OnWIN 2019 AuquaHacking Finals

Ontario Water Innovation Week Continues to Grow

WaterTAP hosted the third annual Ontario Water Innovation Week (OnWIN), convening water innovation leaders in Toronto, Ontario to share effective strategies and best practices, address barriers and solve water challenges.

Diane D'Arras OnWIN 2018

Diane D’Arras, president of the International Water Association, spoke at World Water-Tech North America on Oct. 24, 2018 about the need to work with cities to foster innovation in the water sector. Credit: WaterTAP/Nick Spector

The 2018 OnWIN included 11 events and began with a local focus, including a workshop co-hosted with Ibbaka on good pricing practices and methods, two popular tours that introduced participants to Ontario’s established companies and tech start-ups, and the Water Innovation in Action conference.

In its third year, Water Innovation in Action continued to build on its strong reputation for bringing together the province’s water sector players, including industry, government, municipalities, and academia, to share the actionable ideas that are driving forward Ontario’s thriving water sector.

RELATED: Second Annual Ontario Water Innovation Week a Success

The day’s proceedings began at the Design Exchange with a keynote address from Stephanie Berlet, deputy director, Clean Technologies, Global Affairs Canada. Throughout the day, participants attended a number of panels including but not limited to concerns about transitioning to a circular economy, engaging civic accelerators in municipalities, and global regulatory shifts. During a lively Pecha Kucha session, three participants shared their Ontario Water innovation story. As well, the event saw the premiere of a short documentary about Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde’s WATERLICHT. Finally, the Everglades Foundation’s George Barley Water Prize hosted a technical workshop for competing teams to showcase the latest innovative phosphorus removal technology.

Cristina Ahmadpour Isle Utilities

Cristina Ahmadpour from Isle Utilities moderated a session discussing growth in decentralized water and wastewater treatment markets. Panelists included Paula Kehoe from the San Francisco Water Utilities Commission, Sandy Fabritz from Freeport-McMoran, Jaime Witherspoon from Cole Engineering Group, and Richard Irving from Fluence. Credit: WaterTAP/Nick Spector

Returning for a sixth year, the week culminated with the annual World Water-Tech North America summit, hosted by WaterTAP and Rethink Events. This international summit gathered together utilities, investors, and water tech leaders for two days of learning, networking, and one-on-one meetings.

Keynote speaker Diane D’Arras, president of the International Water Association, discussed the critical need to provide accelerated support for adopting innovation in the water sector. Many of the day’s key panels and discussion continued in the same theme, touching on asset management, digitization, building resilience, energy and resource recovery, and new investment opportunities.

Following the summit, a group of inspiring young innovators competed in the finals of the AquaHacking 2018: Lake Ontario & Beyond challenge. Each team pitched their cleantech solutions for a chance at $50,000 in prizes and spots at local incubators.

Over the week, these events attracted more than 1,000 participants from nine countries, including Canada, China, France, Ireland, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States. OnWIN 2019 is tentatively scheduled for the week of October 21. .
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