MaRS partners with Unilever to identify and unlock innovations in the CPG industry

Collaboration with Unilever will help MaRS ventures accelerate and scale their businesses globally

TORONTO, October 13, 2015 – MaRS Discovery District today announced a partnership with Unilever, one of the world’s leading suppliers of food, home and personal care products. Joining MaRS’ Consumer and Commerce cluster, the partnership will enable Unilever to stay at the forefront of technologies that are driving some of the biggest breakthroughs in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry.

With an increased number of savvy startups disrupting distinct product categories, packaging designs and distribution channels within the CPG industry, corporations like Unilever are tapping into large-scale innovation platforms, like MaRS, to say ahead of the game. Through this partnership, Unilever will be able to draw on the collective talent, intelligence and emerging innovations coming out of MaRS’ Consumer and Commerce cluster. Innovations that include tech-enhanced shopper experiences, materials and packaging solutions, and data, marketing and analytics tools – all applied in the context of sustainability.

“Unilever, one of the most innovative CPG companies in the world, reaches over 2 billion people on a daily basis. The combined power of MaRS’ ecosystem with Unilever’s global reach and expertise makes this cross-industry collaboration a natural fit and huge opportunity for both entities,” said Sue McGill, Head, MaRS Consumer and Commerce. “By bridging the innovations happening on the front lines at MaRS directly to Unilever’s team, you create opportunities for accelerated growth – which is what our high impact, Canadian ventures need.”

“We are very excited to be working and partnering with the MaRS team and their entrepreneurial, forward thinking network of innovators,” said John Snow, Customer Packaging Global Innovation Leader, Unilever R&D. “This partnership helps prepare us for what the future brings and, more importantly, through innovation and collaboration, allows us to build and shape that future to be better and sustainable for our global community.”

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS supports promising young ventures tackling key societal challenges in the health, cleantech and ICT sectors. In the last three years, these ventures have raised $1.3 billion in capital and earned $640 million in revenue. In addition to helping startups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries and driving ideas to impact.

About Unilever
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast-moving consumer goods. Our products are sold in over 190 countries and used by 2 billion consumers every day. Our purpose is to make sustainable living commonplace. We work to create a better future every day, with brands and services that help people feel good, look good, and get more out of life. By combining our multinational expertise with our deep roots in diverse local cultures, we’re continuing to provide a range of products to suit a wealth of consumers. By leveraging our global reach and inspiring people to take small, everyday actions, we believe we can help make a big difference to the world.

“We cannot close our eyes to the challenges that the world faces. Business must make an explicit and positive contribution to addressing them. I’m convinced we can create a more equitable and sustainable world for all of us by doing so,” says Unilever CEO Paul Polman. “But this means that business has to change. The Unilever Sustainable Plan is a blueprint for sustainable growth.”

Our priorities: A better future for children; A healthier future; A more confident future; A better future for the planet; A better future for farming and farmers.

For media enquires, contact:
Lara Torvi
MaRS Discovery District