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Beyond 150 Collaboration for Change: Featuring Junian Ioffe

In preparation for Canada's sesquicentennial in 2017, we partnered with Deloitte to put forward a challenge and ask graduate students around Canada for ideas and socially innovative solutions for the societal challenges facing Canadians today and in the future.

Beyond 150 invites cross-sector collaboration in three key areas: economic transformation and the inclusion of new Canadians; optimism and democratic engagement; and the social and economic advancement of our Aboriginal communities.

As the proposals poured in from all over Canada, we produced the following report in partnership with Deloitte, called Beyond 150: Collaborating for change. It has been exciting to sit at the table with private and public stakeholders, and judge the competition to help pick the winning proposal. In the coming months, we intend to feature the four finalists of the competition, and share some of their best ideas on how to make Canada a happier, more prosperous and inclusive place.

Beyond 150 Finalist Junian Ioffe Focuses on Access to Clean Water

Junian Ioffe, BSc, MBA (Queen’s), co-founded EnviraMet, a clean tech startup focused on the research and development of waste water treatment technologies for mining, oil, and nuclear industries, in 2013. Junian sees EnviraMet’s research into water treatment technologies factoring into both the economic development and aboriginal inclusion goals. “We’re overtly reliant on natural resources in Canada, as can be seen with the collapse of our dollar. Yet we’re not taking full advantage of one of our main resources, our water. If we focus on research of clean water technologies, we’ll be able to continue using our natural resources - but do so in a responsible and sustainable way. Doing high tech research could contribute toward repositioning Canada as technology and R&D exporter,” Junian told YongeStreet.  “Moreover, Aboriginal advancement is directly tied to building healthy sustainable communities. In 2015, at least 93 documented aboriginal communities had boil water advisories, which lasted from weeks to months on end. Basic elements of human health need to be addressed. Without a healthy environment and living conditions, these communities just can’t thrive fully”

EnviraMet developed its highly specialized, patent-pending technology for the mining industry to remove contaminants resulting from mining processes; to selectively isolate oil from contaminated water systems, and treat water under extreme conditions, such as the Fukushima disaster in Japan.

Junian leads the product engineering and communication work at EnviraMet’s lab. Born in the USSR in a military hospital near Moscow, he gets excited about tackling big, unwieldy problems, and Canada’s role in the world.

“There’s a lot of work to be done. Canada is a world leader in water technology research. The recent conference in Toronto we have attended, hosted by WaterTAP, made us feel proud of all the progress we’re making.”

Please keep an eye on YongeStreet as we feature the finalists of this Beyond 150: Collaboration for Change student competition in the coming months. To read the special report and learn more about YongeStreet’s partnership with Deloitte, please go to Beyond 150: Collaborating for change.

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