A cloud-based platform designed to elevate the efficiency of industrial and city-scale desalination, water, and wastewater treatment plants using artificial intelligence has won an industry award.
Pani, based in Victoria, was honoured with the distinction prize in the Breakthrough Technology Company of the Year category at the 2023 Global Water Awards held during the Global Water Summit in Berlin.
The Global Water Summit, hosted by Global Water Intelligence, brought together participants from 40 countries across companies such as Veolia, ABB, Schneider, Aquatech, Colgate, L’Oréal, and Aqualia. The summit highlighted breakthrough technologies like Pani’s, future disruptive trends, and leading projects from around the world.
“Recognition for Breakthrough Technology Company Distinction by the global water sector is a testament to the hard work and commitment of the Pani team in accelerating the water sector’s transition to sustainable treatment,” stated chief executive Devesh Bharadwaj. “I am proud of the team and continue to be inspired by their focus on decarbonizing the water sector leveraging AI.”
Within a year, Pani has doubled its team size, increased the number of facilities using its platform by 2,000% , and demonstrated the impact of Ops AI on plant performance and operating risk. The startup has established relationships with industry-leading brands including Coca-Cola,, Aquatech International, Sawaco, Osmoflo, and the Orange County Water District.
“What began as a hypothesis to address the technology gap in desalination and wastewater plants in early 2022 has transformed into a proven category of technology known as Process Operations AI for treatment plants,” explains Bharadwaj. “With $8 million in seed funding and years of background research, we have developed a new technology layer on top of SCADA, which had been the state of the art until now.”
What often happens when operations teams try to improve on key performance indicators like risks, costs, water losses, and emissions, says Bharadwaj, is that there’s a lot of raw data but no powerful tool to manage and wield all of the raw material.
Pani leverages AI technology to aggregate data from processes, then visualizes, analyzes, and “instructs operators on how to optimize their plant’s performance to save time, resources, and the environment,” according to a statement from the BC firm.
“Our technology has shown to reduce operating costs by up to 15%, increase water production by up to 12%, predict compliance issues and downtime up to 30 days in advance, with trusted accurate predictions of over 94% based on third-party tests,” the company says.
Providing teams with “critical capabilities” through Pani generates more efficient day-to-day operational decisions “and will help accelerate digital transformation to get treatment plants further along on the roadmap to decarbonization,” according to Bharadwaj.
The solution corrects a lack of digitization that has “contributed to widespread firefighting against daily increasing risks, costs, water supply shortages, and greenhouse gas emissions.”
“Only by leveraging the insights of artificial intelligence can we revitalize existing water treatment infrastructure to become more efficient and sustainable,” the company states online.
Pani claims its tech can be deployed at any treatment facility at any level of digital maturity around the world.
“With Pani, water treatment facilities of any shape and size can begin their digitization journey and contribute to a more sustainable water future,” says Bharadwaj.
Other BC-based companies bringing tech to water include Delta-based Muddy River and Vancouver’s infinitii ai.
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