Accenture has officially launched its new Canadian Innovation Hub in Toronto, with plans to create 800 new high skill jobs by the end of 2020.

Mayor John Tory, and Todd Smith, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, were both on hand to celebrate the announcement.

Tory called the innovation hub a positive addition to Toronto. “Spaces like this in Toronto allow people who are creative to feel supported,” he said, noting the number of major tech companies like Microsoft and Alphabet Inc. that have also tapped the city as a place to be for tech innovation.

Accenture’s new hub will focus on developing new ideas into products and solutions for its customers, Bill Morris, Accenture Canada’s current President (until December 1), told the crowded room at the launch event.

Morris, incoming president Jeffrey Russell, Tory, Smith and Julie Sweet CEO Accenture North America all helped with the ceremonial ribbon cutting marking the official launch of the new tech space.

The open concept office is located downtown Toronto in Scotia Plaza and is set up as a welcoming space for Accenture to work side-by-side with its customers. It houses more than 300 designers, data scientists and even a clinical psychologist.

While today was the official launch, teams have already been working in the space for a couple months on projects like artificial and applied intelligence, blockchain and cyber security.

“We are an innovation led company,” said Sweet, noting that Accenture currently holds more than 6,000 patents and is currently sponsoring the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Blockchain Research Institute.

Sweet also announced that Accenture plans to grow its apprenticeship program to help empower disadvantaged groups and visible minorities. It plans to create more than 100 new apprenticeships by 2020.

This new hub is part of a 10 hub network across North America, that are connected to more than 100 Accenture locations globally. More than 5,000 people work within the Canadian Accenture innovation hub ecosystem across the country.

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