Conative Labs: Monitoring water quality in real-time
In December 2018, the UNICEF Innovation Fund on-boarded its largest round of portfolio investments of thirteen startup companies using frontier technology solutions to address complex challenges and create fairer opportunities for children and young people. Conative labs is developing an Internet of Things solution.
Conative-labs is working to strengthen the security and quality of food and water that families eat or drink. In Egypt, fish accounts for 25.3% of an average household’s protein intake. By providing real-time data, we are helping farmers increase their yields and conduct their farming in a more efficient way. In addition, understanding water quality is essential for successful aquaculture, and our team is committed to creating and deploying solutions in aquaculture that are sustainable for the environment and accessible to farmers across the region.
We’re developing Nilebot, a real-time water quality monitoring, and alarm systems for aquaculture.
The device measures four main parameters: the level of oxygen, temperature, salinity, and acidity. Using an Internet of Things (IoT) solution, we are working with 40 different fish farms across the MENA region to collect this data. This data is shared real-time through our website - allowing fish farmers to receive information around water quality to name a few, and during emergencies, our users are notified via SMS. During our research, the team interviewed fisheries consultants, one of whom indicated that if Nilebot were available a decade ago he would have avoided a decrease in his yield due to the readily available information our platform provides concerning the quality of the water.
Furthermore, through using the same core technology implemented in Nilebot, Conative Labs will also explore various additional use cases, including altering the water-quality parameters being monitored by Nilebot to serve the agriculture market and potentially the residential water market.
FRONTIER TECHNOLOGY AND OPEN SOURCE
Nilebot was designed to cater to the market and the environment in Egypt and the MENA region. We are also developing the product to ensure flexible installation and usability across different fish farms and a diverse set of customers. Additionally, the sensors and hardware were carefully chosen to so address water quality problems. The software is very easy to use, and it’s bilingual too. Open source can help us develop our product further, and quicker -- it will enable us to reach experts people who are using the product itself or at least have some interest in technology or fisheries.
TEAM & DIVERSITY
Our team have been friends for almost eight years and conceived Nilebot during our university years. After graduation, we were connected to an aquaculturist - giving us more insights behind the challenges of fish farming. Our team wanted to tackle it. We came together because of two things: a passion for problem-solving and wanting to address food and water security. Collectively, we represent a wide array of expertise such as business development, technology, and aquaculture.
During the investment period, we hope to develop a management platform, so that technology can be used to manage fish farms completely. Additionally, we plan to scale to the agricultural sector; with the aim of developing a working prototype of our agriculture product. Over time we hope to expand our technology to monitor water quality in residential areas.
We look forward to learning and sharing ideas and thoughts, with the Innovation Fund’s cohort and network. We also hope to work collaboratively in developing methodologies which will help us and other startups strengthen our solutions and grow further.
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Photo Credits | Top: © UNICEF/Noorani | In Article: © Conative Labs