Why smart cities should star in the innovation budget

TORONTO, March 21, 2017 /CNW/ - As the federal government prepares to unveil a budget to stimulate research and development in the Canadian economy, a new report from MaRS Discovery District highlights a major shift in how and where innovation is happening. The report charts a global trend that's seeing tech companies that once would have set up in research parks on the edge of cities heading downtown. They're moving because today's breakthrough technologies are pulling together disparate parts of the economy and consequently, entrepreneurs need to collaborate with people working in diverse fields.

Over the last decade, more than a dozen cities – mostly in North America and Europe – have created innovation districts to attract these companies. In Canada, Toronto's Discovery District comprised of MaRS, the University of Toronto and five research hospitals, is now home to the Canadian headquarters of global leaders like Facebook and PayPal alongside scores of startups. Similar innovation hotspots exist in Vancouver, Waterloo and Montreal.

The report suggests that to compete with the global leaders in innovation – places like Silicon Valley, New York and LondonCanada should invest in these centres to support vibrant innovation communities that draw in the talent and investment startups need to grow.

A copy of Rise of the Hub: How Innovation Is Moving Downtown is available for download here. To coincide with the release of the report, MaRS has created an online infographic, allowing users to explore the new geography of global innovation. The visualization can be viewed here and can be made available to embed in websites on request.

Available interviews:

  • Joe Greenwood, co-author and Executive Lead, Data at MaRS
  • Joeri van den Steenhoven, co-author, Vice-President, Systems Innovation at MaRS

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world's largest urban innovation hubs. Our purpose is to help innovators change the world. MaRS supports promising ventures tackling key challenges in the health, cleantech, finance & commerce, as well as work & learning sectors as they start, grow and scale. In addition, the MaRS community fosters cross-disciplinary collaboration to drive breakthrough discoveries and new solutions to be adopted in Canada and beyond, growing our economy and delivering societal impact at scale.

SOURCE MaRS Discovery District

For further information: and to arrange interviews, contact: Danielle Klassen, Acting Manager, Community & Media Relations, MaRS, 416-673-8152, dklassen@marsdd.com


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