October 2, 2013

« All News

Geosyntec Collaboration Pioneers Research, Technology One Award at a Time

GUELPH, Ontario, Canada — The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada selected Geosyntec Consultants and Dr. Elizabeth Edwards of the University of Toronto (U of T) as a Synergy Award for Innovation winner. The award honors the most outstanding achievements of university-industry collaboration.

The decade-long partnership between Geosyntec and U of T researchers has primarily focused on the remediation of groundwater contaminated with the chlorinated solvents perchloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE), which are harmful to human health and the environment.

"The success of this ongoing collaboration has generated a renewed enthusiasm and an expanding commercial market for bioremediation for chlorinated solvent remediation, particularly in the United States, but also internationally," said Dr. David Major, Geosyntec principal. One of the results of Geosyntec and U of T's alliance is SiREM, a spin-off company founded in 2002 to produce and sell KB-1. KB-1 is a microbial bioaugmentation culture for chlorinated solvents and molecular diagnostic tools for bioremediation that was developed at the U of T through the partnership. As of today, KB-1 has been deployed with promising results at over 160 sites, including those of Fortune 500 companies, NASA, and the Air Force in the United States as well as overseas in the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Denmark. Even though it has been used across the world, KB-1 was just authorized for large-scale production and use for in situ bioremediation at Canadian sites.

The Geosyntec and U of T team have won several major awards, such as "Project of the Year" from the Strategic Environmental Research Development Program, Ontario Premier's Research Excellence Award, and most recently a $5 million grant from Genome Canada.

Another aspect of the partnership is the shared commitment to teaching, training, and mentoring students at the University of Toronto. More than 23 undergraduate, 19 graduate, and three doctoral theses have been completed and many are in progress with considerable input from Geosyntec and SiREM staff.

SiREM, a subsidiary of Geosyntec, was founded in 2002 with the mission of bringing to market unique, science-based products and solutions in support of groundwater remediation. SiREM has intellectual property agreements with DuPont, Stanford University, and U of T. In addition, SiREM has and continues to participate in collaborative research with more than 15 academic institutions in Europe and North America. Clients range from local to international environmental consulting firms, industry, academia, military, and government.