Mississauga, Ontario (September 20, 2018) — Today, the Southern Ontario Water Consortium hosted an event to showcase the success of 35 companies under its Advancing Water Technologies (AWT) program. Launched in 2016 with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the AWT program has committed more than $10 million to 60 projects, advancing the commercial readiness of Ontario water technologies and supporting almost 200 jobs.
Ontario is a leader in developing game-changing water technology. According to the Consortium’s Executive Director, Brenda Lucas, the program has addressed a significant need. “It’s a big jump to take a breakthrough from the lab bench to the marketplace,” she explained. “The AWT program is designed to help private sector water technology innovators leverage the world-class research facilities and academic expertise we have here in Ontario, so they can commercialize their ideas faster.”
“The AWT program illustrates what we can achieve through strategic collaboration. Water is one of the most essential resources on the planet. With support from the federal government and access to research and academic resources, innovators are developing and bringing water technology solutions to market faster to help us better protect, manage, and recover this important resource. I am proud to see the growth of regional expertise and sector innovation, which are creating quality jobs and putting Canadian companies on the global stage,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario and Member of Parliament for Mississauga–Malton.
The showcased results prove that the program is bearing fruit. Thirty-five companies displayed products designed to improve drinking water quality, treat sewage, and manage stormwater, among other solutions. Representatives from a number of municipalities across the province were keen to learn how the proposed approaches could reduce costs, cut energy consumption or even generate revenue by recovering resources. From recovering biogas from sewage, mining acoustic data from fire hydrant sensors to identify potential leaks and developing residential greywater systems that dramatically shrink household water consumption, the made-in-Ontario innovations illustrated how they can make an impact — not just here but around the world.
“Ontario municipalities face all kinds of water challenges and they take very seriously their role in managing water effectively and efficiently,” said Lucas. “Today, we saw lots of interest from them in supporting both the piloting and adoption of these AWT-funded technologies.”
Ontario is home to more than 900 water companies, from startups to multinationals. It is also home to significant academic expertise in this field, including 42 Canada Research Chairs. Altogether, approximately 22,000 Ontarians are employed in the water sector.
About the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC)
The Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) is a network of more than 400 researchers at 10 universities and colleges across the province. We believe that innovation is necessary to solve water challenges and that promising ideas become marketable solutions when the private and academic sectors collaborate. By connecting private companies and academic researchers and providing access to real-world facilities, we accelerate the development and commercialization of innovative water technologies.
About the Advancing Water Technologies (AWT) Program
The program was created in 2016 with support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). SOWC’s Advancing Water Technologies program helps Ontario’s small and medium-sized enterprises to develop and demonstrate water technologies by leveraging world-class research facilities and academic expertise. By funding industry-led research and development projects in the water sector, the program advances the successful commercialization of globally competitive and market-ready products and services.
To date, it has supported a total of 60 projects involving 49 companies and 47 academic researchers. For video footage and testimonials about these collaborations, see the AWT highlight reel below.
For more information, contact:
Brenda Lucas, Executive Director
Southern Ontario Water Consortium