Accelerating water innovation through industry-led collaborative projects

Thursday, May 4, 2017

advancing water technologyTackling the world’s water challenges is no easy task. It requires interdisciplinary thinking, innovation and collaboration in order to make meaningful and impactful progress. The Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) – specifically their Advancing Water Technologies (AWT) program – is enabling collaboration between private companies and academic researchers in the water sector, to help innovations become marketable solutions.

Aligned closely with the Water Institute’s mission to facilitate collaboration and promote innovation in interdisciplinary research, the AWT program is a catalyst for business-led collaborations in the water sector. The program helps Ontario businesses leverage world-class research facilities and academic expertise to develop innovative water technologies. The AWT program provides financial contributions to academic partners working with industry partners on industry-led research and development projects in the water sector that will result in the successful commercialization of market-ready products and services.

The program is now able to support large projects (over $100,000 CAD). Companies may also now apply for more than one project under the AWT program.

However, time is limited. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2018. The program application guidelines can be found on their website, along with a list of dates for submission for 2017 (the final year for applications to the AWT program).

Water Institute members succeed in AWT Program

Two researchers from the Water Institute took advantage of this program and are continuing successful research and interdisciplinary innovation in the water sector today.

Professor Simarjeet Saini from Electrical and Computer Engineering collaborated with Environmental Bio-Detection Products Incorporated (EBPI) to develop an aptasensor for the detection of priority pollutants in water. Saini and his team employed mobile signal sensing technologies to construct a portable, low-cost detector that employs EBPI’s aptasensor for measuring target molecule concentrations. This innovative product increases quality and efficiency of water testing at facilities in Ontario while providing a platform technology for future contaminants of interest.

Professor Bill A. Anderson from Chemical Engineering collaborated with Genemis Laboratories to develop rapid testing technologies for microorganism detection. The product his team developed is used for monitoring drinking water quality. The system allows for quasi-real time measurement of microorganism levels in water in treatment plants pre- or post- treatment. It not only monitors the effectiveness of the treatment process, but also minimizes the amount of energy and chemical consumption required for maintaining the water quality in accordance with the regulatory limits, and reduces over-treatment.

For more information about the AWT Program visit SOWC and find out how you can take advantage of this innovative program.

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