The biennial Trenchless Technology Road Show made its return to the Scotiabank Centre in Niagara Falls May 17-19.
The show, a co-production of Benjamin Media Inc. (publisher of Trenchless Technology Canada) and the Centre for Advancement of Trenchless Technologies (CATT) attracted more than 75 exhibitors and more than 460 attendees from across Canada, the United States and Europe; the latter of which were there to gain a better sense of the Canadian market and water technologies.
Spotlight on WaterTAP
Offering the keynote address was Peter Gallant, president and CEO for the Water Technology Acceleration Program (WaterTap). Gallant’s address was well attended and it offered a glimpse into the many facets of the non-profit organization with the sole mission of championing and supporting the province of Ontario as a water technology innovation hub.
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Established by a provincial mandate in 2010, Gallant says that the organizations goal is to connect, accelerate and celebrate the water technology industry. The pillars of WaterTAP are to support emerging water technology companies in the province, leverage water as an economic growth engine, bring new opportunities to Ontario and advise the government (not as a lobbyist) in relation to the water industry.
“We should leverage the water we have. There are jurisdictions that would kill for the water we have,” Gallant said. “If we use that water in an environmentally responsible way, with proper stewardship, it’s a significant asset to bring more industry to the province.”
According to Gallant, there are more than 950 Ontario-based companies that are operating in the water sector and there are 766 water and wastewater facilities in the province that can use the technologies those companies have to offer. There are 100 tech incubators in the province and more than 100 water-related research institutes, on top of which there are more than 8,000 new graduates in the environmental studies and science programs.
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At the close of his speech, Gallant invited all of the attendees to take part in the first-ever Ontario Water Innovation Week, Oct. 17-21 in Toronto. The week’s events aim to celebrate Ontario as a global water leader. The Water Innovation in Action 2.0 and World Water-Tech North America conferences anchors the week’s festivities. For more information on this and all of WaterTAP’s programs, visit watertapontario.com.
“The show continues to grow, and there is room for more attendees and exhibitors. Pre-show workshops, Trenchless Technology 101 and Watermain Rehab were sold out and the rooms were packed,” says Dr. Mark Knight, CATT executive director. “Every time we do this show the feedback is truly awesome. From our attendee survey 100 per cent said the show exceeded or met expectations.”
As previously reported, the 2016 event moved into a larger space at Scotiabank Centre affording exhibitors the opportunity to display in a 10×10 booth. This addition, among others, had many previous attendees and exhibitors commenting that it gave the event the feel of a full-scale show. The additional space also allowed for better networking opportunities by moving the lunches and after hours networking to the exhibit hall.
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Though there are no plans to make the Niagara Falls event an annual conference, based on the continued success of the Niagara Falls Show, CATT and Benjamin Media teamed with the North American Society for Trenchless Technology British Columbia Chapter for the first west coast Canadian road show in 2015. Knight reports that the entities are once again collaborating for an October 2017 show.
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“The Niagara Falls Trenchless Technology Road Show shows that Ontario is a strong trenchless market with many industry leading companies,” Knight says. “This show is also great for the whole trenchless market in North America as it is a local show that allows attendees to become exposed to alternative methods to fix and renew our ageing and deterioration water infrastructure will result in significant cost and environmental savings to rate payers and the public. Getting new people involved in the industry will also be great for the big trenchless conferences. Thus, we see this show as a great compliment to these bigger shows.”
For more information on working with CATT or the future Trenchless Technology Road Shows, visit cattevents.ca.