“We work at the University of Alberta, and our lab is shut down and closed, so our research capacity is zero right now. It’s not looking good.” – Anthea Sargeaunt, CEO 2S Water
2S Water is a startup cleantech company located in Edmonton AB, and they’ve been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As Foresight CEO Jeanette Jackson pointed out in her recent call-to-action editorial, a fundamental characteristic of a cleantech economy is that it requires a larger up-front investment. Many SMEs, like 2S Water, are in the midst of multi-year, capital-intensive research and development projects and have been hit hard by this global crisis.
Real Time Water Monitoring
2S Water provides real time monitoring of water systems through their single and multi-element sensors for industrial and municipal applications.
Detecting metals in water in real time is a significant improvement over current water monitoring technologies. Most industrial water systems have delays in detection of metal contaminants – most have 30 minute delays, but if the water samples have to go to a lab for testing, it may be weeks before results are known.
2S Water represents the exact type of company that Foresight, and the entire cleantech ecosystem across Canada (the “Helix 5” of our CORE Cleantech Cluster – industry, SMEs, government, investors and academia) have been supporting, advocating for and investing in for years – innovators who are taking on new technology challenges in order to have an impact and make a real difference in the global climate crisis.
Lab is Shut, Future is Uncertain
With the Covid-19 crisis shutting down their lab and sending them all home – they are at crossroads and concerned about their future.
“We had lots of burners in the fire when it came to sales, and investments were coming in. Now I’m concerned about all of it. Right now, I’m just trying to keep staff on and make it all work” said Anthea Sargeaunt, CEO, 2S Water.
Watertech & Industrial Efficiency – the Invisible Climate Change Solution
Watertech and industrial efficiency has been called the ‘invisible climate change solution’ because it’s often happening behind the scenes in complex operational conditions that very few people understand. Technologies such as 2S Water intelligent sensing systems, not only provide clean water (which is paramount to our overall health and security as a society), but also improve efficiency. This represents an enormous opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC estimates that improvements in industrial efficiencies could reduce GHG emissions by up to 25%), energy consumption rates, and operational costs.
For 2S Water, their technology not only helps industry avoid fines by making sure dangerous metals do not get into water in the first place, they also increase efficiencies in oil and SAGD (steam-assisted gravity drainage) facilities, resulting in cost savings. Their technology also has applications in mining, as real-time detection systems ensure that the metals they are trying to extract are not coming out in the water, and help companies avoid environmental damage and their associated costs.
Canada’s Future Economy is a Cleantech Economy
The cleantech industry in Canada is valued at $7.8 billion, and prior to this crisis, was growing rapidly and having a significant impact on the economy. It was on a growth path, and poised to be the next generation of economic prosperity.
This crisis is putting companies like 2S Water in a fragile position – while their technology and fundamentals remain the same, the world around them has changed.
To echo Foresight CEO Jeanette Jackson – let’s pull together as a cleantech ecosystem and not only get these companies through hard times, but accelerate them into a better position as the economy recovers.