Aqua-4D gains EU Horizon 2020 funding for new large-crop innovation
After a proven record of success with various crops over the last decade, Aqua-4D has been given initial Phase 1 funding by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (under grant agreement No 815633) to explore the possibility of expanding their technology to treat large-scale cereal & grain crops.
Horizon 2020 is known as a “fast track to innovation”, aimed at promoting close-to-the-market innovation activities and open to all types of participants, increasing investment in research and innovation while nurturing trans-disciplinary and cross-sector cooperation. The funding is structured in three phases, with the overall aim of transforming disruptive ideas into concrete, innovative solutions with a European and global impact. Phase 1 began in the second half of 2018 with a feasibility study to verify the viability of the proposed innovation. Phase 2 will go further into the Market Maturity phase, typically lasting 1-2 years and including prototyping, development, piloting and scaling up.
The overall goal is to bring Aqua-4D’s innovative irrigation solution to a whole new area of agriculture – one that is valued at €1.57 billion and expected to grow by 14.97% by 2022. Nevertheless, large-scale cereal & grain crop irrigation uses sprinkler systems of an inherently different nature: pivot irrigation. With the help of this Phase 1 funding, a new Aqua-4D system has been designed to cope with the significantly higher flow-rates needed, named AQUA4D-HR. It is a simple, low-operating cost and environmentally friendly EM water treatment equipment fully adapted for pivot system irrigation (flow rate up from 50 l/s to 200 l/s & large crops).
The commercialization of this completely new high flow-rate Aqua-4D system is estimated to begin in 2021 with the support of this EU SME Instrument in Phase 2 funding.
This will allow the company’s R&D department to turn this from prototype into reality, in order to bring the economic and sustainable benefits of this technology to the largest crop sectors in Europe and the wider world.