At the end of May, Bioindustrial Innovation Canada (BIC) announced a private investment into Forward Water Technologies (FWT). The announcement was made in conjunction with FWT and GreenCentre Canada (GCC).
The investment will support the commercial scale-up of a proprietary forward osmosis technology that holds the potential to alleviate the increasing global demand for freshwater and substantially reduce wastewater treatment and disposal costs.
“Our investment in Forward Water Technologies reinforces our mission of investing in Ontario companies with novel technologies that contribute to a clean, green, and sustainable future,” said Sandy Marshall, executive director of BIC.
BIC is a not-for-profit organization based in Sarnia, Ontario. Its goal is to help Ontario and Canada become globally recognized leaders in the field of sustainable technologies. In 2016, BIC established the Centre for Commercialization of Sustainable Chemistry Innovation (COMM SCI) initiative program, which acts as a hub for the commercialization of sustainable chemistry and bio-based innovation. COMM SCI supports BIC’s mission to provide critical strategic investment, advice, and services to business developers of clean, green, and sustainable technologies.
BIC’s COMM SCI investment was made in partnership with a mission-driven family office from the Toronto area involved in developing and advancing novel technologies in cleantech.
“Forward Water Technologies welcomes this new and enabling investment,” said C. Howie Honeyman, chief executive officer of FWT. “We are on the brink of a critical phase in the long path to commercialization and to garner support from organizations such as BIC and partners that continually make meaningful contributions, in addition to their funding, is extremely critical.”
The initial technology behind Forward Water Technologies originated from the laboratory of Professor Philip Jessop at Queen’s University and was further developed and launched as a spin-off company by GreenCentre Canada in 2012. This proprietary forward osmosis system is a highly energy efficient process that has been successfully demonstrated for the treatment of many challenging high total dissolved solids wastewater streams that returns fresh water for reuse in operations or discharged to either sewer or surface systems. FWT has been engaged in the commercial development of this technology and has brought it from the lab to near commercial readiness.
“This investment in Forward Water Technologies is a significant success for GreenCentre Canada moving FWT from an academic in-licensed technology, to a spin-off company in accelerator phase, into an independent company poised for commercial success,” said Lynne Manuel, executive director of GreenCentre Canada.