The province's continued support for its cleantech sector promotes international growth

It's no secret that water is a critical natural resource that needs to be preserved. It's not only required for both human existence and the sustainability of the planet, but it plays a major role in the world economy. It's for this reason that governments and organizations across the globe are putting great efforts into the support and development of innovative technologies that focus on water conservation, purification and treatment.

Ontario is proud to be a major player in this sector, with homegrown companies developing advanced water technologies that are being implemented across the globe. The province has developed policies, programs and strategies aimed at creating opportunities for businesses, innovators and researchers in the clean technology field. These efforts are helping Ontario protect its natural resources, reduce its carbon footprint and remain globally competitive.

A world leader

More than 900 companies, 300 early-stage water technology developers, 100 technology incubators, 22,000 water industry employees and 42 Canadian Research Chairs make up Ontario's water innovation ecosystem, contributing to its ability to develop world-class water technologies. Some of the players that call the province home include:

  • Mantech: This Guelph, Ontario-based company manufacturers a water quality monitoring system that is being used in water-testing laboratories and plants in 45 countries.
  • Anaergia: With a global head office in Burlington, Ontario, Anaergia has made a name for itself across the globe for its ability to produce clean energy, fertilizer and recycled water from organic waste streams. The company offers a wide range of anaerobic digestion technologies for municipal, industrial, commercial and agricultural markets.
  • Trojan Technologies: This London, Ontario-based company has developed water treatment products that use UV light to make the water treatment process more effective, efficient and sustainable. The company's technologies are involved in more than 10,000 municipal installations on six continents in over 100 countries.
  • Anderson Water Systems: Based in Ancaster, Ontario, Anderson specializes in industrial process water treatment systems for power plants, refineries, chemical production facilities, pulp and paper mills, food and beverage production, pharmaceutical and manufacturing facilities. The company has more than 3,000 installations in 40 countries.
  • Fibracast: This Hamilton, Ontario-based company is a global leader in the research, development and manufacturing of advanced membrane technologies for wastewater treatment. The company's revolutionary, patented hybrid immersed ultrafiltration membrane technology, FIBREPlate, is sold and serviced throughout the globe.
  • Pure Technologies: Based in Mississauga, Pure Technologies aims to help municipal water and wastewater service providers address their aging pipeline infrastructure. The company's proactive infrastructure management solutions, which include a suite of inspection tools and engineering analysis practices, help utility operators around the world maximize budgets for rehabilitation and replacement programs by assessing municipal pipe networks to determine their condition and remaining useful life.
  • Realtech: This Whitby, Ontario-based company designs and manufactures a line of patented and innovative optical sensors to monitor water quality in such applications as municipal drinking water and wastewater, as well as industrial process water and wastewater.
  • KmX Membrane Technologies: A leading innovator in membrane distillation technology, Oakville, Ontario-based KmX offers solutions aimed at treating and recovering maximum value from difficult-to-treat water and wastewater. The company's specialty membranes are designed to separate and recover valuable chemicals from water.

Advancing water tech in Ontario

Many of Ontario's leading water technology companies are the result of the province's commitment to programs, policies and strategies that support the research, development and commercialization of such technologies. In fact, the province has taken a leadership position to reduce its carbon footprint through programs and policies that support clean technology solutions, including advanced water technologies. For example, the Ontario government established the Water Opportunities Act in 2010 to help support the commercialization of innovative water, wastewater and stormwater conservation and treatment technologies. Through this act, it also established the Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP) to help Ontario water technology entrepreneurs, utilities and investors find the connections and resources they need to meet the growing global demand for clean water solutions. In addition, in 2013, the province released a Water Sector Strategy to drive innovation, expand exports, and create a competitive Ontario advantage in clean water technology.

More recently, Ontario's Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, unveiled the province's Cleantech Strategy, which is designed to help cleantech companies, including those involved in the water sector, scale up and meet global demand through venture and scale readiness, access to capital, regulatory modernization, and adoption and procurement. In other words, the strategy will help companies obtain the tools they need to launch products and services, and grow their businesses globally. It includes renewed funding for cleantech accelerators, including WaterTAP and the Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC), which fosters business-led partnerships with post-secondary institutions to create innovative solutions for southern Ontario's water sector.

The province also offers access to funding opportunities aimed at building and strengthening Ontario-based businesses, including those in the water sector.

Meeting global demand

Global and national commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are driving growth within the clean technology sector. Ontario's efforts to support and grow this sector will not only help it reduce its carbon footprint and meet its own GHG reduction targets, but the technologies coming out of the province will aim to reduce the global carbon footprint, while at the same time securing the province's spot as a major player in the clean technology sector.

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March 22, 2018

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