According to KPMG’s Global Innovation Report, Toronto is set up to be one of the world’s leading technology innovation hubs over the next four years.
Being released in two parts, the annual report is based on the views of 767 business executives globally from companies, venture capital firms, and other investors that focus on tech. Of the total respondents, 7.8 percent are based in Canada. Toronto was called out for having 4,000 active startups and over 22,500 new tech jobs from 2015 to 2016; six percent of global leaders said the city is outpacing the competition as it competes with Silicon Valley and San Francisco.
Toronto was the only Canadian city to make the top 15, while featured cities like Shanghai, Tokyo, London, Bangalore, and Berlin ahead of it.
While it wasn’t featured in the report, one percent of global respondents called out Vancouver as being a burgeoning tech ecosystem.
“Toronto has been rapidly grabbing the world’s attention as a destination for financial and intellectual capital in technology innovation,” said Anuj Madan, national industry leader for technology, media and telecommunications at KPMG in Canada. “Only a couple of years ago, Toronto likely didn’t come up in conversations as a go-to global destination for innovation. But smart and early investments in artificial intelligence and fintech, coupled with a diverse workforce, have positioned the city as an emerging global centre of influence in machine and deep learning, setting the stage for Industry 4.0.”
The report also broke down the innovation landscapes by country. While focused on Toronto and the Waterloo Region, Canada overall was noted for having significant investments in FinTech and AI that have paid off. Alberta is currently a hotbed of AI activity with the Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and an RBC machine learning lab with AI pioneer Richard Sutton as advisor. In Toronto, significant government investments in the AI-focused Vector Institute and scientists like Geoffrey Hinton and Raquel Urtasun leading research in the city have helped the city gain a reputation alongside cities of Montreal.
Montreal-based Element.AI, which raised a historic $137.5 million Series A, is known worldwide for its work in the field of AI, and is being led by Yoshua Bengio, another AI pioneer that is leading labs for companies like Samsung.
Access the full report here.
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