The Swedish water tech company Aqua Robur has developed wireless communication-equipment that allows water utilities to monitor their water networks in the way the suits their needs. The company’s equipment can be powered in three different ways to fit the conditions at each location in the water network. One of these is the award winning and patented turbine, which efficiently transforms a small part of the energy in the water pipeline into electricity with minimal pressure drop. This enables water utilities to measure and detect water leakage where it’s most needed, not just where there is access to electricity. The communication devices can also be powered by 230VAC or batteries when it is more suitable to the application.
Aqua Robur started off in the Nordic markets working with municipal water utilities, but now they have taken their solution globally. In most countries, 20-25% of fresh water produced is lost through leakages in the public water network, and billions of euros are wasted each year globally because pipelines cannot be efficiently monitored. Currently, water utilities struggle to solve this problem. Many companies are using other sensor technologies that require long electricity cables or battery replacement, which costs time and money.Business Sweden’s knowledge of the market, the language, culture and local customs is an essential part in helping establish relationships with local actors. In that way, we believe that the value of the support of Business Sweden goes well beyond the value of other types of market research.”
In order to efficiently reach a wide customer base across the global water utility network, Aqua Robur’s go-to-market strategy is based on partnerships with local distributors. To accelerate the internationalisation process, Aqua Robur joined Business Sweden’s LEAP Accelerator programme. They then applied and were approved to Business Sweden’s Catalyst Program where Italy was identified as one of the most attractive markets for them to target. Italy was identified as it has one of the highest leakage rates in Europe, while at the same time being home to some of the most advanced water utilities in the world with strict demands on reducing leakage and quality of control of drinking water.
Aqua Robur’s CEO Niklas Wicén explains:
“We are utilising a multi-distributor strategy for the Italian market. We cannot underestimate the difficulty it takes for any distributor to have a sufficient presence in the whole Italian peninsula. Italy may not appear big on a map, but it is a country with a large population and major regional differences and customs. As such, we believe it is better for us to work with more than one distributor in this market.”
While Aqua Robur’s cutting-edge technology already attracted interest from international players, the challenge remained: how to identify the most important players in the market and engage with the local distributors. Business Sweden’s ability to understand the local market potential and establish trust with leading actors in the market have been the cornerstones for Aqua Robur’s accelerated market launch.
“We know the importance of understanding the customs and language of the market that we are entering in order to establish trust with the actors that we want to work with. Business Sweden’s knowledge of the market, the language, culture and local customs is an essential part in helping establish relationships with local actors. In that way, we believe that the value of the support of Business Sweden goes well beyond the value of other types of market research.”
Business Sweden assisted Aqua Robur to screen potential partners in the market and initiate business dialogues with the most relevant players. As part of the customer engagement strategy and to meet potential partners and customers in Italy, Aqua Robur had a presence at one of Europe’s most important cleantech fairs, Ecomondo, in the Nordic pavilion which was organised by Business Sweden. In just a week Aqua Robur had conducted several meetings and established a better understanding of the local partner profiles in order to decide on potential collaborations.
In addition to the Italian market, Aqua Robur sees great potential for their technology to help the local water utilities to solve the problem with ever decreasing drinking water supply in other parts of Europe, starting with Spain, Greece, Germany and UK.