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Hagihon in EU Cooperation, Supplies Critical Testing Ground for Israeli Water Startups

By: Mickey Chesla, Blog Manager

Hagihon is partnering with leading European Utilities and Research Institutions in a new EU research project to Improve Governance and Social Awareness of Water Environmental Challenges.The new project, titled POWER (an acronym for ‘Political and sOcial awareness on Water EnviRonmental challenges’) will set up a user-driven Digital Social Platform (DSP) for expansion and governance of political and social awareness on water environmental challenges in existing water networks. POWER, which was officially launched on December 1st 2015 and financed under the Horizon 2020 “H2020-ICT10c-2015 Call”, is to be implemented over the next 48 months.

Hagihon CEO Zohar Yinon

Hagihon CEO Zohar Yinon

Zohar Yinon, Hagihon’s CEO, said that the EU’s decision to award the research project to Hagihon is a strong indication of the Company’s high level of professionalism and excellence.  The Company’s chairman, Avi Balashnikov, congratulated the Company’s management and employees and emphasized the importance of the project, which places Hagihon in high international standing.

Relating to a a recent Geektime article covering Hagihon’s efforts in managing Jerusalem’s complex water system, Yinon emphasized Hagihon’s  important role as an ‘early adaptor’ water utility, serving as a testing ground for some of Israel’s innovative water tech startups.

Yinon added that “Hagihon recently signed a seven-year contract with Curapipe, a company that snakes patent-pending material into busted pipes to plug leaks. Their tech can plug holes up to 8 mm in diameter  and purportedly lasts up to 20 years. That’s big savings when you don’t have extra time nor money to shut down traffic and pay for replacement piping”.

“We’re also are in the middle of installing roughly 2,700 acoustic sensors from startup Aquarius Spectrum on hydrants across the city to listen for leaks during nighttime quiet hours. Monitoring startup TaKaDu feeds morning reports to system managers of the entire network.”

The Geektime article reported that so far, Hagihon brandishes 51 leak detections and 39 repairs. Some have yet to be repaired not because of accessibility, but because those repairs have now been scheduled to be done at a later date, a calm deference to the frantic disaster repairs they’re used to. The pace of new technological adoption has drawn a gamut of visitors to the Company: foreign officials, potential investors, venture capitalists, organizations like the UK Tech Hub, and potential customers of the same technologies.

Hagihon has won several grants from the Ministry of Infrastructure’s national Water Authority, Ministry of Environmental Protection, and the Ministry of Economy.

That ethos of modernization has gotten the city some major street cred. They’re working as part of the Horizon 2020 POWER consortium and with a number of European firms via the EU’s FP7 Safewater consortium, working to produce an “enhanced system for protecting the municipal water system from contamination.” They also have a memorandum of understanding with New York City to coordinate on implementing smart city cybersecurity for new technologies.”

That innovation has birthed several of Hagihon’s business partners. They are working with water sensor companies Ayyeka and Blue-I Technologies, microturbine startup HydroSpinMemTech, and ICS², Siga, and Radiflow on Cyber solutions for critical infrastructure.

Israel’s prowess in water tech is increasingly renown, not only in the field of reverse osmosis desalination plants but also as a leading innovative position in the field of cutting edge technological smart solutions for water & wastewater utilities. The country turned a drought into a gold mine as it has secured its water supply regardless of the occurrence of consecutive years of drought

Yinon added, “Our contribution to the startups is in several levels: our knowledge, use of our facilities, assisting them achieve national/multinational grant financing, allowing them use of our logo, penetration of international markets, commitments to enable access to our engineers, and for meetings with potential investors and customers.”

    Start-ups, Water, Water IT, Water Security
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