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Periodic Reporting for period 1 - k-NOW-casting (k-NOW-casting)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2016-12-31

The k-NOW-casting Project, results from a research activity carried out by Artys.
Artys – Advanced enviRonmental moniToring and analYsis Systems – is an innovative start-up, also recognized as a spin-off of the University of Genoa, founded in November 2014, by Darts Engineering along with some professors and researchers of the department DITEN of the University of Genoa, focused on research, design, development and consultancy in environmental monitoring, performed by models and innovative technologies.
The Artys’ Vision is to become the European leading company in the DSS - Decision Support System sector for monitoring and operative management of natural risks.
The Mission is to develop and offer, to both public and private entities, innovative solutions, based on dynamic risk analysis, able to show rainfall state in real-time and anticipate its consequences, for the management of extreme weather events and related hydrological risks.
A key point of strength, in this context, is that Artys uniquely owes the rights of Smart Rainfall System – SRS, a patented (IT granted, n. 0001412786 - Sistema e metodo di monitoraggio di un territorio; EU pending, n. EP2688223 - System and method for monitoring a territory) environmental monitoring system estimating rainfall in real-time, by means of the analysis of satellite television’s signals (received by commercial parabolic antennas), able to define high-resolution rainfall maps.
Since its foundation, Artys is thus working on the industrialization of SRS, and its integration with other innovative ICT-based sensors monitoring, for instance, rivers’ level and landslides.
The k-NOW-casting project aims at defining how to bring on the global market a brand-new DSS tool, based on the use of the SRS technology, for disaster management and resilience, in case of natural hazards such as floods and storms: an added value service, able to timely and exhaustively inform customers on the risks context, helping them to take decisions, based on evidences.
According to the k-NOW-casting project plan, the work has been structured in three tasks. The activities carried out are the following:
1. Market and target users – aimed at: a) carrying out an exhaustive listing of possible – public and private – customers’ categories; b) direct analysis of the context: demand (customer surveys) and offer (tech comparison); c) definition of user requirements. Within this task, the market was segmented on end users.
2. Marketing and Business – aimed at: a) the definition of market position and business model according to the different target users; b) identification of the most effective marketing strategy; c) evaluation of economic and financial projections.
3. Strategy – aimed at: a) analysis of potential industrial and commercial international partners; b) definition of the IP strategy, and analysis of regulatory requirements to be fulfilled; c) analysis of public procurement rules and related issues.
The main results achieved in the k-NOW-casting project are:
- The identification and segmentation of the target market for the Artys’ services;
- The identification of customers’ expectations and needs;
- The positioning of the Artys’ services and related business model;
- The analysis of the main issues to enter the target market and the strategies to overcome them;
- The creation of a communication and marketing strategy to reach the international market;
- A study showing the value proposition of Artys’ services, the current state of development and the technical feasibility of the proposed solution, the description of the minimum viable product expected at the end of the project and the possible upgrades and improvements to be performed after the introduction of Artys’ services in the market;
- The financial projections for the Artys’ services sales (confirming the beneficial aspects of the project and its economic feasibility);
- The creation of an executive plan (work packages and tasks) for the SME Instrument Phase 2 project, as well as the Consortium structure and the estimated budget.
Weather events have significantly intensified, becoming more localized, frequent and violent, because of the recent strong climate change.
Time and space are crucial aspects to manage emergency and reduce the loss of human lives, as well as environmental, economic and material damages; in order to achieve such a result, rainfall location and strength must be continuously supervised, but unfortunately at the moment territories are not equipped to perform an efficient monitoring.
Thus, on the subject of hydrological risks, there is a growing demand for safety and a need for integrated and localized information in real time, clearly showing the risk context.
Our Disruptive Technology
Everybody knows that satellite TV has a bad reception when it rains a lot. Telecommunications literature explains how the satellite signal is weakened by rainfall.
Inverting the point of view, the attenuation of the signal received by satellite parabolic antenna can be converted in rainfall data.
Thus, analysing the signal received by commercial satellite dishes (the ones we all see on the top of almost every building in our towns), the Artys’ Smart Rainfall System provides HD real-time rainfall maps.
Note: it is important to highlight that, to perform this analysis, it is possible to use already existing parabolic dishes people currently use to receive satellite TV channels. This would allow a huge and robust coverage of large areas at a very low cost, thanks to the participation of citizens in rainfall data collection.
Integrating these maps with rainfall related information coming from other real-time sensor networks (monitoring e.g. rivers level and landslides) makes it possible to better define the environmental context.

Goal Of The Project
The innovation introduced by Smart Rainfall System (and its interoperability with the currently used instruments, in input – weather-radars, rain gauges etc. – and in output – hydrologic models, risk maps etc.) will enable a new paradigm for emergency management. Timely intervention processes will allow to save lives and to ensure the continuity of basic functions and services, also integrating and addressing human and social dynamics in crisis and disaster situations, including the role of the population, the media, and the rescuers.
Thus, the introduction on the market of Artys’ DSS will have substantial impacts both on safety and on economic aspects, allowing the public sector to be more efficient in intervening, but also private stakeholders to preserve and protect their activities, goods, production, employees and customers: with timely evidence on the context, they will only take care to make the right decisions.
The goal of the k-NOW-casting project is to introduce on the market intrinsically ""safety related data"", giving real-time information on rainfall localization and intensity and facilitating the identification of areas where consequences of heavy rain might take place, supporting in fact the decisions on where and when to intervene to protect people, activities and infrastructures."
The table summarizes the expected social and economic benefits deriving by the adoption of SRS.