This past June 25-28, WaterTAP partnered with the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago to organize a Canadian water technology tour to Chicago and Milwaukee. The visiting delegation, which included Greenland International Consulting Ltd. (Collingwood, Ontario), Lystek International Inc. (Cambridge, Ontario), TECTA-PDS (Kingston,Ontario), and SewerVUE Technology (Coquitlam, British Columbia), showcased their solutions to utility partners during the four-day tour. In support of this initiative, WaterTAP received funding from the federal Global Opportunities for Industry Associations program that supports international business development activities in strategic markets and sectors.
Home to some of the largest water and wastewater plants in the world, Chicago is also known for taking innovative and influential approaches to water challenges. It’s also where CURRENT, one of WaterTAP’s peer water tech cluster organizations, is located. Milwaukee is home to the Global Water Center and The Water Council, which hosts the annual BREW Accelerator program and is also one of WaterTAP’s peer organizations.
During the week, the companies pitched their water technologies to decision makers at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, the City of Chicago’s Department of Water Management, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District. These utilities are continually looking to adopt new solutions for increasing efficiency and building resilience. In particular, they indicated interest in solutions for green and grey infrastructure to manage stormwater, as well as technologies for resource recovery, water quality monitoring, and preventative maintenance. The Canadian companies were selected for the tour through a competitive process that matched their solutions to needs identified by the utilities.
For the Canadian companies, the tour provided a unique opportunity to foster solid business connections and new partnerships. In addition, they toured the Global Water Center in Milwaukee, and participated in The Water Council’s annual Water Leaders Summit at the Harley-Davidson Museum.
Feedback from the tour has been positive and the companies have reported encouraging results, including increased potential for pilot projects. “The tour was incredibly productive and had amazing value for SewerVUE. The whole tour was impressively organized, and the audience was clearly tailor made. This program should be a model for all others,” said Nicholas Goertz, VP, Sales and Marketing at SewerVUE Technology.
WaterTAP looks forward to welcoming representatives from both Chicago and Milwaukee and continuing innovation exchange efforts at the upcoming World Water-Tech North America Summit (October 24-25, 2018) during the third annual Ontario Water Innovation Week held in Toronto. For more information about the full week’s events, please visit the website here.
Josh Chong is a communications strategist at WaterTAP.