What is the product/service about?
SolarDew has developed a novel solar water purification technology for families and communities in areas affected by water scarcity. SolarDews products can be rapidly deployed as a compact, inflatable product after a natural disaster or as a permanent source of drinking water for households and communities. With these products, people can directly purify their local ground water, at the point of use, thus becoming more independent and healthier, whilst saving time and money.
Where did the project idea come from?
SolarDew is based on a technological development that started off at Akzo Nobel to develop a breathable membrane for the clothing industry. During this development it was found that the same membrane could applied to water purification, and specifically desalination. After SolarDew spun off, they focused the development on small scale desalination because it was there, where no solutions were yet available.
Why did you select that specific target country?
Many countries in the world suffer from water scarcity, but SolarDew first intended to focus on stepping stone markets where there was sufficient solar radiation, an acknowledgement of the problem by the government, a good business climate and also sufficient paying capacity. Moreover, the country would need to function as a gateway to a wider region. Australia, met all these requirements, and for the future provides a great entry point into the Pacific market.
Who are your partners in the target country?
SolarDew partners with Moomish, an Australian company, based in Cairns which is active in the fields of polymers and solar. Together with Moomish, SolarDew is conducting the necessary market and context research incl. in depth discussions with the end users and other stakeholders, as well as developing the business strategy ahead of market launch. On the product development side, pre-production prototypes are currently being tested under local conditions and the input from this evaluation and the end user research will lead to an optimization of the product for the Australian market.
What is your long term vision for your company working in your chosen partner country?
SolarDews long-term vision is that Australia will become SolarDews first market in the Pacific region and will function as a stepping stone to neighboring markets, like Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Fiji, etc. In time, SolarDew and Moomish will be looking to shift some of the production and assembly to Australia in order to better and more effectively serve this market.
What impact do you believe INNOWWIDE will have on your company?
Innowwide has made it possible for SolarDew and Moomish to spend the necessary time and effort in exploring the market, further developing the product and the business strategy, which would otherwise have taken much longer. As a result, we will be better prepared for launching the product in the Australian market and more effective in the coming years in scaling up within this market and beyond.
Can you offer any advice or guidance to others looking to apply for INNOWWIDE grants?
The most important is finding a good and reliable partner. Especially now during the current COVID19 pandemic, where unfortunately it has not been possible to travel to our target country, we have been able to execute the project thanks to the good working relationship we have developed and the ingenuity and ability to problem solve on both sides.