Preserving one of the world’s most valuable resources

Water is not only essential to life, it’s also essential to manufacturing, mining, agriculture, oil extraction and a host of other industries. But industrial water use leads to waste water, often full of contaminants that make it unsuitable for reuse, costly to dispose and harmful to the environment.

Water is not only essential to life, it’s also essential to manufacturing, mining, agriculture, oil extraction and a host of other industries. But industrial water use leads to waste water, often full of contaminants that make it unsuitable for reuse, costly to dispose and harmful to the environment.

British Columbia’s Saltworks Technologies is one of a growing number of biotechnology companies that are working to reduce the volume of waste water being generated by industry. In addition to commercializing its existing industrial desalination and brine-treatment technologies, Saltworks also conducts extensive research and development to build the next generation of waste water technologies. With global R&D efforts in this field being particularly competitive, the company needs to press every advantage it can to stretch its working capital and stay ahead of its large, international competitors. One of those advantages is BioTalent Canada’s Science Horizons wage-subsidy program.

“Science Horizons was a great fit for what we do,” said Joshua Zoshi, Chief Operating Officer at Saltworks. “In our business, we need scientists, engineers and chemists — and this program helped us bring on exactly the kinds of new talent we needed to grow with less financial risk.”

 

REDUCING ARCTIC WASTE WATER

Through the Science Horizons wage subsidy program, Saltworks was able to hire two recent engineering graduates in June 2018 and then optimize costs by training and onboarding them both at the same time. The two hires joined the project team that carried out the design, installation and commissioning of a large waste water treatment facility that would allow a mining company in Canada’s sub-Arctic to achieve zero-liquid discharge (ZLD).

“A facility like that is extremely complex,” noted Zoshi. “It has to be able to function in a harsh climate while adhering to strict environmental regulations. So you can’t just deliver it and walk away. We needed smart, capable people with engineering backgrounds who could understand the technology and make sure its new owners knew how to use it to get the ZLD results they were looking for.”

 

PROMOTING CANADIAN TALENT AND INGENUITY

Today, both of Saltworks’ Science Horizons hires are still with the company — and Zoshi anticipates using the program again. He said it was one of the easiest programs he’s ever worked with and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to other companies looking to increase their talent pools.

“It’s an excellent program for helping biotech companies grow in Canada,” he said. “Science Horizons allowed us to hire good people faster and increase our ability to compete in this global industry, which helps advance Canada as a world leader in biotechnology.”