Today KPMG in Canada and MaRS Discovery District launched the Climate Impact Accelerator, a collaboration designed to significantly advance Canada's innovation agenda by bridging the gap between Corporate Canada and the country's start-up ecosystem.
The program matches KPMG in Canada clients looking for technology-driven climate solutions to cleantech startups in the MaRS ecosystem that are ready to scale up. The goal of the program is to implement climate innovation solutions on a large scale quickly by building stronger networks between startups and corporations and governments.
"Often, startups and corporates don't talk to each other, and they tend to operate in silos," says Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS Discovery District. "This collaboration brings together their complementary capabilities and helps bridge the gap in Canada's innovation ecosystem. In today's economy, there's no one stakeholder that has the ability to solve the climate crisis on their own, so together with KPMG in Canada we're creating strong coalitions with the Climate Impact Accelerator. It's time to move beyond pilot projects and towards creating sustainable models that will move Canada's innovation agenda forward."
"Canada is home to more than a dozen of the top global cleantech companies, second only to the United States," says Armughan Ahmad, President and Managing Partner, Digital, KPMG in Canada. "It has one of the most highly educated populations in the world, and its technology workforce grew at a rate faster than the U.S. in the past year. Our innovation economy represents 12 per cent of GDP but it's growing three to six times faster than the rest of the economy. Canada clearly has a strong foundation in research and innovation, but we're lagging in commercialization. The Climate Impact Accelerator helps solve that disconnect. KPMG in Canada's collaboration with MaRS Discovery District is a real step forward in bringing Canadian innovations to market."
The World Intellectual Property Organization ranked Canada 16th out of 70 countries in its 2021 Global Innovation Index in 2021, but when it comes to business sophistication and knowledge and technology outputs, Canada's ranking falls to 20th and 23rd, respectively.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada has the highest share of innovative firms, but its projected GDP per capita growth is only 0.7 per cent from 2020-2030 and 0.8 per cent from 2030-2060, placing Canada last in a ranking of 38 advanced and G20 countries.
The Climate Impact Accelerator seeks to boost economic growth and advance commercialization in Canada's cleantech innovation economy by combining the client base and advisory expertise of one of Canada's largest professional services firms with MaRS, North America's biggest innovation hub. The collaboration has the potential to be scaled to other areas such as financial services, healthcare, environmental, social and governance (ESG) and retail.
"The ventures we have at MaRS are creating solutions to some of our most pressing challenges such as climate change, and they're creating immense value for corporations, governments and Canadians. Our collaboration with KPMG offers a way for startups to partner with large organizations to realize their full potential and take those solutions to market in a meaningful way," adds Mr. Wu.
"The innovation economy is driving the future of Canada, and organizations are looking for cutting-edge solutions to achieve their goals in areas like ESG and digital transformation. While large corporations and governments have the will and the financial resources to innovate, they sometimes lack the agility of startups, so that's where we come in – by pairing them with nimble partners that share similar visions and goals and can implement technology quickly and at scale. KPMG in Canada's collaboration with MaRS is an impactful new way for us to help our clients commercialize innovations in climate change and beyond," notes Mr. Ahmad.
BrainBox AI is a Montreal-based startup from the MaRS portfolio participating in the Climate Impact Accelerator. The company specializes in artificial intelligence software that optimizes HVAC Systems to make buildings more energy efficient and greener.
"Partnering with corporations and governments through the Climate Impact Accelerator allows us to demonstrate how our game-changing AI technology can be used on a large scale to help reduce emissions. This program helps us find the right corporate partners quickly and efficiently. We are looking forward to working with governments and companies and help them cut their energy usage by enabling building owners to significantly reduce their carbon footprints," says Sam Ramadori, Chief Executive Officer of BrainBox AI.
Jan De Silva, President & CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade notes that initiatives like the Climate Impact Accelerator will help businesses and governments realize their climate goals more quickly while advancing economic growth and competitiveness in regional innovation centres.
"It takes everyone, working in unison, to hit go on addressing our global climate crisis and unleashing the economic potential of climate innovation in Toronto Region. Partnerships like this bring together Toronto's strong corporate foundation and start-up community to push forward on real and long-term solutions. I hope the Climate Impact Accelerator model becomes a playbook for other cities. I can also ensure that we, at the Board, will continue to support driving the climate economy."
About KPMG in Canada
KPMG LLP, a limited liability partnership, is a full-service Audit, Tax and Advisory firm owned and operated by Canadians. For over 150 years, our professionals have provided consulting, accounting, auditing, and tax services to Canadians, inspiring confidence, empowering change, and driving innovation. Guided by our core values of Integrity, Excellence, Courage, Together, For Better, KPMG employs more than 10,000 people in over 40 locations across Canada, serving private- and public-sector clients. KPMG is consistently ranked one of Canada's top employers and one of the best places to work in the country.
The firm is established under the laws of Ontario and is a member of KPMG's global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International, a private English company limited by guarantee. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. For more information, see home.kpmg/ca.
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS is North America's largest urban innovation hub. A registered non-profit, MaRS supports high-growth startups and scale-ups tackling key issues in health, cleantech, fintech and other sectors. In addition, MaRS convenes all members of the tech ecosystem to drive breakthrough discoveries, grow the economy and make an impact by solving real problems for real people — in Canada and around the world.
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