CORDIS - EU research results

Water Producing Tree Guard: From Demonstrator to Large Scale Production

Project description

Tree guard technology provides its own water supply

Sponsh Water Systems SL is developing a self-watering tree guard based on a hygroscopic temperature-sensitive smart textile. The material can repeatedly absorb water from the air and then release it, using natural temperature cycles of day and night. The EU-funded TreeSponsh project will develop the chemical products and test the technology so that it can be scaled up and used in reforestation projects, commercial forestry and arid farming. The researchers will use their knowledge of substrates and hydrogels to develop the Sponsh manufacturing process and replicate the production line across the world. The goal is to provide water from air for 1 billion young trees by 2040 while also providing affordable water for the local communities.


Sponsh aims to be the first company selling a self-watering tree guard to turn barren earth into green lands.

Sponsh has developed the only hygroscopic temperature-sensitive smart textile in the world that can repeatedly absorb water from the air and releasing it, using natural temperature cycles of day and night. The goal of Sponsh is to provide water from air for 1 billion young trees by 2040 and providing affordable water for everyone. The envisaged innovations of this TreeSponsh project are the chemical product development and testing of the Sponsh’ technology to match manufacturing requirements to be able to scale-up and to enrol the self-watering tree guard in reforestation projects, and afterwards in commercial forestation and arid farming.

In order to execute the TreeSponsh project, Sponsh is in need of a PhD-level interdisciplinary scientist who can work in an international, interdisciplinary company, in an academic and industrial environment. The key added value of the IA for Sponsh is his/her combination of knowledge in material science for substrates (textile) and hydrogels, to develop automation of the manufacturing process of Sponsh’ technology to be able to scale-up and replicate the production line all over the world, thereby de-risking the entire TreeSponsh project and assuring a real delivery of the Sponsh’ technology worldwide.

The SME Innovation Associate mobility programme will support Sponsh to overcome these barriers in accessing scarce skills as it will provide access to a bigger international network and visibility in the international labour market and to be able to screen a large portfolio of international profiles. Additionally, the grant would help to offer a competitive salary, specialized training opportunities, and it will facilitate the execution of 2020 Sponsh employment plan. Importantly, this grant will facilitate the relocation of the IA by reimbursing the costs involved.

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Net EU contribution
€ 98 812,50

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

Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
No data