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A pilot project by AquaEntrepreneur Québec: Clean Nature & City of L’Assomption

By AquaAction
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A pilot project by AquaEntrepreneur Québec: 

Clean Nature and the City of L’Assomption join forces to reduce the excessive use of road salt. 

L’Assomption, March 24, 2023 – AquaAction is proud to announce the launch of a pilot project as part of its AquaEntrepreneur Québec program, in collaboration with the company Clean Nature and the City of L’Assomption. A preliminary phase of the project is already underway, with subsequent phases to continue through the winter of 2023-2024.  

 Given the myriad of water management and protection challenges facing municipalities, AquaAction has launched a program to connect small and medium-sized businesses with cities to deploy innovative solutions to improve practices. The application of excessive salt on roads in the winter damages infrastructure and salt accumulation from run-off can have negative effects on water bodies, aquatic ecosystems, and surrounding wildlife. Given the Town of L’Assomption’s objective of reducing salt spreading while still maintaining road safety, a pilot project with Clean Nature was facilitated through the AquaEntrepreneur Québec program. 

Clean Nature’s solution, called guiA, is based on an artificial intelligence model that enables real-time adjustments to be made based on weather conditions. The platform can simultaneously analyze large amounts of complex data, produce interactive maps to represent real-time needs and support the decision-making process. Clean Nature’s web-based interface could reduce the cost to municipalities of road salt use by up to 50%. The company was inspired to develop this solution during the 2019 AquaHacking Challenge, following a problem statement presented by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Canada) regarding the need to reduce the use of road salt to avoid impact on freshwater health.  

Clean Nature will work closely with the municipality to integrate its salt application data to validate its model. The start-up will meet with operators to understand the challenges they face when spreading salt and how best to integrate their new solution into their dispersal practices. All results will be collected through the AquaEntrepreneur Quebec program and shared with municipalities across the province to demonstrate how this new solution can improve the application of road salt and avoid negative impacts to local waterways. 

AquaEntrepreneur Quebec is delivered by AquaAction in partnership with IVÉO , and with the financial support of the Ministère de l’Économie, de l’Innovation et de l’Énergie, of Quebec.   

“This collaboration with the City of L’Assomption represents an important step in our mission to reduce the use of salt and abrasives at the source and to protect our environment. We are convinced that this pilot project will allow us to optimize the spreading of salt and limit the impact on aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity. Our participation in the AquaEntrepreneur Québec cohort has greatly facilitated the establishment of the relationships necessary to launch this project,” said Claudie Ratté-Fortin, Patricia Gomez and Anne Carabin, co-founders of Clean Nature.  

 “At L’Assomption, the responsible use of water and the protection of this resource are at the very heart of our Environmental Policy. That is why we are delighted to collaborate in this innovative pilot project that will allow us to reduce our ecological footprint while preserving our infrastructure and improving the quality of life of our citizens,” said Sébastien Nadeau, Mayor of the City of L’Assomption.  

AquaAction is proud to support Clean Nature and the City of L’Assomption through our AquaEntrepreneur Québec program. This pilot project is a concrete example of how collaboration between the not for profit, business and municipal sectors can contribute to environmental protection with innovative solutions. I am convinced this will be a success and will inspire other businesses and municipalities to partner to solve freshwater issues in the context of the climate crisis,” added Soula Chronopoulos, President of AquaAction. 

“The launch of this new pilot project with one of our partner cities demonstrates how municipalities are willing to invest in helping to validate and deploy new solutions that will make cities more sustainable and smart,” said Benoit Balmana, Executive Director of IVÉO.  

“WWF-Canada supports and invests in the use of advanced science and engineering to help protect species and nature. Innovative technologies take time and investment, which is why we are thrilled to see the progress Clean Nature has made since we collaborated in 2019 to find solutions to threats to freshwater health. It is through this type of collaboration, fostered by initiatives like AquaEntrepreneur Quebec, that together we will create lasting benefits for nature,” said Elizabeth Hendriks, Vice President, Restoration and Reclamation at WWF-Canada. 

About AquaAction  

AquaAction is a Canadian registered charity established by the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation in 2015 to disrupt the status quo with innovative ideas and engage youth in the fight against the water-related climate crisis. AquaAction has developed three programs focused on water innovation and technology: the AquaHacking Challenge, AquaEntrepreneur and the AquaAction Alumni Community. Since its launch inception, 28 innovative start-up companies have been created across Canada. AquaAction is proud to count among its partners the RBC Foundation, Ovivo, IBM Canada, Lavery and Mitacs. 

https://aquaaction.org/us/ 

About Clean Nature  

Clean Nature is an enterprise with a mission to limit the harmful impacts of road salt accumulation in water bodies, aquatic ecosystems, and surrounding wildlife. A second-place winner of the 2019 AquaHacking Challenge, the company has developed an innovative solution based on artificial intelligence and computer modeling that optimizes the spreading of salt with real-time data. This web-based platform produces interactive maps to represent actual salt needs and support the decision-making process.  

https://www.clean-nature.ca/

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For more information or interview request, please contact:  

Anaïs Blanchard 

anais@mercureconseil.ca 

514-700-5550, poste 304 

Laurence Basso 

laurence@aquaaction.org 

514-664-4399