Kingston Economic Development Corporation

Kingston Economic Development Corporation
PARTEQ Innovations

PARTEQ Innovations

November 26, 2009 17:30 ET

Multinational Connection Leads Wave of Support for Ontario Company's Lifesaving Technology

Rooted in Walkerton tragedy, Queen's-generated water-testing startup celebrates partnerships with university, multinational industry and Green Chemistry sectors

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 26, 2009) - Pathogen Detection Systems, Inc., an Ontario startup company founded on university researchers' determination to find a faster, more effective way to monitor municipal water systems, is officially marking a major growth spurt today, thanks to investments by government and industry – including the world's leading player in global water systems.

Representatives of PDS and its parent company, Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies (VWS) of Paris, France, joined government officials and co-hosts PARTEQ and the Kingston Economic Development Corporation, in celebrating the transformation of PDS from a university-driven technology transfer initiative into an international, multi-faceted partnership.

The expansion of PDS is centered on a three-year, $8.7 million development project for its next generation of water monitoring systems. The project will receive up to $2.4 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm's-length, not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada. "This technology will bring multiple benefits to water utilities, as it will increase testing performance and reduce both the costs and the waste associated with water monitoring," says Vicky Sharpe, President and CEO of SDTC. "It is through such projects that Canada will be able to transition to a new, green and sustainable economy."

Spurred by the Walkerton, Ontario tainted water tragedy, PDS was founded in 2003 with the goal of improving water quality through enhanced water monitoring and testing systems. The technology is based on a novel fibre optic sensory technology developed by Dr. Stephen Brown and a team of scientists at Queen's University, and industry researchers. The patented PDS system provides laboratory-grade testing for E.coli and other coliform bacteria with improved speed, reliability and productivity over current methods.

"This is an extraordinary example of technology transfer from university to industry," says John Molloy, President and CEO of PARTEQ Innovations, the technology transfer office of Queen's. "This technology was developed at Queen's and licensed by PARTEQ to a small group of entrepreneurs that formed PDS. Together we attracted the attention of the world's leading water company, which is making a considerable investment to take this technology worldwide. We look forward to continuing our work with PDS and VWS."

PDS has already expanded physically, from a single lab to an integrated suite of labs and administrative space in the on-campus arm of Queen's Innovation Park. Located in the university's Biosciences Complex, this unique incubator space provides convenient access to the Queen's researchers working on this project in the departments of Chemistry and Microbiology.

PDS will also grow its research partnership with Queen's University. In the last five years PDS has invested approximately $1 million in direct research and development contracts with Queen's. Over the next three years the total R&D activity with Queen's is planned to increase to more than $2.3 million. 

New employment opportunities will also arise as the company increases from two full-time employees and three full-time Queen's researchers to a planned total of 20 people by the end of 2009.

"This growth is an important step in the development of an advanced monitoring platform within VWS," says David Dolphin, President of PDS. "PDS will remain headquartered in Kingston and we plan to expand with a significant product development program. The strength of the research partnership with Queen's University and the support of the Federal Government made this expansion possible."

The expansion of PDS is good news for Kingston, says Jeff Garrah, CEO of KEDCO. "This announcement speaks to Kingston's strengths in research and commercialization. It also shows once again that Kingston is able to work on a global scale and we're delighted that PDS will continue to work and grow in Kingston."

In a further collaboration, PARTEQ's GreenCentre Canada, a national Centre of Excellence for Green Chemistry Commercialization and Research, also announced that VWS would join GreenCentre as an industrial partner. "There is a natural fit between GreenCentre Canada and VWS. Both have similar goals in developing process and products that reduce waste, enhance safety, and reduce the use of energy and resources," says Rui Resendes, Executive Director of GreenCentre Canada.


Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arms-length foundation created by the Government of Canada that operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions. The $550 million SD Tech Fund supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil. The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

PARTEQ Innovations is the technology transfer office of Queen's University and the founder of GreenCentre Canada. PARTEQ works with university researchers and industry to bring the benefits of scientific discovery to the public.

Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) is committed to the key issue of long-term economic sustainability for the City of Kingston. KEDCO's success is based on the attraction of new business, the growth and retention of existing business and tourism opportunities, which are measured by the resulting economic impact on the community. 

GreenCentre Canada brings together Canadian universities, industry and commercialization expertise with the common goal of transforming Green Chemistry discoveries into real-world green products and industrial technologies that benefit the environment.

Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies (VWS), the world leader in water treatment, is a specialized provider of technological solutions and design-build services to meet the needs of public authorities and industrial companies. It is a fully-owned subsidiary of Veolia Water, the global leader in water services. With 8,900 employees worldwide, VWS recorded revenues of $ 3.7 billion (USD) in 2008.

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services. Specializing in outsourcing services for municipal authorities as well as industrial and service companies, Veolia Water serves 139 million people worldwide. With 93,400 employees worldwide, its 2008 revenues amounted to $18.6 billion (USD).

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