KPMG in Canada and MaRS Discovery District Announce the Launch of Climate Impact Accelerator

Published on: 21 June 2022
by KnowESG

The Climate Impact Accelerator was developed by KPMG in Canada and MaRS Discovery District, a cooperation aiming to advance Canada's innovation agenda by bridging the gap between Corporate Canada and the country's start-up ecosystem.

Clients of KPMG in Canada searching for technology-driven climate solutions are matched with cleantech startups in the MaRS ecosystem that are ready to scale up through the programme. The programme's purpose is to develop better networks between startups, companies, and governments to deploy climate innovation solutions on a wide scale.

Yung Wu, CEO of MaRS Discovery District, said: "Often, startups and corporates don't talk to each other, and they tend to operate in silos. This collaboration brings together their complementary capabilities and helps bridge the gap in Canada's innovation ecosystem. In today's economy, no one stakeholder can 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."

Armughan Ahmad, President and Managing Partner, Digital, KPMG in Canada, said: "Canada is home to more than a dozen of the top global cleantech companies, second only to the United States. 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 has a strong foundation in research and innovation, but we're lagging in commercialisation. The Climate Impact Accelerator helps solve that disconnect. KPMG Canada's collaboration with MaRS Discovery District is a real step forward in bringing Canadian innovations to market."

In its 2021 Global Innovation Index, the World Intellectual Property Organisation rated Canada 16th out of 70 nations, but when it comes to business sophistication, knowledge, and technology output, Canada ranks 20th and 23rd, respectively.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Canada has the highest share of innovative enterprises, but its predicted GDP per capita growth is only 0.7 per cent from 2020-2030 and 0.8 per cent from 2030-2060, putting it last in a ranking of 38 advanced and G20 countries.

By integrating the customer base and advisory skills of one of Canada's major professional services companies with MaRS, North America's largest innovation cluster, the Climate Impact Accelerator aims to accelerate economic growth and drive commercialisation in Canada's cleantech innovation economy. Financial services, healthcare, environmental, social, and governance (ESG), and retail are among areas where the relationship might be expanded.

"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 organisations to realise 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 organisations 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 commercialise innovations in climate change and beyond," notes Mr Ahmad.

BrainBox AI is a MaRS portfolio company that is participating in the Climate Impact Accelerator. The business specialises in artificial intelligence software that optimises HVAC systems to make them more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.

Sam Ramadori, Chief Executive Officer of BrainBox AI, said: "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 programme helps us find the right corporate partners quickly and efficiently. We are looking forward to working with governments and companies to help them cut their energy usage by enabling building owners to significantly reduce their carbon footprints."

Initiatives like the Climate Impact Accelerator, according to Jan De Silva, President and CEO of the Toronto Region Board of Trade, will assist businesses and governments achieve their climate targets more swiftly while also driving economic growth and competitiveness in regional innovation centres.

"It takes everyone, working in unison, to keep going on addressing our global climate crisis and unleashing the economic potential of climate innovation in the 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."

Source: KPMG

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