MaRS launches next phase of Mission from MaRS with focus on public procurement of Canadian climate solutions

Mission from MaRS: Net Zero will continue to bust barriers to climate action by scaling innovation adoption.

Sharm El Sheikh, EGYPT, Nov. 8, 2022 – At the United Nations COP27 Climate Change Conference today, MaRS Discovery District launched Mission from MaRS: Net Zero, a new series of specialized coalitions and initiatives to break down common barriers to the wide-scale adoption of climate technologies.

“Getting governments to adopt new clean technologies at scale is essential to solving the climate crisis,” said Tyler Hamilton, Director of Cleantech at MaRS. “The program’s goal is to facilitate some of those first big bets to create demand and momentum for commercial, made-in-Canada climate solutions that can and must drive meaningful impact.”

To meet this need, the first Mission launched today will focus on tapping the immense potential of public procurement, building on the success of the Mission from MaRS: Climate Impact Challenge. It will focus on strategies to remove barriers to public procurement, helping ventures better navigate the process and sell more easily to governments at every level.

The Mission will assemble a coalition of experts from across the industry, government, and innovation communities to provide guidance and good governance on the development of large-scale procurement solutions.

The coalition will include a new cohort of Climate Champions, which will be revealed at a launch webinar on December 8 along with the other key stakeholders. To attend and learn more, register here.

A key project for the Mission will be the development of a clean and circular innovation marketplace, an open online resource and solutions database made available to all levels of Canadian government. The marketplace will be developed by MaRS in partnership with the Circular Innovation Council (CIC) and will represent a one-stop-shop for public buyers and private sellers of net zero-related products, services and information.

Other Mission initiatives include creating a procurement playbook for Canadian municipalities of all sizes, so that cities don’t have to start from scratch when it comes to sourcing and implementing climate solutions. It will also pilot a new municipal impact investment fund, a seed fund for small and mid-sized cities with big climate ambitions.

The public procurement-focused mission has received generous funding from HSBC, RBC Tech for Nature and the TD Ready Commitment.

“The transition to a net zero economy is going to require rapid adoption and scaling of climate solutions,” said Kim Hallwood, Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Bank Canada. “The scale of this challenge will require new ways of thinking, and cross-sector collaboration. That’s why we are proud to support this Procurement Mission, which will accelerate next generation technologies that are crucial to meeting our climate goals.”

“Climate change and the issues we’re facing connect us all as we work to build a better future,” said Mark Beckles, vice president of social impact and innovation at RBC. “Through RBC Tech for Nature and our partnerships, we are committed to bringing the power of innovative technologies to address and scale solutions to face this crisis together.”

Mission from MaRS would not be possible without the support of its founding partners HSBC, Trottier Family Foundation, RBC Tech for Nature and Thistledown Foundation.

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About MaRS

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.

MaRS is at COP27 to represent Canada’s cleantech community and moderate a panel at the the Canada Pavilion titled “Innovative Approaches to Accelerating Climate Tech Adoption,” featuring partners KPMG, Resilient LLP, and MaRS-supported ventures Flash Forest, BrainBox AI and QEA Tech.

MaRS is also hosting an immersive, room-sized “Decarbonize” simulation which is designed for participants to experience the trade-offs required to transition to a low-carbon economy and spur creative approaches towards decarbonization.

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