WIN Water is a partner in the NEPTUNE project. NEPTUNE is a European Union funded innovation action which brings together the expertise of 12 partners from 7 European countries. It runs for 30 months until December 2018 under the coordination of French Aerospace Valley. The project offer entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Blue Growth sector opportunities to fund their projects, get business development support and support the creation of new cross-sectoral value chains by creating new networks and contacts. The overall objective is to develop new cross-sectoral and cross-border industrial value-chains led by SMEs to foster the development of Blue Growth industries in Europe and beyond. Blue Growth industries are defined as the development and use of the potential of oceans, seas, and related infrastructures as well as any inland fresh-water sources and their exploitation. It includes therefore all sectors and industries related to maritime environments as well as sectors producing, making use of, and treating fresh-water sources.
WIN Water, through the EU project Neptune, distributes millions in grants to support innovations that develop technical solutions within water, agriculture and space. Six innovative companies have just recieved funding through Neptune. Companies that all can help in solving some of the world’s biggest challenges connected to water.
104 European SMEs and Entrepreneurs submitted applications under the NEPTUNE Blue Growth Accelerator Call in 2017. In total, close to 200 European companies have applied for Neptune in 2017.
The projects could be granted both financial support and business development support from e g WIN. We had several high-quality applications from Sweden and eventually the following projects were selected for Neptune funding:
- DiaPure AB – CyloP-Smart filters for recover phosphorus from wastewater.
- 4ITAB and Vultus AB – Integrated coastal monitoring.
- FloCell AB – Large-scale optimisation of chemical precipitation in water and sewage plants on the international market.
- EPFF AB – Prevention of biofouling in marine and coastal heat exchangers.
- Watersprint AB – The future water recycling product for households combining two patented technologies.
The projects are granted totally 250 000 Euro divided between the five projects. Read a more detailed description about the selected projects further down.
Moreover, the projects could also apply for coaching and mentoring services from WIN and other cluster members. In total, ten WIN project have been granted coaching from WIN.
The financing as well as the coaching and mentoring support will be one significant step to help these innovative companies to succeed – to everyone´s benefit.
– We are proud to give these companies additional support and resourses on their way to success. The financial support and coaching in combination with international contacts from the Neptune project create great opportunities for the companies, says Maria Sätherström Lantz, Manager at WIN.
The Neptune project has been a huge success in terms of number of applications and cross-border cooperations. There were certain key elements that made Neptune attractive for the entrepreneurs:
- The accelerator approach with a simplified process to submit, shortened application and a time to grant of less than 3 months;
- The cross-sectoral and cross-national dimensions, which allow SMEs from different sectors and countries to find complementarities in a joint project to develop innovative technologies, services and products;
- The great potential for innovation and economic growth of the Blue Economy;
- The possibility to finance prototype and demonstration which are, by far, the most requested types of support.
The following projects were selected for Neptune funding:
Proj 73- CykloP-Smart filters for recover phosphorus from wastewater-DiaPure AB
DiaPure® -a conceptual new way of treating wastewater and recycle P
Phosphorus (P) is an essential micronutrient for food production, and one of the world top 5 resources. EU are largely depending on P resources from outside of Europe, fx Morocco. Phosphorus is a limited resource and EU has a key focus on phosphorus recycling to reduce import. Over fertilization with P has caused P eutrophication of lakes and coastal zones. In other parts of Europe, the soil suffers from nutrient deficits. DiaPure® is a smart filter material, designed to recover P from wastewater from single households. Most P cleaning materials on the market are cheap, raw materials or waste materials. DiaPure® can compete with these materials because it has been designed for recycling of P and the filter can be rinsed and reused again and again. The P can be recovered and reused as a fertilizer. DiaPure® filter material is a naturally porous, light weight material with a high permeability and high P retention capacity, with a P capturing coating on the surfaces. Hence, it is ideal for P capture in flow-through filters for treatment of sewage from single households. The concept has been proven in small scale, so the aims of the project are: i) Bring the regeneration technology from lab to pilot scale. ii) Design a novel self-cleaning-plug-in-prototype.
Proj 89 – Integrated coastal monitoring- Vultus & 4ITAB
The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive require a development of a comprehensive integrated and regionally coordinated innovative marine scientific information collection, which among others uses techniques specific suitable to sea area. The project “Integrated environmental monitoring” goes to the hearth of that development. In its first step they have developed the foundation for a transnational prototype of a novel and improved technology and services, a proof-of-concept, of a horizontal tool based on a combination of technologies for aerial surveillance, satellite imaging and advanced computer analytics.
Proj 97- Large-scale optimisation of chemical precipitation in water and sewage plants on the international market- FloCell AB
Chemical precipitation is used nowadays all over the world for water and wastewater treatment. The market is growing as a result of urbanisation, a growing population, climate change and the need for better drinking water and improved wastewater treatment. FloCell has developed a new system for optimisation of the precipitation process which is patented and under patent application. The method fulfils the requirements for blue growth due to a reduced use of chemicals and less quantities of sewage sludge, as well as improved purification results. After extensive trials, both pilot studies and full-scale research, a container-based method has been developed. The method can be installed in an existing or new treatment plant and has the capacity to optimise the precipitation process in a plant that serves maximum 100,000 pe. or an industrial plant of similar size. To reach an international market involving large cities and industries, the development of a larger plant with higher capacity is necessary. One of the aims of the project therefore is to commission construction drawings and draw up plans to be able to pitch such a plant. One important parameter for the construction of a full-scale plant, is that many large wastewater treatment plants use precipitation chemicals of low quality, which can cause problems. Another aim is to use aluminate and/or green liquor as a hydroxide source. The project will be started on a laboratory scale. Attempts will primarily aim at using green liquor and aluminate. Assuming the attempt at using aluminate/green liquor is successful a pilot unit will be built. The project continues with studies on the difficulties which can arise due to the use of contaminated coagulants. For the study, the existing container plant can be used, as long as other scheduled trials have been completed by then. Based on previous experiences and new a base construction drawing for a full-scale plan including the financial calculations will conclude the project.
– Neptune has given us opportunities to develop our concept to an international market and a shorter time-to-market, says Björn Olsson, MD at FloCell AB
Proj 108- Prevention of biofouling in marine and coastal heat exchangers-EPFF AB
EPFF uses weak electromagnetism to prevent or reduce biofilm in pipes for drinking water and beverages, reducing or removing the need for harmful chemicals that are otherwise used. They have identified marine and coastal heat exchangers as a promising new market segment for their technology. Such heat exchangers are exposed internally to sea water which causes fouling from microbes (biofilm) and larger sea organisms. Such biofouling reduces the efficiency of heat exchangers, making it necessary to clean or replace them regularly. If biofouling can be reduced, large savings would be possible in terms of energy, cleaning chemicals and maintenance.
Proj 118- The future water recycling product for households combining two patented technologies-Watersprint AB
Watersprint was created in 2013 focusing on product development that resulted in a world leading technology based on blue LED technology to disinfect bacteria, viruses and protozoa in water.
The new groundbreaking technology enables Watersprint products to be an energy efficient, chemical free, robust, safe to use and environment friendly water purification tool. The LED product development is rapid and Watersprint launched an improved version during 2017 ready for the global market.
Watersprint is active in the blue and green sector and our mission and vision is safe drinking water with minimum environmental footprint, accessible for everyone. Watersprint would like to challenge the climate action preparing for sustainable cities, focusing on circular water problems, in a joint action with another SME located in Finland, Sofi Filtration. The joint action starts with self-cleaning water filters innovated and patented by Sofi Filtration and the UV-LED based water disinfection unit innovated and patented by Watersprint. Our joint innovation is unique in the sense that it is energy efficient, mitigating waste and free from chemicals with long lifespan and low maintenance.
Sofi Filtration has developed a self-cleaning filter for industrial purposes and water recycling. Experiencing domestic water problems in California an idea to downscale the innovation appropriate for household level was developed. Watersprint is developing the second generation of UV-LED based water disinfection units with a very good disinfection capacity at higher flow rates which match the needs for a household. The two innovations would jointly solve the water problems in a household producing potable water. The outcome of our complete package with sensors, automation and power supply in a compact solution can act as a mini circular recycling unit.
The project includes development and testing of a prototype that shall initially be marketed to households, private- and public- institutions for potable water. This is the stepping stone for the next phase where we will further develop the joint innovation to include recycling of grey-water in micro and macro environments.
– Win-Win for Watersprint, Sofi Filtration, WIN and the world with the Neptune sponsored water cleaner for households. Without the Neptune contribution, our combined water filtration and water disinfection product would have become a reality significantly later. Now, we have a good opportunity, together with our American partner, to immediately investigate if our product is good enough for US households, says Linda Kokkola, COO at Watersprint.