More than two billion people lack access to clean and safe drinking water. Factors like water scarcity, urbanisation and climate change also continue to add pressures on the demand for water which is expected to grow.

Singapore-Sweden collaboration leads to development of compact water purification system
Liquinex Group, a Singapore design and engineering specialist in wastewater treatment had developed a water purification system targeting remote areas, humanitarian aid and rural applications. In its search for technology partners with complementary technologies to co-develop an upgraded water purification system, it got to know about LightLab Sweden’s UV disinfection technology after the green technology company exhibited at TechInnovation 2017.

An introduction facilitated by IPI led to a collaboration where both parties synthesized the efficacies of Liquinex’s ceramic ultra-fibration membrane and Lightlab Sweden’s mercury-free UVC tubes and co-developed the H20-KASE, a compact water purification system for clean drinking water. The innovative system, the size of a suitcase, was launched in July 2018. Powered by battery or solar energy, the portable system can produce up to 500 litres of clean water per hour and operates under challenging maintenance and site conditions. This makes it suitable for humanitarian missions.

Johan Tingsborg, CEO of LightLab Sweden, shared, “Tapping into IPI’s platforms have led to the successful integration of our UV disinfection technology with Liquinex’s next-generation water purification system. This cross-border partnership underscores our vision to contribute to a better environment through sustainable technologies.”

“Our innovation has been deployed by our customers to disaster-hit places such as Kerala, India after the floods in August 2018; and Sulawesi, Indonesia following the major earthquake and tsunami more recently on 28 September 2018. Liquinex is currently working to increase production to support their disaster-relief efforts,” said Bashir Ahmad, CEO and Technical Director, Liquinex Group.

Second collaboration to build scalable water treatment solutions
Through TechInnovation 2017, Liquinex was also introduced to Grafoid Inc, a Canadian graphene research, development and investment company, to explore the use of graphene in its water treatment applications. A year later at TechInnovation 2018, both companies announced their strategic collaboration to provide commercial scale water treatment solutions using Grafoid’s graphene-based filtration technology which can overcome limitations of standard filtration materials and treat a wide variety of contaminants.

“TechInnovation is certainly helpful to companies that are looking for suitable technology partners for collaboration. We are extremely pleased to have found a partner like Liquinex and see potential global impact in our partnership,” said Dr Kiran Manga, Engineering Manager, Grafoid Inc.

“We recognise that we need to be different from what is available in a highly competitive market. The support provided by IPI has been integral for a young start-up like ours. Through their open innovation services, we have been able to connect with new partners with promising technologies beyond our own network. This has reduced our sourcing time and accelerated our product development efforts,” remarked Ahmad.