Government of Canada to invest $4.4mn in clean water technology
The government of Richmond, British Columbia, announced this week that lowering water waste and greenhouse emissions in the local shale gas industry is a top priority in the region. “A strong economy and a clean environment go hand in hand. That's why the Government of Canada is supporting the development of technologies that lead to less pollution, healthier communities and the creation of well-paying middle-class jobs,” said the statement.
On Tuesday, the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of CA$4.4mn into technologies designed to clean up industrial waste water.
The money will be invested into local firm Saltworks Technologies, which specialises in the production of its water-purification solution, the AirBreather, an innovation that addresses a critical problem in the oil and gas industry: how to dispose of wastewater in a cost-effective and environmentally safe way. The AirBreather removes the need for chemical pre-treatment and reduces wastewater volumes safely through evaporation. This clean innovation is expected to reduce costs in the shale gas industry as well as reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with wastewater disposal. It will also help to maintain 65 jobs at Saltworks and create 20 additional jobs.
"Saltworks is cleaning the dirtiest water. By making water reusable, Saltworks is protecting our natural resources while finding environmentally and economically viable solutions for the shale industry,” said Zoë Kolbuc, Vice President, Partnerships, Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
Joshua Zoshi, COO of Saltworks responded: “Saltworks is proud to be the recipient of SDTC funding in support of our AirBreather demonstration project. We look forward to establishing this developed-in-Canada technology as the leading solution for economic and sustainable treatment of produced water in Canada's shale gas industry."
This investment continues the work done by the SDTC, which has invested over $1bn in more than 300 companies, creating 12,000 well-paying jobs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 13.8 megatonnes annually.
M&A activity key lever for future tech sector growth
Despite the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the tech sector has witnessed soaring dealmaking activity over the past year, rocketing in the second half of 2020, with the last quarter of 2020 a record one for M&A activity, and momentum continuing into 2021.
Dealmaking in tech sector soars in past year
And the latest figures bear this out with the number of technology M&A deals totalling US$208.44bn globally in Q1 2021, according to GlobalData. While the US holds top spot both in volume of deals (1034) and total value (US$140.61bn), Europe ranked next with 649 deals (US$44.49bn) with the UK continuing its reign as Europe’s biggest M&A market with 204 deals.
In particular, megadeals – those valued at US$5bn or more – soared in 2020 representing 59% of all global technology sector deal value in 2020, up from 47% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the EY Technology Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
This tech sector trend towards megadeals is backed up by EY’s CCB data, with 16% of tech sector respondents planning to pursue transformative deals valued at US$5bn or more in the near-term.
While technology deal activity “all but stopped at the beginning of 2020 after fluctuating between historic highs and lows, companies pivoted quickly and tech M&A exploded in the second half of the year”, says Barak Ravid, EY Global TMT Leader for Strategy and Transactions.
M&A activity level for tech sector growth
Looking ahead to the future, technology executives are optimistic, with nearly half (47%) expecting profitability to fully rebound this year, according to CCB data, compared to 23% across all sectors, and with more than half (51%) planning to pursue M&A in the next year in order to sustain growth.
According to Ravid, M&A activity is increasingly becoming a key lever for growth as businesses look to recover.
“To position themselves for future revenue growth, tech companies are now adjusting their M&A strategy to focus more on a target’s business resilience, digital technology alignment and to gain market share through consolidation,” says Ravid.
However, with an increasingly competitive deal market and ongoing geopolitical tensions, the majority of tech execs expect to see more competition in the bidding process for assets over the next year, primarily from private capital.