing of steel and inputs, and therefore establishing "responsible steel". This goal could be achieved through a rigorous industry-wide tracing mechanism within the supply chain, and through increased transparency.

* Details may apply. See contest website to confirm eligibility.

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