Making waves: Amphos 21 water solution wins first prize at SmartCatalonia Challenge

February 15, 2021

Amphos 21, one of RSK’s most recent acquisitions, is proud to announce that its Aqua Learning technology, an early warning system to detect the presence of pollutants in water, has been awarded first prize in the SmartCatalonia Challenge.

The SmartCatalonia Challenge is an open innovation competition that encourages businesses and technology start-ups to create solutions that can solve and respond to local challenges in Catalonia, Spain. Now in its seventh edition, the contest this year was dedicated to the digital transformation of water management. It was held in collaboration with the Catalan Water Agency (ACA), which outlined the challenges it wanted to solve with innovative technological solutions. In total, 40 proposals were submitted to the competition with ten companies making it through to present their innovations in the virtual live final, which was held on 28 January. The judging panel, who awarded first prize to Amphos 21, was made up of representatives from the Department of Digital Policies, the ACA and the i2CAT Foundation, a research and innovation centre.

The winning Amphos 21 project, Aqua Learning, consists of the development of an early warning system to detect the presence of pollutants in water. The solution is based on “machine learning” technology, which uses algorithms to identify pollution in groundwater and surface water. The technology developed by Amphos 21 has been successfully proven with mining effluents data from Chile, and groundwater data in the site selected to host the Deep Geological Repository of Nuclear Spent Fuel in Sweden. The project will now be pilot tested by the ACA to improve the management of water quality in the area.

Lara Duro, Amphos 21 Chief Executive Officer, says: “Thank you to the ACA, the i2CAT Foundation and all the members of the judging panel, and congratulations also to all the other projects that were submitted to the challenge. We are very proud of our colleagues Ester Vilanova, Shikhar Nilabh, Maria Pool and Jorge Molinero, leader of this project, for making this possible!”

Amphos 21 Team

Amphos 21 project team 

Second prize was awarded to Arantec for a solution focused on hydrological monitoring, while Hyds took third prize for its exchange framework for water concessions. More information is available on the SmartCatalonia website (in Spanish).

Amphos 21, one of RSK’s latest acquisitions, is a scientific, technical and strategic consulting company with operations in Spain, Chile and Peru. You can read more about the business and the acquisition here.