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Dutch-Canadian clusters join forces to accelerate trans-Atlantean water tech adoption

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Canadian cleantech accelerator, Foresight has signed an MoU with Water Alliance at this year's European Water Technology Week in Leeuwarden to accelerate water technologies.

A polite partnership to foster innovation

Canadian cleantech accelerator, Foresight has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Water Alliance to accelerate water technologies.

The new partnership will see trade connections between Canada and the Netherlands strengthened while leveraging the networks and expertise of both organisations to support water technology companies in securing business and partnerships.

The Water Alliance said this collaboration will facilitate mutual access to strategic markets, with the Netherlands serving as a gateway to the European market and Canada offering a steppingstone to the United States and Latin America.

“Together we can accelerate new innovations going quicker to the market in order to bring more impact.”

Across the Atlantic, Foresight is Canada’s cleantech ecosystem accelerator, with waterNEXT, a pan-Canada water technology network part of its wheelhouse.

A well-established player in the Canadian cleantech landscape, Foresight has supported 550 ventures through acceleration programs and engaged with 2,000+ stakeholders and partners domestically and internationally.

Hein Molenkamp, managing director of Water Alliance, said: “It is great to sign this MoU between Water Alliance and waterNEXT/Foresight, connecting Leeuwarden to Vancouver and the Netherlands to Canada.

"Together we can accelerate new innovations going quicker to the market in order to bring more impact.”
Also part of the agreement was Invest Vancouver, the Metro Vancouver region’s economic development leadership service, and the Consulate General of the Netherlands in Vancouver.

Turning global clusters into an international ecosystem

Both groups have cultivated significant water technological clusters producing and developing emerging solutions for the water sector.

The new agreement aims to connect the Canadian and Dutch clusters together to help bridge the gap between technology adoption.

Speaking on the MoU, Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight, said: "We are delighted to partner with leaders like Water Alliance to spark international collaboration and fast-track solutions to the world’s most pressing water challenges.”

WaterNEXT’s role is to advance the Canadian water technology ecosystem across multiple sectors through:

  • Making connections among water technology companies, users, and funders
  • Coordinating conversations around water innovation challenges and priorities
  • Supporting international partnerships and export opportunities.

"Canada’s water technology ecosystem extends across many of our largest sectors, including utilities, energy, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing, and is a critical piece of the net-zero economy.”

Taking Canada's water to the next level

Alan Shapiro, director of waterNEXT, was in Leeuwarden to sign the MoU with Hein Molenkamp and Lejla Uzicanin, vice president, data, research, & policy at Invest Vancouver.

Writing for Aquatech Online recently, Shapiro highlighted the immense challenges the Canadian water sector faces.

With a population the size of California spread across an area the size of Europe, coordinating the Canadian water innovation ecosystem is a monumental task.

As Canada works to break down regional and sectoral barriers, it is looking for opportunities to emerge at the interface of traditionally siloed sectors.

With much of the innovation required to address climate change challenges not yet developed, Shapiro believes Canada needs to collaborate on a massive scale to energise innovation.

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