AquaAction is pleased to announce that the Government of Québec’s Ministry of Economy and Innovation has awarded over $2 million in funding for its AquaEntrepreneur Québec program. This funding will support the development and deployment of leading-edge technological solutions by small and medium-sized enterprises to solve water-related problems in Québec.
AquaEntrepreneur Québec, a program to support innovation within municipalities, fills an important gap in the development and commercialization of water technologies. It facilitates the deployment of in-field pilot projects that are adapted to the needs of municipal end-users with significant water management challenges. These projects are carried out by emerging companies in partnership with public sector organizations. AquaEntrepreneur Québec has the following three objectives:
- Give emerging companies the opportunity to work directly with municipal stakeholders to test, validate and optimize their innovative tech solution offerings via a pilot project that meets the specific needs of the municipal partner.
- Support young entrepreneurs in acquiring a first contract with a municipal client by facilitating pilot projects adapted to address concrete challenges related to water management in the Québec municipal sector.
- Guide and accompany municipal managers in the implementation of pilot projects and collaboration with emerging companies to help develop and deploy solutions that will position these municipalities as leaders in sustainable water resource management.
“AquaAction is pleased to receive over $2 million in financial support from the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. This investment represents a vote of confidence in an innovative and robust program. The funds will be used to support emerging companies with innovative water technology solutions that will help municipalities across Quebec improve their water management practices and, ultimately, help in the conservations of this precious resource,” said Dominique Monchamp, senior advisor to AquaAction.
The AquaEntrepreneur Quebec program will be launched across Québec and delivered by AquaAction in partnership with IVÉO.
“As the principal partner in this program, IVÉO is proud to have contributed to the development of AquaEntrepreneur Québec by providing our unique expertise in market validation. As part of this partnership, IVÉO will facilitate the development of pilot projects for our member cities seeking new solutions for sustainable water management,” said Benoit Balmana, IVÉO’s Executive Director.
“AquaEntrepreneur Quebec is an important step to ensure that innovative technologies are converted into tangible solutions for freshwater. We look forward to expanding the program across Canada, building on what we learn and establishing strong regional partnerships to make a meaningful impact,” says Monchamp.
A robust program developed by an experienced organization
Since its inception 8 years ago, AquaAction continues to develop an ecosystem that enables emerging water tech companies to grow across the country.
The AquaHacking Challenge is the cornerstone of this ecosystem. The AquaHacking Challenge is a tech innovation competition launched in 2015 which aims to engage university students in developing new solutions to water issues. This program is intended as a pre-incubator for young talent in the technology, engineering, and computer programming sectors.
In addition, the AquaHacking Alumni program created in 2019 provides ongoing support to the young innovators and entrepreneurs who participated in the AquaHacking Challenge. The alumni program supports young start-ups by giving them access to coaching and mentorship to help them continue to develop and grow.
Finally, the AquaEntrepreneur Québec program is but the beginning and represents an important opportunity to position Quebec as a leader in innovative water management. This program aims to strengthen the entire ecosystem by linking today’s innovation to concrete problems encountered in the municipal sector in Quebec. Since the creation of AquaAction and its ecosystem, 36 water technology start-ups have been established through which 41 jobs have been created, which is equivalent to $1.1 million in salaries.