The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has created a fund worth $250 million dedicated to artificial intelligence and Quebec businesses with a proven track record in AI.

The fund’s aim is to increase growth in businesses offering products based on AI and to accelerate the commercialization of these solutions.

“Since Montreal is emerging as a global beacon of excellence in AI, we need to enhance our offering and ramp up the financial and development support we provide AI businesses through the various stages of their growth,” said Charles Émond, executive vice-president for Quebec and global strategic planning at the Caisse, in a press release. “This fund will encourage the commercialization of new AI solutions, as they’re of considerable strategic value to all sectors of our economy.”

The Caisse’s venture capital and technology team will manage the fund.

Read: Caisse invests in Quebec venture capital tech firm

In other investment news, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, in partnership with the Williams Companies Inc., is establishing a platform for optimizing its midstream natural gas operations in the western Marcellus and Utica basins.

“This joint venture will provide the CPPIB additional exposure to the North American natural gas market, aligning with our growing focus on energy transition,” said Avik Dey, managing director and head of energy and resources at the CPPIB, in a press release.

The agreement establishes a US$3.8 billion joint venture that will include Williams’ Ohio Valley and Utica East Ohio midstream systems. The CPPIB will invest US$1.34 billion for a 35 per cent ownership stake.

“Acquiring the remaining interest in UEO and forming a partnership with CPPIB advances our already strong position in the northeast,” said Alan Armstrong, president and chief executive officer of Williams. “These transactions create a platform for continued optimization and growth.”

Read: CPPIB and partner acquire Utica shale oil and gas assets