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Breakthrough Technology Company of the Year: Shortlist

For the early-stage technology company which made the most impressive commercial breakthrough into the global water technology market in 2019.

Shortlisted Nominees



What is it?

An Israeli start up combining real-time wastewater network monitoring with big data analytics to give utilities the insight they need to optimise their services, minimising environmental damage and maximising reuse potential.

What has it done?

After dominating its domestic market, offering wastewater monitoring and data analytics services in every major Israeli city, 2019 saw Kando take the global market by storm, securing new clients in the US, Europe and Australia. After securing a major new investment last year, the growing firm is now positioned to launch a raft of new products and services in 2020, helping utilities all over the world meet regulatory requirements and secure the environment for generations to come.

What makes it special?

The company’s live alerts and predictive impact assessments paid off in a big way for major clients in 2019. In the industrial centre of Haifa, network operators saw a $1 million drop in treatment costs and a 75% reduction in waste spills in the year after adopting Kando’s system. In Jerusalem, operators reported a 40% reduction of pollution events in the industrial zones where the solution has been deployed, resulting in a 10% fall in treatment and operation costs over the course of the year.

After working with clients to establish their service requirements, Kando use data-driven modelling to identify exactly where IoT monitoring units should be deployed for maximum effect, a digitally collaborative model that is truly on the cutting edge of improvements of water performance for a new decade.


Kando’s units deliver live condition reporting from inside client networks, enabling the firm’s cloud-based analytics engine to alert users to contamination events in real-time. Every data packet transmitted to Kando’s secure server is geologically defined, allowing users to pinpoint dischargers responsible for contamination events. With this insight, utilities can better enforce regulations, minimising pollution and reducing environmental damage.



What is it?

A digital technology provider from California that is aiming to improve treatment plant operations by delivering cloud-based, unmanned water quality monitoring systems to utilities.

What has it done?

In 2019, Ketos successfully broke through, securing a major pilot project in association with the South Nevada Water Authority, providing the utility with rapid source quality readings to tailor its treatment plant operations. In California, Castle Rock State Park also selected the technology in order to become the first U.S. state park to continuously monitor drinking water quality.

What makes it special?

As its upward trajectory accelerated in 2019, Ketos raised a record amount of money. In February, $9 million of series A funding allowed the company to expand its team around an accomplished CEO; while the opening of an office in India marks a massive step in the company’s aim to address global water management issues.

The company’s holistic approach measures over 20 water quality parameters, including heavy metal ions, inorganics, and nutrients.


This is providing users with a comprehensive web of information that can be used for real time monitoring and future modelling, allowing them to transform their operations.

Ketos’ new Shield Fabric digital solution combines multiple testing elements into a single system, streamlining the monitoring process. Utilities can also benefit from a reduction in manual water testing costs, which are often prohibitively expensive.


Magna Imperio Systems

What is it?

An electrochemical desalination specialist which has developed an innovative high recovery desalination system using the principles of electrodialysis reversal.

What has it done?

Magna Imperio brought the benefits of its high recovery, low energy technology to a vast spectrum of new customers in 2019, resurrecting the concept of electrochemical desalination among the industry. Expanding to applications beyond brackish water desalination and the securing of $15 million of funding helped MI Systems multiply its revenues and set it firmly in place to become a major market player.

What makes it special?

The company’s versatile Electrochemical Nano Diffusion (END) technology proved itself as a robust alternative to electrodialysis reversal in 2019 through its lower energy consumption, landing a string of contracts in the food & beverage industry as well as municipal wastewater and potable water treatment applications, where it is achieving recovery rates between 95 and 98 percent, enabling customers to cut their water costs and consumption.

In early 2019 the company installed a system for the Saint Arnold Brewing company, which now boasts a 98% water recovery rate, increasing from 65% previously.


The return on investment for the system is on track to be an impressive 14 months, proving beyond a doubt the inherent value of the technology.

A two-week pilot of the END process in Ventura County, California helped a wastewater treatment plant meet chlorides and dissolved solids discharge limits with 96% water recovery, enabling safe addition of another 150 acre-feet of water per year for groundwater recharge. The pilot resulted in an immediate commercial sale, setting the template for the company’s future success.



What is it?

A wastewater treatment technology company spun out of University College Dublin in 2013, that produces a patented membrane aerated biofilm reactor (MABR) technology.

What has it done?

Oxymem’s activities reached a climax in 2019. While the company prepared to install the UK’s largest membrane aerated biofilm reactor, and Spain’s first new build MABR integration with activated sludge, in December, it was snapped up by the soaraway DuPont. As a recognition of the company’s skills it is a huge vote of confidence; as a chance to further upscale its capabilities to keep up with market demand, the move is truly transformative.

What makes it special?

As utilities are continually pushed for ever lower nutrient discharge levels, the drivers for MABR technologies are stronger than ever. In 2019, the MABR modules were selected as part of a high profile pilot by VCS Denmark, in order to approach the problems faced by the water industry from a different angle. Oxymems’s solutions remain to impress customers with the option of a drop-in system, a vital part of business in an industry where every second of productivity counts. This attractive feature enables utilities to pilot the technology and choose commercial installations with less risk.

The company experienced huge levels of interest from the industry, and significantly expanded its operations and revenues throughout 2019.


The culmination of the acquisition by Dupont signifies the multinational’s confidence in MABR solutions, proving them to be a significant technology that is worth investing in for the future.

The solution has the potential to provide benefits for both the municipal and industrial realm. A wide range of end-users are accepting MABRs as a revolutionary technology, including Saudi Aramco, which has approved Oxymem’s products for use on its sites across the country, a critical success in one of the world’s largest strategic water infrastructure markets.


The Global Water Awards 2020 is proudly sponsored by:

Dupont Water Solutions

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