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Next-generation water testing for the European market (NG-WTEM)

Project description

A rapid, simple to use water testing system

Managing water quality in developing countries remains an important issue. The World Health Organization guidelines state that there should not be a single bacteria present in 100 ml of water. In this context, the EU-funded NG-WTEM project is designing a rapid, simple-to-use water testing system. Already trialled in a large refugee camp, the project will investigate the use of this technology in the European market. The project’s automated testing system allows for a much faster test, with results obtained in less than six hours. This is faster than anything on the market at the moment, with results automatically quantified. By identifying and quantifying the market segment, the project will build and formalise partnerships with developers, manufacturers and distributers.


WaterScope is Cambridge University spin-out developing a rapid, simple to use water testing system for the developing world. The system has been trialled in one of the largest refugee camps in the modern world, and the organisation has won the University of Cambridge, Vice Chancellor’s Overall Impact Award. WaterScope has raised over £200,000 of non-dilutive funding from grants and competitions. The technology is currently at TRL 5/6. The proposed project is to investigate the use of the technology in the European market.

The majority of testing done in European labs use conventional bacteria culturing methods, which are slow (>24 hours), and labour intensive requiring manual sample processing and quantification. WaterScope’s automated testing system allows for a much faster test, with results obtained in less than 6 hours - quicker than anything on the market at the moment - with results automatically quantified. In addition to this WaterScope’s novel cartridge makes sample preparation simple, significantly reducing human error and sample preparation times.

The water testing market is a global market with the U.S.A. being the largest consumer market segment, representing over 40% of the market, followed by Europe (~25%) and Asia Pacific. However, the European market is the leading global manufacturer and exporter of water testing instruments. The European E. coli environmental testing market was valued at 46.06 million USD in 2015 and estimated to reach 60.67 million USD by 2020.

The proposed project will investigate feasibility of WaterScope’s current system in the European market, in particular for the regulatory and contractual water testing market. The objectives are:

1. Identify and quantify the most appropriate market segment and resulting product requirements.
2. Build and formalise partnerships between WaterScope and developers, manufacturers, and distributors.
3. Refine WaterScope’s IP strategy to allow correct utilisation of developed markets.

Call for proposal


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Sub call




Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
82 mill lane
CB24 9HS Cambridge
United Kingdom

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 21 429,00