Navigating a competitive advantage for science and business


In 1990, the University of Waterloo’s Janusz Pawliszyn developed a new method of collecting and analyzing water samples, a common practice that had scarcely changed since the 1980s. Pawliszyn’s method, called solid phase microextraction (SPME), allows some contaminants to be extracted on-site without the use of organic solvents while making sampling faster, cheaper and more environmentally friendly. It was inevitable that industry would take note. Indeed, when one of Pawliszyn’s former students went to work for Maxxam Analytics in Toronto, she took the idea with her and a great partnership began.