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Kiwis make waves in IoT World Cup

By Ben Moore, Thu 17 Jan 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

KotahiNet has been named as one of 20 finalists for the 10th Innovation World Cup Series, making it the only finalist outside of Europe and North America. 

The finalists were chosen from almost 500 submissions from all over the world.

The IOT/WT Innovation World Cup is the world-leading competition for Internet of Things (IoT) and Wearable Technology (WT) early-stage companies. 

Finalists of the World Cup will showcase their innovative solutions at a pitch and award ceremony in Barcelona at the 4YFN-Mobile World Congress 2019 on 26th February 2019.

KotahiNet’s innovation is a self-contained, floating device for the continuous monitoring of river water quality with the results available immediately.

Currently, river water quality measured by local government authorities is typically a periodic, manual, and expensive effort. 

This limits river pollution monitoring to a limited number of important sites. The data is of high quality but only usually available weeks later.

KotahiNet complements this with the opposite approach. 

Its device provides continuous and autonomous monitoring at a fraction of the cost allowing pollution monitoring over the whole river, including smaller streams and tributaries. Data is available in real-time and is good enough to provide an indication of pollution levels.

The company’s director Vikram Kumar says, “KotahiNet’s low-cost device provides information to concerned communities and farmers about river pollution levels continuously. There are also entirely new opportunities from having the results available in real-time, such as early warning of problems and knowing if it is unsafe to swim.”

KothiNet’s EnLive River Water Monitoring Device has first been installed in four sites on the Waikato River as it flows through the Te Arawa River Iwi rohe area and a fifth will be installed for testing in Hamilton. 

This initiative, named RiverSense, was part-funded by Ka Hao: Māori Digital Technology Development Fund administered by Te Puni Kōkiri, and in partnership with Tuia Innovation combines ‘digital kaitiakitanga’ and Māoritanga to bridge the growing gap between people and their rivers. 

Communities are better informed and empowered to take action to make a real difference to river pollution.

The second installation is under development for the Avon / Ōtākaro River in Christchurch for the Drinkable Rivers campaign. 

As a purely urban river, pollution in the Avon / Ōtākaro River highlights river pollution is not limited to agricultural areas of the country.

“A recent Colmar-Brunton poll found New Zealanders top concern is the pollution of the country's rivers and lakes,” Kumar adds.

“The EnLive River Water Monitoring Device is an example of KotahiNet using cutting-edge technology innovatively to help take an abstract concept like the ‘Internet of Things’ and translate that into outcomes that people care about. It is technology and innovation aligned with social concerns and interests.”

“River pollution is an issue in every country. Being a finalist at the IoT World Cup presents us with a great opportunity to showcase our solution on a global platform. Hopefully, we will be able to use this to take New Zealand innovation to the world. We also want to check out the interest in further developing our monitoring device beyond rivers and lakes, for example seawater as well as industrial applications like aquaculture.”

“New Zealand now has multiple IoT networks in place with world-leading solutions that are really having a positive impact across our primary sectors and cities and regions,” says NZ IoT Alliance executive director Kriv Naicker, 

“New Zealand IoT Alliance member, KotahiNet is championing this effort with being chosen as a finalist for the 10th Innovation World Cup Series and we’re proud to see Kiwi IoT innovations being showcased on a global stage.”

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