Ontario Water News

AquaHacking: United for Lake Erie Announces Finalists

The de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation, in collaboration with the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo, announced the United for Lake Erie finalists for the 2017 edition of its AquaHacking challenge.

Over the last three months, students in technology, water management, engineering, and entrepreneurship took part in five challenge days to create technology solutions to address environmental challenges affecting Lake Erie. These applications aim to sustain the health of the lake, its watersheds, and its local communities.

On June 21, 17 teams competed in the semi-final at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) in Waterloo, where a jury of experts and key players in the local technology industry, including WaterTAP’s own Raad Seraj, selected the five finalists:

  1. ImPONDerable: Developing a citizen science monitoring kit to help people near lakes perceive when blooms might pop up, in order to know if it is safe to swim.
  2. Fertilizer Burn: Working on a hardware retrofit for agriculture fertilizer sprayers that will enable farm equipment to detect levels of fertilizer in the soil, and adjust how much is applied.
  3. Polygone: Tackling the issue of microplastics by capturing microfibres in the clothes dryer.
  4. SIM Labs: Building a hardware device to automatically classify and enumerate cyanobacteria.
  5. Emagin: Aiming to fight untreated wastewater overflow.

Each team will be awarded $2,000 in funding from the Region of Waterloo, as well as a two-day, all-expenses paid expedition of the region to engage with various stakeholders.

Teams will compete in the AquaHacking Summit on September 13, 2017, during Elsevier’s Water Research Conference at the University of Waterloo. The teams will receive up to $25,000 in support to develop and market their solution. The AquaHacking Challenge is supported by IBM Canada, GHD and Keurig, and numerous field partners, including WaterTAP.