waterNEXT Ecosystem Map

Welcome to the waterNEXT Ecosystem Map, a data-driven, searchable map of Canada’s water organizations, companies and solution providers.

Your Essential Guide to Navigating Canada’s Water Ecosystem

This map was developed in collaboration with Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre (Foresight), Aqua Forum and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) to foster information sharing, collaboration and community within the growing waterNEXT ecosystem in Canada.

The Innovative Solution Providers
The interactive map, showcasing Canada’s watertech innovation ecosystem, contains over 400 companies in the Canadian WaterTech space, delivering innovative services to help businesses and consumers manage water. These companies span the country and take many different approaches: from established water treatment technologies to disruptive digital innovations. Many of them are leading the world with their exciting, cutting edge technologies – from mining lithium from groundwater to extracting water from the atmosphere and bridging the divide between freshwater and oceans.

The strength of Canada’s water technology landscape is drawing ideas and talent from sea to sea to sea, and around the world. Watertech serves a variety of sectors and industries, and targets a diverse list of water challenges. For this reason, the WaterNEXT water ecosystem map includes all water-related sectors and spans both freshwater and oceans. Using a bottom-up approach, we sorted companies into seven categories:

  • Filtration and treatment
  • Monitoring and testing
  • Data and software
  • Water management and infrastructure
  • Water supply and use
  • Hydropower and tidal power
  • Other

As companies develop new ways of solving water challenges, boundaries between traditional sector boundaries break down and new clusters emerge. Companies on the WaterNEXT ecosystem map highlight Canada’s emerging strengths in software, artificial intelligence, robotics, sensors and materials science.

The Ecosystem Builders

Across the country, these companies are supported by a connective tissue of more than 60 ‘Enablers’ – a broad range of organizations, including funders, accelerators, networks, and others, that support Canada’s water tech ecosystem. This support begins at the earliest stages of innovation, through competitions that offer students and young entrepreneurs opportunities to design solutions to pressing water challenges and networks that enable conversations and collaborations. At the other end of the spectrum, Enabler organizations are providing companies with resources and guidance around scaling and export.

Researchers & Knowledge Generators

Canada also has a rich research landscape around water, including water science, engineering, management, policy, and a range of other disciplines. Our database identifies more than 50 ‘Knowledge Generators’ – academic, government, or non-profit institutions with a focus on water technology development, innovation, or data generation.

Methodology

  • All companies on the WaterNEXT ecosystem map are involved in tech innovation, research, or development in some capacity. In some cases, this is their primary focus, while for others this is a component of a larger portfolio of services. Excluded based on these criteria are suppliers, distributors, service providers, consulting firms, etc.
  • Companies on the map must either have a direct link to water or directly support water-related industries. Based on these criteria, some companies not traditionally labelled as water tech (e.g. brine mining) have been included, and companies more than one degree removed (e.g. navigation technologies for marine shipping) have been excluded.
  • Companies on the map must either be headquartered in Canada or have a strong Canadian presence that includes research and innovation.
  • To screen out companies that are no longer active, only companies with valid websites have been included.
  • Due to the number of funders, accelerators, and incubators that exist across Canada, only Enablers with a stated focus on water (e.g. Foresight CAC’s WaterNEXT program) or with 5 or more water tech companies in their membership network (e.g. Ecofuel) have been included. Exceptions have been made for organizations such as EDC, which serve unique and important roles in Canada’s innovation landscape.
  • Enablers must either be based in Canada or be playing an active role in supporting Canadian companies. (For example, ImagineH2O is a US-based accelerator whose portfolio has included a number of Canadian companies.)
  • Knowledge Generators included on the map are academic, government, or non-profit organizations, institutions, centres, and other similarly sized entities. The list does not extend to the academic departments, research group, or individual lab level.

Updates & Additions

Please note that the status of companies, programs and services is continuously changing, and while we did our best to highlight the key resources, please contact us with updates or additions to the database. This map is a collaborative effort to make sense of our ecosystem, it is not intended to be complete, up to date, or without errors or omissions.

On that note, if you find errors, omissions, or have suggestions for how to improve the next update, we want to hear from you!

Please email us your comments so they can be reviewed for the next update.

CONTACT US

“The world is facing a global water shortage, and Canada is not immune to this crisis. The waterNEXT Cluster accelerates the development of cost-effective water technologies that support water supply security across Canada.” 

Kim Sturgess

CEO, WaterSmart

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