Helloscience backed innovators to find solutions to Bengaluru’s water woes

Backed by Grundfos and Novozymes, HelloScience Lab is setting out to be a first of its kind, collaborative experiment with global and local partners to work actively with SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) to address Bengaluru’s water urban challenges

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Bengaluru: As per many reports, the city of Bengaluru is predicted to face water shortages. The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) expects Bengaluru to run out of groundwater within just two years, and that too at a time when it is already facing challenges in terms of water sanitation. This leads to a basic question: Where will people get the drinking water from?

Solving a challenge like this is huge, but it also offers opportunities for businesses, academia and startups. In this backdrop, the Grundfos and Novozymes – world leaders in water and enzymes had sought participation of startups through their open innovation platform, HelloScience.

Recently the Helloscience organized a two full day workshops at Bengaluru on 27th and 28th February, using the SDGs (UN Sustainable Development Goals) as a springboard. The participants were engineers, scientists, and business developers from HelloScience’s partner ecosystem. They were joined by the experts with a wealth of experience in working with water challenges around the world and a proven track record of delivering solutions.

And so to Bengaluru, and to where action now may help us avoid future headlines about zero days and droughts by collaborating on how to allot, decontaminate, and dispose of Bengaluru’s water.

Given that the most difficult step is often figuring out where to start, HelloScience Lab is setting out to be a first of its kind, collaborative experiment. Global and local partners will work actively with SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation) to address Bengaluru’s water urban challenges.

The Lab will be hosted by Jaaga, a makerspace for start-ups which builds and supports collaborative communities in Bengaluru. Part of the local start-up ecosystem since 2009, local cleantech start-ups will be able to showcase their solutions and problem-solve together with a cast of forward-thinking engineers, scientists, and business developers from HelloScience’s partner ecosystem.

HelloScience Lab also aims to cross the boundary between talking about the SDG challenges and doing something about them. Spearheading partnerships is the only way to address the SDGs in a meaningful manner – real people, real problems, real collaborations and real solutions.

And if initial efforts and responses are anything to go by, collaborating together with new partners, discovering new competencies, and putting them to work with proven technologies just might help solve some of the greatest water challenges we face.

More information on the HelloScience Live Lab

Knowing Helloscience? 

The SDG-focused innovation platform, Helloscience was established by Danish headquartered bio-innovation leader, Novozymes in 2018. It aims to address many of the world’s key SDG and climate challenges, including water.

From the outset, HelloScience recognized that broader collaboration with partners across the public and private sectors, academia and civil society would be essential. This includes exploring and developing new ways or working, education, capacity building, mentoring, technology provision and business development support.

Already in its early stages, HelloScience was joined by Grundfos, a world leader in water infrastructure and another early SDG adopter. Through the course of last year, two leading edge collaborations has given both hope and inspiration that HelloScience is on to something different.

The first of those was start-up SolarSack. A SolarSack can be filled with 4 liters of water, which when left in the sun for 4 hours is then pasteurized, and ready to drink. Each Sack can be used up to 60 times, has low production costs per unit, has 1/20th of the Co2 emissions footprint of boiling water using charcoal, and can be sold at a profit whilst still being affordable to the user. The team behind SolarSack have been able to access HelloScience’s network of engineers and technologists, and engage with sources of potential funding to scale up, such as EIT Climate-KIC. Initial prototyping in East Africa is now being supported by tests with product users in country.

The second of those was NX Filtration, a Dutch based SME a company specialized in nanofiltration technology, which is capable of selectively removing small organic compounds from fresh water sources. Novozymes and Grundfos are now in close collaboration with NXF to enable new applications such as the removal of pharmaceutical residues, pesticides and other contaminants in the production of drinking water. The companies are together hoping to get to something truly ground breaking.