Climate change, a growing world population and urbanisation pose new challenges in water management. A quarter of all treated water in Europe is lost due to leakages alone. In some Member States it is 50% of fresh water. Water scarcity will be a growing challenge not only in the south of Europe. To address these challenges, the European Commission is offering a Horizon prize with a cash reward of € 2 000 000. The winner is the Fenix Hub solution.

With the prize, the Commission rewards a viable solution that can be applied in European water management systems. The prize shall stimulate broader European efforts to develop solutions for sustainable water management. This includes creative thinking across established water distributors, water management equipment suppliers, the ICT sector and industrial and academic research organisations.

Energy harvesting technologies and wireless sensors have been around for a while. There is also a range of ICT-based water monitoring solutions. What has been missing, however, is a convincing combination of the two that can also

  • Improve real-time monitoring of parameters of water supply, demand, leakage and quality
  • Be easily deployed as a plug-and-play device and withstand changing conditions
  • Is self-powered
  • Demonstrates a positive impact on energy consumption in acquiring, monitoring, communicating and analysing information about water resources.

The competition received 20 applications from all over Europe and beyond. Five of them were shortlisted by a panel of international experts. After demonstrations and hearings, the jury decided to give the award to Fenix Hub, the solution submitted by Aqua Robur, a young company originating from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Fenix Hub is an all-in-one, zero-power, wireless, real-time sensor and data communication platform for smart water monitoring that is deployable anywhere. Each hub is independently placed throughout the water network and operates autonomously, while interconnected wirelessly and configured remotely.

Its primary application is to detect and reduce leakage through flow and pressure monitoring. But the platform is modular and extensible in design to manage a variety of parameters, such as water temperature and quality. It is compatible with a variety of sensors for multiple monitoring applications. Simply put, the customer can add the sensors that fit their needs, place them where they want in the network, and act on the information collected.

Fenix Hub can be placed anywhere in the pipeline network, independent from access to the electricity grid and fibre optics. It can operate in diverse environments and is built for durability and reliability.


The award ceremony will take place at Startup Europe Summit 2019 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania on 21 March, in the presence of Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.



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