KPMG has selected Sydney to host its third innovation lab globally, revealing a “multi-million dollar investment” aimed at helping its customers “pre-empt disruption”.

After similar initiatives in New York and Amsterdam, the audit firm said that it would bring the KPMG innovation lab concept to its new office in Barangaroo International Tower Three in Sydney.

Barangaroo is emerging as a new financial and fintech hub adjacent to Sydney’s CBD.

It is to be headed by Kristina Craig, previously a director in KPMG’s management consulting practice.

“We’ve identified the most successful features of different innovation labs and centres across the KPMG global network to develop a unique capability [in Sydney],” Craig said.

“While the innovation lab environment will be housed in Sydney, it will be a national, firm-wide facility, and our intention is to bring the innovation lab experience across Australia through ‘pop-up’ labs and other digital platforms.”

The focus of the labs globally is to “anticipate and plan for disruption”, KPMG said.

At the core of the lab, KPMG said, is a “methodology that mines weak signals of change and maps global technology innovation trends to provide a data driven view of disruption at a sector or company level.”

“The [Sydney] lab will utilise technology that analyses 500,000 online sources a day such as global patent databases, annual reports, venture capital activity, press releases and social media,” the firm said.

“It will work with clients to develop ideas that pre-empt disruption and bring these ideas to life through prototyping.

“It will introduce the latest techniques and technologies to clients, and help them to future-proof their business models and facilitate engagement with start-ups and members of Australia’s innovation ecosystem.”

KPMG said it would stack the lab with “emerging technologies such as 3D printers, wearables, VR and AR, drones and robotics” in the hope that users of the facility would be encouraged to learn “though play and experimentation.”

“Businesses are operating in an increasingly globalised, digitised and data-dependent world,” KPMG Australia’s national managing partner for brand and innovation Ken Reid said.

“The fact is that Australian organisations are often struggling to understand the signals of change and the impact of emerging technologies on their business.

“These physical spaces have proven hugely successful internationally in helping clients understand the market opportunities and challenges, and adapt to the new reality.”

The KPMG innovation lab in Sydney will officially open in September.