Cutting-edge water health monitoring technology is set to be manufactured in Nelson, following a substantial $2.5 million government investment in the artificial intelligence company, Snap IT (SnapCore) who have joined forces with the innovative Kiwi start-up AquaWatch.
Chris Rodley, CEO of SnapCore - Pic Braden Fastier - Nelson Mail.jpg
This collaboration represents a departure from the outsourcing trend to Asia, with manufacturing now poised to create highly-skilled local jobs, promising significant economic benefits for New Zealand.
A Technological Breakthrough for Water Quality Monitoring
The technology designed by AquaWatch stands at the forefront of water quality monitoring and offers enormous potential for global adoption, according to Chris Rodley, CEO of SnapCore.
The AquaWatch hardware, often likened to a "floating rugby ball," collects data that is uploaded via satellite technology, providing real-time information directly to computers or mobile devices. This real-time monitoring capability enables users to observe multiple points in waterways simultaneously from the convenience of their computers, offering unprecedented visibility into the health of these ecosystems.
A Paradigm Shift in Water Quality Management
Chief Growth Officer at AquaWatch, Abi Croutear-Foy, recently returned from the world's largest aquaculture technology exhibition, AquaNor, in Norway and reports that organisations from 26 countries expressed keen interest in the AquaWatch product over the past year, even before its official international marketing launch.
"We were getting so much international interest in what we were doing; we realised that our in-house manufacturing capacity wasn't going to meet the demand,” says Croutear-Foy explained. “Having the ability to work with SnapCore...has allowed us the confidence to do things like go to Norway, to really help push that international demand, because we now have the confidence that we can meet it."
Benefits of the AquaWatch Technology
AquaWatch's technology offers a range of benefits that set it apart from traditional water quality monitoring methods. It is not only faster and more cost-effective than manual sampling and testing but also provides more accurate data for managing and improving water quality.
The ability to take continuous readings provides a more nuanced understanding of water health, which is essential because water quality can change rapidly. Abi Croutear-Foy explains,
"If you're taking 12 data points [manually] over the course of a year, it'd be like looking at my Instagram feed and trying to figure out who I am as a person, whereas you can visit me for a week and figure it out a lot quicker."
In addition to its real-time capabilities, AquaWatch's technology aligns with international requirements for organisations to report on freshwater quality by 2030. Few products on the market can meet this need at scale, making AquaWatch a pioneering solution in this space.
The partnership between AquaWatch and SnapCore not only represents a leap forward in technology but also highlights the importance of keeping innovation within New Zealand.
"It's really important for us as a New Zealand company to stay in New Zealand, and keep the benefits of what we're doing within New Zealand,’ says Croutear-Foy.
As AquaWatch and SnapCore combine their expertise, this groundbreaking technology promises to transform water quality management and sustainability impacts on a global scale.