As Innovation Partner at the World Water-Tech Innovation Summit on February 23-24, data-led specialist Ovarro is looking to collaborate with global technology companies already developing state-of-the-art leakage solutions, to revolutionise the way that leaks and interruptions are managed in water supplies.

The UK-based company monitors and controls critical national infrastructure for customers around the world and aims to revolutionise the way that leaks and interruptions are managed in water supplies.

In this short interview, CTO Matthew Hawkridge tells us how the company is driving its innovation and collaboration strategy, building an international water presence and advancing data-driven leakage solutions.  

Matthew Hawkridge, CTO, OVARRO

Innovation is a theme that underpins the World Water-Tech Innovation Summit. Is it also what drives Ovarro?
Definitely, innovation is the lifeblood of Ovarro’s product development. There are a multitude of ideas that could be adopted to help meet challenges within the industry and drive value for our customers. This is the focus of Ovarro’s dedicated Innovation Team, which I lead as the Chief Technical Officer. The team consists of a number of Data Scientists and Technical Subject Matter Experts that take new technologies and ideas and work to create rapid prototypes or Minimum Viable Products (MVP) that can be passed over to our engineers.

Ovarro has a strong presence in the UK water industry. How do you see yourselves strengthening that global water presence over the next few years?
Ovarro is continuously looking to strengthen our global presence through organic growth and acquisition. Our most recent acquisition, Datawatt B.V, is a Netherlands based business, serving the domestic Water and Energy sectors with RTUs and asset SCADA solutions. This acts as an excellent opportunity to access new customers and markets and strengthen our presence in those spaces. Ovarro also has an extensive global partner network which we are looking to drive our new products and innovations through.

In a recent webinar hosted by Ovarro, your team discussed working closely with supply chains to build capability in the water sector during the pandemic. How valuable do you think collaboration is in this industry? 
In this era of remote working, open communication and collaboration are now integral to a successful business. Good relationships with our customers have enabled us to continue to be progressive in meeting water industry commitments in a collaborative way. Through joining forces, teams are able to develop new leak detection technology to increase efficiency, save time, free-up resources and improve conversion rates. The impact of these partnerships are all factors that ultimately benefit our customers.

Data-driven leakage solutions have become increasingly popular over the last decade. How do you see this technology developing?
Now the technology is there to detect the leaks, the challenge we face is how these technologies can be deployed in a cost-effective manner. Leak prioritisation is an area that is sure to develop over the next few years, as utilities work to identify and reduce leakage by order of severity. This is only possible if data platforms can reliably capture and compare leaks across whole networks.

Ageing distribution networks becoming ever-more prone to leaks and bursts pose additional challenges to utilities, increasing the pressure to find innovative solutions faster – and making the move towards creating smart networks more vital than ever.

What excites you about the water industry?
The industry and its regulators are very keen on investing in its networks and processes, which helps to drive innovation. This potential for development over the next few years is a topic that is extremely exciting for organisations and teams such as Ovarro.


Join the Ovarro team at the virtual World Water-Tech Innovation Summit on February 23-24! Register now to secure your place.

Tune into Matthew’s panel discussion on ‘Forecasting Failures: Deploying a Successful Predictive Maintenance System’ during the Day 1 Non-Revenue Water Track, and join his roundtable discussion on ‘Open Data: Democratising Innovation.’

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