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MANTIS secures Innovate UK Funding

28 October 2016

Great news for our MANTIS project! The team has secured funding for our project from Innovate UK’s Global Feasibility Studies Competition.

Hand-operated pumps are the most common means of drawing water across the developing world; they are the principal water source for more than 1 billion people in at least 40 countries but are often unreliable. When pumps stop working it is a serious problem for communities relying on them. MANTIS (Monitoring and Analytics to Improve Service) is a low-cost, innovative system that immediately alerts pump operators to inefficient and broken pumps even in the most remote areas. It helps to ensure that the pumps are mended as quickly as possible and that those communities in most need are prioritised.

EMS has teamed up with VisualWind, Leeds Beckett University and the Rural Youth Development Organisation to successfully deploy our MANTIS prototype at sites in rural Sierra Leone where 60% of local water supply handpumps are estimated to be broken. The MANTIS project partners are now meeting with NGOs, charitable organisations, pump suppliers and potential partners to understand the opportunities for MANTIS. This work is co-funded by UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK and will help us better understand the market for MANTIS and move toward producing the units at scale and reducing production costs still further.

Centralised, low cost, reliable visibility of hand pump operability will enable prioritised and efficient maintenance schedules and will result in more sustainable water supply. MANTIS is a low-cost, low-power, easy-to-install remote monitoring unit that records the use of hand pumps. The system is innovative in simplicity, data interpretation and visualisation. It draws on the broad availability of mobile networks to collect data generated by a simple switch mechanism, giving early indication of failure and the nature of failure.  Interpretation of the data and its visual representation are state-of-the-art. The simplicity of the system keeps operating costs and energy use to a minimum. Funding for the global feasibility study is timely and welcomed and will greatly assist us in engaging with and supplying to the international market.

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