March 2022 Participants
DeserTech Adaptation Seminar

Agrisim is the best worldwide turnkey farmers decision support platform currently available. It helps farmers to decide what crops, fruits, vegetables and perennials like trees and bushes fit best in their parcel. It will help them in planning their parcels through our innovative crop-rotation functionality (ideal planting and harvesting month and growth limitations). During the cultivation the user can use the activity-based farm management to appoint assignements to their co-workers/employees. The user can also use the satellite data comparing crop development (biomass), water management and crop stress over the cultivation period. Our newest feature zooms in to plant health and potential impact of diseases through a pre-warning system whereby the user receives warnings.

Ronald de Bruijn

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Ronald is a typical person of many trades. Next to his energetie, listening capabilities, think creativity and open mindedness he is an innovator who is always thinking of the bigger picture. After his studies in economics / econometrics his ambitions took him to places like Germany, Russia and Turkey working for corporates but the last 17 years as an entrepeneur with many failures as well as successes. His personal motto is: "never look back but move the lessons forward".

Agriculture globally uses 72% of abstracted water. To be sustainable, we need to use both water and nutrients more efficiently in agriculture. Where there’s intensive agriculture, there’s nitrate contamination of the groundwater. Removing nitrate for drinking water uses salt and traditionally creates a nitrate brine waste stream for disposal. Meanwhile, the farm next to the water treatment site uses potash, which is essentially salt. By switching to use potassium chloride, Agua DB’s patented method has shown that both nutrients for hydroponic production and field (irrigated and rain-fed) production can be produced, rather than waste. Two products in and one waste out becomes 1 product in – and no waste. A sustainable answer to nitrate contamination – getting it back onto the farm. We’re also working on hybrid zero waste RO/IX systems for the recovery of brackish water and on integrating AD-CHP for waste treatment with local energy generation and yield improvement through CO2 injection into irrigation lines.

Mike Waite

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Over the last twenty years, Mike has delivered best in class low waste ion exchange plants for both nitrate and hexavalent chromium removal, pioneering segmented regeneration methods with optimized fluid distribution within ion exchange resin beds. Building on knowledge gained in these developments, Mike’s redesigned the process to produce nutrient products, not waste. Mike also plays jazz bass!

ALVÁTECH water technology enables governments, NGOs, Agri Companies and tens of millions of farmers battle the impact of climate change, shortage of water and soil degradation. ALVÁ sustainable and solar-powered devices help grow crops in saline soil, use saline water for irrigation and reduce the use of irrigation water & fertilisers. ALVÁTECH’s operation covers 24 countries over 6 continents and the company was recently awarded the “International Agri Tech Excellence Award”.

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Shirley da Silva

Shirley is from Brazil and lives in the UK for the past 16 years, with international experience she contributed to all aspects of corporate initiatives from business start-ups development to optimisation of operations and grants project design. Loves travel and is passionate about social causes, she is an advocate of empowering and give women equal rights in agriculture.

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Zac Gazit

Zac brings to ALVÁTECH over 20 years of experience in international strategy, product development and global sales. Zac is passionate about tech & innovation as he is about sales & management. His goal is to make ALVÁTECH a global market leader in the eco-friendly water treatment market and create a green legacy that will impact the lives of millions. Zac has an MBA with a major in marketing and he is an avid tech and sci-fi reader and loves cooking and traveling.

Clear World Water Technology are the innovators of Aquapulse®. Academically and independently accredited, Aquapulse is a totally natural, organic, non-chemical water technology which delivers environmental, sustainability and commercial benefits within: Agriculture – (dairy, poultry) | Energy efficiency | Fish farming | Grown Produce | Hotels & leisure | Industrial water heating & cooling.

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Steve Hayden

Formerly a senior business development manager with British Gas parent company Centrica, Steve developed the concept of using natural Feldspar minerals to improve the efficiency of water. Applications have now been developed for farmers, growers, aquaculture and other sectors.

Aquagrain was developed Biomation Ltd to make matter use of the millions of tons of organic food industry waste that is typically incinerated or put to landfill generating significant greenhouse emissions. Aquagrain is a cleantech, biodegradable, soil improver that encapsulates organic nutrients and absorbs and releases water. Aquagrain allows plants to be grown in free draining substrates with a fraction of the water usually required. Aquagrain supports regenerative farming, restores the natural carbon cycle and is sustainable.

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Dr Arjomand Ghareghani

Talented, patent winning Biochemist and the architect of Biomation technology delivering Aquagrain. Joined Aquagrain parent as CSO, after attaining a BSc in Chemistry, a MSc in Biochemistry and a PhD Biochemistry/Soil Microbiology and has scoped, designed and managed, many controlled and open environment trials whilst developing Aquagrain as well as building his own R & D centre incorporating a lab and the UK’s best equipped vacuum drying and mixing R & D facility. 

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Paul Smith

After serving as a officer in UK Military, went on to develop his own business in the financial sector, before moving into business development consultancy, running award winning development projects for large UK Plcs and Government Departments and always introducing innovative new thinking  and business models to existing industry practice. Since joining Aquagrain’s parent has secured significant grant funding and continues to drive innovation.  

BLUE-tec is an innovative company from the Netherlands and part of the Colubris Cleantech. BLUE-tec is focussing on the application of membrane technologies for resource recovery, zero liquid discharge solutions and water reuse. BLUE-tec develops and realises processes for the industry and municipalities. BLUE-tec has developed novel membrane systems to concentrate RO-brines up to TDS level of 160 g/l and systems to recover ammonia for reuse purposes by ammonia selective membranes. By the recent merge with the Colubris Cleantech BLUE-tec can deliver turn key installations for worldwide clients.

Lex van Dijk

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Lex van Dijk is found of BLUE-tec. Recently he sold BLUE-tec to the Dutch company Colubris Cleantech, where he is now CTO for the whole Colubris group including BLUE-tec. Lex van Dijk start up and sold several companies in the past, including Triqua, which is active on membrane bioreactors and Sustec, which is I active on thermal hydrolysis for sludge treatment. Lex van Dijk got his MSc degree from Wageningen University in the Netherlands on environmental engineering and did additional studies at the EAWAG in Switzerland and University of Notre Dame in the USA.

BouwCoach Engineering is the company that designed biological, decentralised modular waste water treatment units. Temperature controlled and with the option of producing water for re-use. We also just started up a new innovation (together with a Dutch water Authority); No Water! Why to use water for flushing toilets if (drinking) water is scarse? No need for that!

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Paul de Lange

I am Paul, graduated in 1990 as MSc at the technical university Eindhoven as Building Physics Engineer. My Core business is design and structural analysis of buildings, platforms etc. Besides that I did a lot of things, i was for example executive board member of one of the Dutch water Authorities, inventor of a Hydrogen transition Fuelling station, inventor of innovative sugar production out of Beets...and more...

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Desolenator addresses the water <> energy nexus through a patented solar powered desalination process that can produce ultra pure water from almost any source using the power of the sun. By harvesting 4X solar energy more than traditional PV, our systems can run 24/7 offgrid as well as being grid tied. Desolenator is available in modules of 250cum and produces water for <$1cum, a gamechanger for many parts of the world. Backed by some of the industry leaders and with our flagship plant in Dubai, we are excited about the transformational potential of our work for Communities and Businesses exposed to the water crisis.

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Alexei Levene

Co-founder of Desolenator with a background in consumer products, business consulting, and sustainable technologies. Globetrotter who has lived in UK, US, Poland, India and France contributing to Fortune 500 corporations and innovative start-ups. Loves philosophy, disruptive technologies and adventure. Dreams of a world without waste, with access to clean water, food and education for all.

eLEAF was founded in 2003 by a professor of the Wageningen university building on their research of the Evapotranspiration (ET) model. The initial model leveraged satellite data and the purpose of eLEAF was and is to support their clients and institutions creating a more sustainable and resilient future of crop production and water management. We have come a long way since then. We have continued to enhance our ET models and added new, like Biomass and Yield. However, our purpose did not change. Today we can proudly say that we are one of the first companies to use satellite on a global scale. We contribute to no less that 6 of the 17 United Nations SDG objectives. Our decades of experience, build on a solid foundation of continued research, but mostly the dedication of the team has helped us to create solution helping crop growers to mitigate climate risk, improve their yield and manage their water needs efficiently. In addition, we work with institutions like the FAO and Water Management organisation’s, to help regions, countries or even continents managing water needs and requirements.

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Boudewijn van Silfhout

CEO of eLEAF since 2020. Before eLEAF, I was the Country Partner of the IBM consulting division in The Netherlands. Together with my eLEAF colleagues, I aim to sustainably transform Agriculture and Water use, leveraging satellite data. Tech driven transformation is and has been the focus throughout my career. Creating value for people, planet and profit. In that order. Having worked in The Netherlands, Caribbean and India, I appreciate the value of diversity. I met my wife when I was 17, have two grown up daughters and like to travel the world with them.

iFLUX envisions the importance of clean and available groundwater. Fresh water is not only essential for human health, but also for the global economy. Monitoring groundwater pollution and dynamics is complex and requires highly accurate and real-time data to create a better understanding of aquifer behavior over time and spatially.

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Tim Op t Eyndt

As co-founder and CEO, Tim is in charge of the daily management of the organization, with a focus on the commercial development of iFLUX. Tim’s profession in business development directs the team to engage with external stakeholders, sales and funding opportunities. He does not turn away from the challenge of turning a strong research idea into a successful company. The fact that we launched a tangible new product in a highly conservative market only makes the task more intriguing.

Innovate UK is the UK’s national innovation agency. We support business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies and UK regions. We help businesses grow through the development and commercialisation of new products, processes, and services, supported by an outstanding innovation ecosystem that is agile, inclusive, and easy to navigate.

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Ian Cox

As Innovation Lead for the Agri-Tech Centres within Innovate UK, Ian is leading the £130 million programme that are the four Centre’s for Agricultural Innovation as part of the UK’s Strategy for Agricultural Technologies. The Centres have a series of unique leading edge assets, and are engaged in over 470 applied research projects with farmers, industry and academia, making the UK the go-to place for applied research and development in agriculture (https://www.agritechcentres.com). With a Degree in Microbiology from the University of Leeds, Ian also has an MBA from Sheffield Business School, and is a Chartered Scientist, Chartered Biologist, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology.

Pure Marine’s business has two parts – we are a wave energy technology developer and a maritime economy consultancy. We are seeking partners with an interest in desalination and aquaculture to work with us in developing a combined wave-powered desalination and electricity generation system. 

Dr Carwyn Frost

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Dr Carwyn Frost is a lecturer in Civil Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast and Principal Investigator for Pure Marine on the DUO-DS wave-powered desalination programme. Dr Frost aim is to support research and enterprise in the Offshore Renewable Energy community, facilitating field scale testing and measurement campaigns suitable for validation and appropriate scaling of technologies to support the ORE sector in fulfilling its potential.

Saturn Bioponics Ltd. is a hydroponic science and technology company. We optimise crop production through advanced cultivation techniques enhancing yields and quality traits. Our technology enables plants to adapt and perform in many diverse environments and achieve target outcomes in a cost competitive way. Saturn’s proprietary soil-less cultivation science and technology transforms production of relevant crops for increased productivity, profitability and sustainability enabling Farmers to generate healthy margins whilst making a significant impact to the sustainable intensification of agriculture. We work at large scale across numerous crop types and industries including leafy vegetables and salads, Strawberries, Herbs, Tobacco, and Medical Cannabis.

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Ross McCaffrey

Ross leads the Commercial team at Saturn Bioponics. He has an MSc in Horticulture and Crop Production, a BA in Chinese (Mandarin) and Management and a commercial background in Manufacturing and Sourcing. Previously helped lead a mission to Battambong, Cambodia focused on helping local farmers deal with the effects of Climate Change upon their ability to manage land, water use, crop production and animal husbandry.

Currently, water scarcity affects 700 million people; traditional sources are becoming saline or too contaminated to drink. By 2030 4 billion people will be dealing with these issues!  SolarDew has developed an innovative solar water purification and desalination technology for families and off grid communities in areas where high salinity, arsenic, heavy metals are in issue. SolarDew’s products will provide an affordable, robust and sustainable solution for drinking water at the point of use in order to create climate resilient communities.

Alexander van der Kleij

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Originally Industrial design engineer with relevant international experience in developing countries and specific knowledge of materials, membranes, manufacturing processes, product design and sustainability. He has been responsible from the fundamental development of the membrane up unitl  the product design, as well as bringing industry partners, manufacturers and suppliers together to manufacture the product at scale. In the last two years he has shifted his focus on developing the business and commercialization ahead of product launch in 2022.

SOLHO is a high-tech company based in The Netherlands, leveraging more than 30 years of experience of its team in the power and solar industry to develop large-scale solar thermal energy plants for the horticultural and industrial applications. SOLHO designs, builds, and operates large solar thermal plants, providing heating and/or cooling to different types of industrial processes and horticultural projects. Project sizes are in the range from 100 kWth up to tens of MWth. Our solution, called SPRHOUT, uses solar thermal power to provide heating (up to 90°C) and cooling (down to 5°C) all year round.

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Adriano Desideri

Co-founder of SOLHO with a background in energy engineering and more than 10 years of business experience built on running tech companies focusing on solar and waste-heat recovery technologies. Likes being outdoors.

URS allows rainwater infiltration at high speed, reducing/preventing flooding related damage , the water is being filtered and buffered underground- which is safe for the environment and made available for reuse. In our patented URS, we use natural, circular and renewable materials and reduce the use of plastic. We remove heavy metals, mineral oils and PAH and store treated water underground, making it available for reuse. URS can be applied under different surfaces, is flexible in shape and can be built around existing infrastructure.

Michal van Belle-Stup

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Partner and International business development manager at Urban Rain Shell since 2019 /architect (degree of University of Tel Aviv) /advanced master degree in restoration of old cities and buildings (the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium). Michal has managed different design, building and logistics projects in Israel and Holland. Since 2014 Michal owns her own architecture office , She followed different business educations and is a real estate investor.