The Ontario Clean Technology Alliance attended WEFTEC 2012, the Water Environment Federation’s Annual Technical Exhibition and Conference and the largest conference of its kind in North America.

The alliance announced news of an ambitious $60m Southern Ontario Water Consortium (SOWC) that has already attracted $20m of technology investment from IBM Canada Limited together with additional investment from the private sector, government, and universities.

SOWC is a research and development platform for new water technologies and facilities for the testing and development of drinking water solutions, wastewater purification, ecotoxicological analysis, watershed management, and sensor development. 

To be fully operational by 2014, the SOWC platform includes a series of facilities within the Grand River watershed, the Mimico Creek sub-watershed near Toronto, the City of London Greenway Wastewater Treatment Centre, the City of Guelph Waste Water Treatment Centre, the Sensor Development Labs at McMaster University, Drinking Water Treatment Labs at the Universities of Toronto and Waterloo, ecotoxicological labs and staging facilities at Laurier, and the Ground Water Research Facilities at Base Borden and the University of Guelph.

The platform will be open to companies interested in testing technologies in a real watershed or municipal environment, companies looking for collaborative R&D with leading water researchers from eight universities, and international companies looking for a North American beachhead.

A variety of mobile facilities will also be deployed as needed across these watersheds, and all operations are being linked together by IBM’s computational and data facility installed at the University of Toronto to process, analyse, store, and distribute the data produced across the SOWC platform.

Jennifer Patterson, Chairman of the Ontario Clean Technology Alliance, said, “Not only did our team meet with over 50 companies who had an interest in investing and expanding into the Ontario and Canadian clean tech market, but WEFTEC was also an exploratory mission for the Alliance as WEFTEC provided us with a better understanding of the global water industry, and helped identify gaps and potential opportunities to expand Ontario’s clean technology markets.”

Ontario Clean Technology specialises in a variety of “green” methods of producing energy – including solar panels, which are constructed by utilising gases in the production process.