14 Aug 2019 | 02.51 pm
Tullow’s Tellab Secures €1m EU Funding
Aquamonitrix sensor monitors water quality remotely
14 Aug 2019 | 02.51 pm
The EU has awarded a grant of just over €1m to help commercialise a water quality sensor developed by Carlow company TE Laboratories.
The Aquamonitrix environmental sensor was developed at the company’s R&D lab in Tullow. Tellab says that it offers “the first accurate and affordable means for regulators and emitters to remotely monitor water quality in real-time, providing an instantaneous alert of pollution breaches and enabling decision-makers to take immediate action”.
Chief executive Mark Bowkett said: “The funding will allow recent outputs from in-company R&D activities to be exploited fully in global markets, with the aim of achieving first-to-market advantage. This project will deliver significant growth in export sales, as well as producing up to 25 new jobs in the next three years, and it will help underpin the company’s strategic growth plans.”
The company has already begun recruiting for the new jobs, with details becoming available here as they are added to the list.
At present, water quality monitoring involves samples being taken and sent for lab analysis, a time-consuming procedure which does not lead to fast remedial action in case of pollution events. TelLab says that its device allows for “near-continuous” remote monitoring of water quality at a cost way less than that of existing methods.
There’s growing regulatory demand for higher frequency monitoring of nitrate/nitrite, phosphates, and ammonia nutrients emerging from wastewater treatment plants, industry, agriculture, fish farms and domestic septic tanks.
These all feed microorganisms in water, accelerating their growth and potentially leading to toxic algae blooms, oxygen deprivation for competing aquatic species, and health risks for humans.
Tellab hopes its Aquamonitrix device will meet the demand. It has been demonstrated in real-life environments in Finland, Ireland, Spain and New Zealand and is being trialled by the US EPA. Apart from the latest funding under the EU’s Horizon 2020 scheme, Tellab also won a grant in 2018 under the LIFE programme to support the field trials.
Photo: Mark Bowket (left), patent lawyer Nikos Minas and Enterprise Ireland’s Joe Doyle (right)