Lombard water service, the projects selected by the Water Alliance

Three startups, three innovative projects to rethink the future of the Lombardy water service and deal more effectively with the consequences of climate change. It concluded with the pitch day on Tuesday 28 February Wave of innovationthe international call launched by Water Alliancethe network of 13 public companies of the Lombard integrated water service (Acque Bresciane, Alfa, BrianzAcque, Como Acqua, Cap Group, Tea Group, Lario Reti Holding, Mm, Padania Acque, Pavia Acque, Sal, Secam and Uniacque), to promote innovation in the water management sector with a view to open innovation on an international scale.

“It is a source of pride to note the interest that this initiative has received at an international level, with applications from the USA, Canada, Australia and Israel – he says Henry Pezzolispokesperson for the Water Alliance and president and CEO of Como Acqua – This means that Water Alliance is an attractive reality and considered capable of concretely implementing projects, welcoming innovation proposals to implement its services”.

The call, which opened last October, had the objective of finding innovative solutions in some crucial areas for the water service such as the management of sewage sludge, the production of biogas, big data and the creation of an increasingly smart network. and saw the participation of 57 companies and startups from all over the world. “The Call for Innovation that has just ended is the result of a great effort by the network, which has chosen to open up to the world of innovation on a global scale, – observes Michele Falconecoordinator of the Management Body of Water Alliance and director of General counseling and procurement of Gruppo Cap – Dialogue with startups and innovation hubs has allowed us to deal with innovative and high-tech solutions. Crucial solutions for the ecological transition and digitization of the Lombard water service which will have to face the challenges posed by the climate crisis but also by the implementation of the Pnrr. The identified projects will allow us to implement circular and digital solutions that will improve the quality of the integrated water service in Lombardy”.

“We are very satisfied with the results of A Wave of Innovation – he says Desdemona OlivaCap Group R&D Director and Water Alliance Open Innovation Group Coordinator – We have received many high-profile applications from around the world which have allowed us to gain insight into the opportunities of Open Innovation in the water sector. The selected projects are strategic because they guarantee us a more efficient management of purification sludge and water resources. Indeed, with Ostara and Alpha Cleantec AG it will be possible both to recover high-value secondary raw materials and to maximize biogas production while reducing the volume of dry sludge at the same time. With the Digital Twin developed by Water Jade we will instead have the opportunity to deal more effectively with the water crisis”.

There were 10 finalists who participated in the pitch day held at the Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan: PipePredict GmbH, Waterjade, Febus Optics, Alpha Cleantec Ag, Aqualitas, Aganova, Hupi Saas, Fracta Inc, Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Europe and Cann Forecast, who have submitted their projects to a commission composed of the management of the Water Alliance. The three startups, and related projects, selected by the commission were: Ostara (Canada), which built a project to help water utilities recover precious nutrients from wastewater and then transform them into high-value fertilizers, following a highly circularity; Alpha Cleantec Ag (Switzerland), which has developed a sludge pre-treatment process that maximizes biogas generation, improves dewatering and reduces the amount of dry sludge produced; Waterjade (Italy), which has developed a Digital Twin solution, thanks to which it is possible to predict the flow of water in rivers and wells. Thanks to the combination of physical models and machine learning and the use of satellite images, the project makes it possible to deal more effectively with the climate crisis.

The call saw the participation of 57 startups from all over the world: United States, Israel, Canada, Australia, Germany, Spain and Switzerland. The 57 projects were then evaluated by the Water Alliance management, which established the 10 finalists, who were protagonists of the pitch day held last Tuesday.