*Featured photo is of Maven's mFlex units at a gold mine in Ontario. These are performing site-specific testing and optimization for constructed wetland treatment systems (CWTS) that will treat water for the site once it closes.
Driven to solve challenging problems, Monique Simair is passionate about translating science into real-world usefulness and application. After the successful sale of her last environmental and biotechnology business in 2019, Simair started Maven Water and Environment to advance how mines, oilsands, and industrial sites approach water treatment.
“Starting Maven, I asked myself what I would do differently,” Monique Simair shares. “I wanted to create a completely different type of business and encourage people to strive for efficiency and innovation. Existing business strategies aren’t working today and won’t work for future generations, so I wanted to be so creative that everything would change.”
Maven Water & Environment is founded on Simair’s passion and background in turning complex scientific research into practical solutions. The Maven team has developed a range of natural and powerful water treatment and source control technologies as they work toward a sustainable future. They are continually evolving their water treatment technologies for the mining, oil, and gas sectors to ensure water resources remain safe while sourcing the materials.
Maven's technology and consulting services are being implemented coast to coast in Canada and globally, such as in South America, the Caribbean, and beyond. The team is also working with the oldest gold mine in the western hemisphere—one of the biggest ones in the world.
“We’re modernizing water treatment for the mining sector by taking concepts and programs that take so much experience to learn and making it into software programs,” says Simair. “It’s very difficult to teach people all of the skills required for this area, but you can teach them how to use the program.”
“We use technology to streamline complex calculations and equations and apply these to large datasets. We don’t have to focus on mundane tasks—we can focus on innovative ideas,” Simair continues. By making sense of challenging water treatment and water management situations, the Maven team guides companies to optimum outcomes. They look at the entire water management strategies for mines and oil sands and address any opportunities or challenges.
“We use a lot of emerging technologies, especially semi-passive treatment,” Simair adds. Semi-passive treatments remove metals and pollutants from water without the need of chemicals and electricity.
Maven also houses a first-of-its-kind in North America facility, where they build different testing environments. In the past, when a water treatment system was developed, most of the testing was done in laboratories that couldn’t really match what was going on in real life. Their specialized facilities overcome this and allow them to copy what different mine environments are like. Adding to their unique approach, Maven has created customized, modular testing systems that can be shipped to the location to test and optimize new treatment systems in real-time on-site.
“With the ability to do testing wherever and very quickly, this decreases the timeline for any site by about three years,” Simair explains. “We’re physically moving a portable water treatment system like a treatment wetland, which allows us to optimize it on-site.”
With their impressive technology and consulting expertise, Maven is working toward doubling their space and expanding their team. They have more than 30 open positions, and they are hoping to find and empower quality candidates who are passionate about creatively building a sustainable future.
Simair focuses on a people-first approach that truly values and empowers the Maven team and collaborative partners. “We are aiming for brilliance, not people grinding through time. We are moving away from billable hours, and focus on value-based deliverables and success fees. This aligns us with our clients and our goals and allows us to pursue value creation, efficiency, and innovation," she says.
Getting started in Saskatchewan has been beneficial for the Maven team since they have had the opportunity to quickly scale and leverage the close-knit tech sector in the province. “Many people don’t recognize we’re innovative here,” Simair shares. “We don’t have to wait around or try to find someone else to solve your problems. If you need support, you’ll know someone to call.”
Maven Water & Environment received funding from the Saskatchewan Advantage Innovation Fund (SAIF) back in 2019. SAIF is a research and development funding program designed to accelerate commercialization of game-changing technological innovations in the province’s core sectors – like mining, energy, manufacturing, education, and healthcare. To learn more, click here.
Founder: Monique Simair
Incorporation Date: March 2019
Employees: 12; 30 open positions right now