AquaEntrepreneur Quebec, one year of impactful water innovation!
Quebec City (Quebec), May 4, 2023 – Yesterday, AquaAction celebrated the first anniversary of AquaEntrepreneur Quebec, a program that drives the commercialization and adoption of innovative freshwater solutions by municipalities, along with the industrial and agricultural sectors. Since its inception, AquaEntrepreneur offers an innovative platform to help water technology companies deploy their pilot projects in hard-to-reach target markets. The program fills a crucial need in the freshwater industry by allowing for the testing and validation of cutting-edge freshwater technological solutions prior to their full deployment. The objective is to enhance water management techniques while minimizing the impact on the environment, thereby tackling the climate crisis while fostering economic development.
In the first year of the cohort, AquaEntrepreneur facilitated the deployment of 5 municipal pilot projects:
- Clean Nature reduces the impact of salt spreading on roads – they are deploying a pilot with the City of Assomption
- Smartrek offers a device to detect leaks in the drinking water distribution network – they are deploying a pilot with the City of Boisbriand
- Hoola One recovers plastics from soil and sandy beaches – they are deploying a pilot with Parc Jean-Drapeau
- Watershed Monitoring offers a water management platform, from source to tap – they are deploying a pilot with the City of Gatineau
- EMO3 proposes a modular ozonation unit for small to medium-sized municipalities – they are deploying a pilot with the Quebec Aquarium
The recently-launched second cohort of AquaEntrepreneur has experienced an unprecedented growth of 350% in participating businesses compared to cohort 1, growing from 6 to 20, and the program expects to achieve its three-year goals in the first year.
With the support of a $2 million grant from the MEIE, the AquaEntrepreneur program aims to create 200 jobs in the water management sector by 2025, with an economic impact of $150,000 million. In addition, 76 pilots are expected to be deployed, double the original target of 38. Three more cohorts are planned by 2025.
Through close collaboration with municipalities, industries, and government agencies, AquaEntrepreneur will help improve water management efficiency, promote environmental sustainability, and stimulate technological innovation. AquaEntrepreneur aims to build a sustainable future for water management in local communities and beyond.
“Our AquaEntrepreneur program is concrete proof that innovation is the key to solving the environmental challenges we face. More importantly, it has demonstrated that economic growth, environmental impact, and innovation can successfully coexist. The future of our freshwater depends on the solutions develoed today, and the new generation is leading the way. We are proud to see the success the program has had in its first year, and we are committed to continuing to support emerging companies to create a lasting positive impact on the environment.”, added Soula Chronopoulos, President of AquaAction.
“At IVÉO, we are delighted to collaborate with AquaAction and AquaEntrepreneur in their joint mission to promote innovation and environmental sustainability in the freshwater sector. The remarkable success of the AquaEntrepreneur program in its first year clearly demonstrates the importance of accelerating the development of innovative solutions to the environmental challenges facing cities, businesses, and citizens. Collaboration between stakeholders is key to building a sustainable future for water management, and we are proud to contribute to this mission by supporting emerging companies in their efforts to bring their solutions to the municipal market. ”, said Benoit Balmana, Executive Director of IVÉO.
“The De Gaspé Beaubien family is proud to have founded AquaAction, a non-profit organization, and to support its AquaEntrepreneur program. By working with emerging water technology companies, we have the opportunity to contribute more efficiently to the management of our most precious resource: water. We will continue to measure our impact to meet and exceed our goals. Water must be considered essential and be on the agenda of every corporation and citizen in the country. ”, said François De Gaspé Beaubien, Chair of AquaAction’s Board of Directors.
AquaAction is a registered Canadian charity established in 2015 by the Fondation de Gaspé Beaubien. It was created to disrupt the status quo with innovative ideas and engage the 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 inception, over 40 innovative start-up companies have been created across Canada. AquaAction is proud to count the RBC Foundation, Ovivo, IBM Canada, Lavery, and Mitacs among its partners.
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