Together we’re stronger: driving innovation through partnerships Date: 14/05/21 | In: Blog, Partnerships & Alliances By Neil Butler, sales director at Detectronic There’s no doubting that when it comes to driving innovation, most companies will firmly agree that working in partnership with likeminded businesses and individuals is the key in almost every industry. It’s certainly a strategic focus for Detectronic and has been for many decades. As a direct result of the development of our ground-breaking, multi-sensor sewer monitor – the LIDoTT® Sensor – we’ve been afforded a number of new opportunities for business development and product innovation thanks to several new and existing partnerships. In partnership Three years ago, we began working with engineering and project management consultancy, Royal HaskoningDHV to create DetecAnalytics, an AI-powered predictive analytics tool for wastewater sewer networks and water recycling centres. DetecAnalytics takes data analysis and reporting to a whole new level and delivers full visibility across wastewater networks and treatment. Royal HaskoningDHV are leaders in sustainable development and innovation, and we share the ambition of creating a more sustainable society by driving positive change through innovation and technology. Alongside, we’ve worked on various projects with international engineering giant, Jacobs. Jacobs are focused on making the world smarter, better connected and more sustainable by addressing key challenges such as water scarcity and ageing infrastructure; just two factors that are very relevant to us and the global water industry. Each of these mutually beneficial partnerships works because, not only do we share common goals, but each business is also able to focus on its core skills to deliver a solution that is at the top of its game. As a result, we can employ the very best innovation and technology and exceed client expectations in the process. Here’s an insight into how our latest new product development and these successful ongoing partnerships have led to something brand new for Detectronic. Everyone’s a winner As an SME, it’s sometimes difficult for us to open doors at an executive level within the water industry. We just don’t have the same influence as bigger players, but a commercial partnership can change all that. The fact that we have fulfilled a number of contracts alongside such a world-renowned company as Jacobs has, indeed, benefited both parties (and respective clients of course!) when it comes to innovation. Here’s how. When we showed the team at Jacobs our LIDoTT® Sensor they immediately saw its potential and included its deployment in specific monitoring projects they were pitching to UK water companies. A stronger proposition through partnership The collaboration between Detectronic, Royal HaskoningDHV and Jacobs has resulted in the development of an integrated wastewater solution. It meets the challenges of congested pumps and sewer lines from aging sewers, unflushables and increases in extreme weather faced by water companies across the globe. Our combined knowledge and expertise have delivered a solution where understanding the sewer DNA and its behaviour is used to proactively improve asset performance and provide better insights. Operational teams are empowered to make fact-based decisions quickly to improve processes and performance. This includes lowering operating costs, reducing capital investment and enabling proactive maintenance, warning of leaks, bursts, overflows and pollution incidents. It’s worth noting that partnerships don’t just drive innovation alone. Thanks to our ongoing collaboration with Royal HaskoningDHV Digital, we can share their resources and logistics and access a whole new worldwide sales base. And now for something completely different… Our recent wastewater level monitoring projects with Jacobs have led to an introduction to another SME, and a very exciting project that is entirely new for us. Over the next three months, the project team will monitor the water that goes into a house. They will ascertain what (and how much) the water is specifically used for i.e., bathing, washing up, watering the garden, or cleaning a car and then work out what ends up in the sewer network. By deploying our LIDoTT Sensors and DetecAnalytics, they will gain millimetric accuracy data which will help them understand the whole process. This understanding and insight will enable both the water company to ‘get ahead’ when it comes to identifying in advance any potential issues that may cause localised blockages. I for one cannot wait to see the results of this truly innovative project that combines so much knowledge and innovation. We’re proud to be playing a part and, if the results are positive, I can see this sort of ‘home-by-home’ monitoring becoming commonplace for every UK water company. So far, it’s shaping up to be yet another example of a win-win partnership and innovation driver for everyone involved. Afterall, we really are stronger together.