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SmartTerra and Solinas Integrity Won 1.75 Crore As The/Nudge Prize: Ashirvad Water Challenge 2023

Winning solutions, created by The/Nudge Institute and Ashirvad Pipes in collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, use AI and robotics to combat water leakage and contamination. With 140+ innovative applicants, this 18-month challenge aims to boost water sustainability and potentially serve 190 million households.

Vivek Singh
Ashirvad Water Challenge 2023 Winners
Ashirvad Water Challenge 2023 Winners

SmartTerra and Solinas Integrity have emerged as the winners of the Ashirvad Water Challenge (AWC) announced on September 18, 2023, by The/Nudge Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) and Ashirvad by Aliaxis, in partnership with the Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. These startups were awarded Rs 1. 75 crore following a rigorous selection process from among 140+ applicants.

The AWC, which began in February 2022, aimed to address the critical issue of providing clean drinking water for all in India. Supported by Ashirvad, an Aliaxis company, 'The/Nudge Prize: Ashirvad Water Challenge' sought innovative, scalable, and technology-driven solutions to India's water crisis, with a focus on improving access to clean water in urban and rural areas. SmartTerra employs AI-based data analytics to detect water leaks and meter issues, reducing wastage, while Solinas Integrity's "Endobot" robotic solution enhances pipeline security by identifying leaks and contaminants. The winners were selected based on their solution's impact, economic feasibility, sustainability, scalability, and its ability to address various aspects of water management.

Line De Decker, Chief People and Sustainability Officer of Aliaxis, highlighted the significance of sustainable water management and universal access to clean water at the announcement of The/Nudge Ashirvad Water Challenge winners. The challenge recognized innovative technology solutions, with SmartTerra, a Bangalore startup, gaining attention for its AI-driven data analytics platform addressing water network issues, such as leaks and low pressure. Their pilot phase achieved a 77% accuracy rate and identified 11 hidden leaks, with operational deployment in multiple locations.

Solinas Integrity, a Chennai-based company, presented "Endobot," a robotic solution detecting pipeline leaks and contamination. This innovation targets the critical problem of water wastage and contamination, saving 600,000 liters of water daily by identifying over 40 contamination points during the challenge's pilot phase. Their platform operates in numerous cities, serving both government and business clients.

De Decker congratulated the finalists and expressed Aliaxis' commitment to a second edition of the challenge, underscoring the importance of sustainable water management. The winners and runners-up of The/Nudge Ashirvad Water Challenge have ambitious plans for expansion and improvement. SmartTerra seeks partnerships with water-focused organizations, while Solinas Integrity will enhance its SWASTH software with additional features. Kanishka Chatterjee, Director of The/Nudge Prize, expressed gratitude for support and highlighted the finalists' innovative solutions across the water value chain. He emphasized that their passion for impact, along with technology, was key to their success. Independent assessments by Ecociate Consultants evaluated the solutions' impact, scalability, feasibility, social outcomes, sustainability, and readiness for implementation, marking a significant step in addressing India's water challenges.

The panel of judges, including water and social value experts like Akosua Boakye-Ansah, VK Madhavan, Sunderrajan Krishnan, Sai Pramodh, Vishwanath S, and Yogendra Kumar Singh, played a pivotal role in selecting the winners of The/Nudge Prize: Ashirvad Water Challenge. Ecosystem partners, such as Jal Jeevan Mission, Caspian, INREM Foundation, WaterAid, and IHE Delft, provided valuable support throughout the challenge. The grand finale, held at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi on September 18, 2023, marked the announcement of the second edition of the challenge, set to accept applications in November 2023. This initiative is a significant effort in India, fostering innovation and scalability at the water-livelihoods intersection.

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