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40 European companies will tackle water scarcity with their technological innovations

The selected companies have the potential to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the production processes of European industry. They will be eligible for prizes of up to 30,000 euros to test their solution with final customers.

Companies or institutions interested in testing innovative solutions will be able to participate in a series of meetings to be held between September and November.

21 Jun 2022
EIT Food South

The European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) has selected SMEs and start-ups with solutions in an advanced state of development from 15 European countries, including devices that obtain drinking water from the air or IoT sensors to improve the efficiency of irrigation, to participate in the EIT Community Water Scarcity initiative.

The selected companies have the potential to improve the efficiency and sustainability of the production processes of European industry. They will be eligible for prizes of up to 30,000 euros to test their solution with final customers.

Companies or institutions interested in testing innovative solutions will be able to participate in a series of meetings to be held between September and November.                                                                  

40 SMEs and start-ups with innovative solutions in the water sector have been selected by the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) to participate in the EIT Community Water Scarcity initiative. Water scarcity is one of the major current and future problems in Southern Europe, which affects the entire value chain of the agri-food industry and for which it is necessary to find urgent solutions.

The initiative has been organized thanks to the collaboration among different KICs of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT). It is coordinated by EIT Food, with the participation of EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Digital and EIT Manufacturing, in addition to other partners such as Athena Research Center, Bioazul and TU Delft. The objective is to facilitate the transition to a water-saving economy and to contribute, in the long term, to reduce water consumption, waste and pollution in Europe. The call, which was launched in March, is part of the activities of InnoWise Scale, the entrepreneurial support arm of the EIT Community Water Scarcity.

As a result, 40 start-ups and SMEs from 15 different countries have been selected: Spain, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Portugal, France, Finland, Ireland, Hungary, Sweden, Bulgaria, Germany and Israel.


Their innovative solutions

The technologies developed by the selected companies can be classified in different types.

The first one includes those which produce water from the humidity in the air. They can have application in producing drinking water in remote areas, rural areas, islands... In this first group 6 companies have been selected: Saba Technology (Italy), Solar Dew (Netherlands), Agua de Sol (France), EZPack Water (Israel), Genaq (Spain) and AeroH2O (Spain).

Secondly, water vending machine technology can be found, for small communities or islands. The company Pelagoo (Greece) has developed this technology, with machines supported by an automatic plug and play real time IoT solution for drinking water analysis and management (measure PH, residual chlorine, turbidity...).

In the field of water efficiency technologies, Ablute (Portugal) has developed a water-efficient toilet combining features of water-saving, hygienization and space efficiency. It also has an integrated medical device to perform urine analysis, which delivers immediate and easy-to understand results.

There are also nature-based treatment technologies, which use or emulate natural processes. In this area, two companies have developed their solutions: Azuvia (France) and The Blue Future (Spain).

Another type is the wastewater treatment technology, with applications in private or public utilities, manufacturing industries, municipalities, power plants... three companies have developed innovations in this area: Biowave (Ireland), Sofi Filtration (Finland) and Innosuns (Spain).

Related to this, another type of technology is the water and wastewater infrastructure management technology. The solutions of four companies belong to this field: Wakaru (Portugal), Aegir (France), Fuelics (Greece) and Cartometrics (Spain).

Three companies have developed their innovative solutions in the area of leakage detection technologies in water distribution and supply networks, with application in private and public utilities and municipalities: SatGeo (Bulgaria), Pydro (Germany) and Blue Gold Team (Italy).

Water quality monitoring technologies can have application in private and public utilities, municipalities, industries and water agencies or authorities. In this area, the companies Aquadat (Spain), Sanchip (Italy), Aqua-Q (Sweden) and Watershed Monitoring (France) have developed technologies that have been selected.

In the field of precision farming, which can be useful both for crop production or cities and municipalities, ten companies have contributed with their solutions: Graniot (Spain), Zenagro (Greece), Aonchip (Spain), Spacecrop Technologies (Hungary), Spherag (Spain), Demand Side Management (France), UTW (Spain), Griddit (Italy) and Agualytics (Spain).

Another of the selected companies has developed a technology that produces energy from wastewater: Green Independence (Italy), with application in utilities, manufacturing industries and energy industry.

With applications in crop production, public and private water utilities and cities or municipalities, the companies Agrobiogel (Austria) and Algaementum (Portugal) have developed bio-based water materials.

There are also technologies in the field of water infrastructure management in buildings. Two companies have a solution in this area: Sensfix (Poland) and Grafinco (Netherlands).

Lastly, water project-based technologies, with application in aquaculture, utilities and corporates. Two companies have developed their innovative solution here: Aquaponics (Portugal) and Planet Sas (Italy).

An opportunity for potential clients

The EIT wants not only to boost these solution providers, but also to put them in contact with those who require these technologies. Thus, it offers companies or institutions that have the potential for improvement in the use of water resources the opportunity to implement some of the solutions developed by the start-ups as a demo. Between September and November, a series of meetings will be organized, so that the selected companies will be able to present their solutions to these potential end users and these, in turn, will express real detected needs related to water and will explore how innovations can help them to fix them.

Companies interested in participating in this initiative can contact the organisers at waterscarcity@eitfood.eu.

Until then, the 40 companies will enjoy a mentoring and training period, where they will work with an expert in different areas such as product development, definition of the business plan, finance, internationalization, etc.

Finally, in November, the sectoral competitions will take place, in which specific cases provided by these end users will be studied. Participating SMEs and start-ups will also present their solutions. At the end of each competition, they will be eligible for three prizes: the first is endowed with €12,000 in cash; a second prize of €10,000 in cash; and a special one of €30,000 to implement a demo of its solution, which will be awarded to the company that best suits the needs of the end customer.

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