CleanNature team
Photo: Courtesy of Anne Carabin

CleanNature draws attention

Women-led start-up relies on artificial intelligence to reduce road salt issues

In between snowy days, discover CleanNature, a women-led cleantech propelled by our alumni Claudie Ratté-Fortin, Anne Carabin and Patricia Gomez. Their e-platform could reduce de-icing salt costs by up to 50% while protecting the environment. Their work has caught the attention of Montreal-based online news outlet La Presse+.

Their GuIA app, which is still under development, relies on artificial intelligence to analyse weather and road conditions to accurately determine the type and amount of de-icing salt to spread, saving money, limiting wear and tear on infrastructure and mitigating environmental impacts, particularly on waterways. Target customers will include contractors and municipalities.

In 2019, their tool won second prize in the AquaAction’s pan-Canadian AquaHacking Challenge competition, an initiative of the Fondation de Gaspé-Beaubien. This achievement allowed our team of entrepreneurs to obtain $15,000 in start-up funding, which encouraged them to continue developing their app with the help of a business incubator. 

Then, in 2020, they won the World Wildlife Fund Canada’s H2O Generation Tech Challenge Award, which gave them an $18,000 grant and opened the door to the Earth Tech accelerator at the Centre for Social Innovation’s Climate Ventures project in Toronto.

About our entrepreneurs

Claudie Ratté-Fortin received her PhD in water sciences from INRS in 2020 under the co-supervision of Isabelle Laurion and Karem Chokmani. The INRS Foundation then awarded her a prize for the Best doctoral thesis of the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre. An expert in mathematics, statistics and hydrology, Ratté-Fortin is a postdoctoral researcher at INRS and HEC Montréal. 

Patricia Gomez is a project manager at NEXT Stormwater Solutions. She holds a professional master’s degree in water sciences from INRS obtained in 2015 under the co- supervision of Isabelle Laurion and Sophie Duchesne. Gomez’s expertise in project management applies to watershed management and hydrological modelling.

Anne Carabin is pursuing her doctoral studies in civil engineering at the University of Victoria. Specialised in water treatment and quality, she is a graduate of the INRS professional master’s degree in water science obtained in 2015 under the supervision of Patrick Drogui.

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