May 17, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Investment | Quebec wants to inspire innovation on water

Investment |  Quebec wants to inspire innovation on water

From toxic algae to microplastics to leaks in water distribution systems, freshwater problems are often undetected. Now AquaEntrepreneur’s task is to find young companies who are ready to tackle it, the newest accelerator that has provided financial assistance of up to 2 million through Quebec.

Posted yesterday at 7:00 p.m.

Kareem Benessaih

Kareem Benessaih
Press

The announcement will be made this Wednesday in collaboration with AquaAction, founded in 2015 by the Gaspé Beaubien Family Foundation. For seven years, the nonprofit has funded the launch of 36 small businesses with its AquaHacking Challenge, a pre-incubator. Targets students who want to solve freshwater problems.

“Our generation has caused the problem, and the next generation will find solutions,” said Franయిois de Gaspe Bubin, chairman of the Board of Aqua Action. We lost the bridge: when the founder came before the municipality, it had no funding or expertise. There is no budget to innovate. ⁇

Estimate the major intervals of water

This “bridge” is AquaEntrepreneur, which redistributes $ 2 million in subsidies from Quebec, with $ 1 million added from private partners. Funding will be provided to 38 companies selected from 75 pools to manage pilot projects. Meeting of Program Managers with Press AquaAction, a young shoot typical of what CANN Forecast requested, took place on campus. The company has partnered with cities including Montreal, Sherbrook and Gatino to use artificial intelligence to estimate water major breaks.

We also want to start innovative companies with water technology customers, especially municipalities, to test and validate their solutions. These companies are guided to find their first customers, while municipalities support the implementation of pilot projects.

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AquaEntrepreneur “Nonprofit”, Mr. De Gaspé mentions Beaubien. “We are not here to return on investment. Our return on investment is for the citizens. ⁇

For Pierre FitzGibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation, this type of program replaces Quebec’s weakness, which he describes as “commercialization of innovation” in several forums.

“Public research, we are strong in that. When we look at private research, applications and start-ups in Quebec, there is failure, we are less efficient. ⁇

2 million subsidies in the three years his government has invested, “We will not see them again, at least not directly, and it will not be serious,” he explained. If there are 25 companies that are created and exist, we will win as Quebeckers.

Export knowledge

The Minister specifically cited Singapore and Israel as having examined their models themselves, which have the potential to set up subsidy programs to encourage innovation. “You need to recognize the difference between an innovation grant and a business loan. Before we miss […] Here we are in the upstream. I want to increase the number of entrepreneurs participating in innovation across all sectors in Quebec. In the case of water, obviously, there is an additional environmental benefit to climate change. ⁇

The program is run in partnership with IVEO, an NPO funded by Quebec and the cities, which it describes as an “innovation broker” to implement the best solutions. As for AquaAction, it is an NPO with a name directly inspired by Participation, founded in 1971 by businessman Philippe de Gasp బ Bubin, then owner of the Telemedia Media Empire. For his son Franకోois, resolving what he calls the “freshwater crisis” was the choice of the youngest members of the family.

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“Did you know that the plastic in the water makes us swallow the same amount of credit card every week? For me, I do not know. […] We hold exclusive rights in Quebec and Canada for having more than 20% of the planet’s freshwater. This is the blue gold that must be preserved and for that we must be able to export our knowledge. ⁇