Scanning for bacteria with VBact

Meet VBact, one of the suppliers joining our Innovation Lab.

Could you tell us how you found out about the Innovation Lab and why you decided to pitch your idea?

We were approached by L Marks who introduced this program to us. The UK water market is interesting to us, as it is a market that looks for innovation. Within this market, we found the Innovation Lab as a promising opportunity to work with a leading company that has a mechanism to deploy and assess the impact of new technologies like ours.

In simple terms, could you please summarise what your idea is for the lab?

VBact develops and manufactures systems for real-time, continuous, automated detection and enumeration of bacteria in water. The benefits of the Water Scanner are:

  • Real-time data
  • Fully automated process – no human operator is needed
  • 24/7 continuous monitoring - no sampling gaps
  • In-line sampling - the most accurate sampling method
  • Reagent-free analysis - avoid biohazard material logistic burden and disposable
  • Improved data quality

Our goal for the lab is to test and demonstrate the capability of the Water Scanner in a real-world situation. Validate the durability, test the data collection and analysis process, and review the overall impact of the project.

What is the ultimate benefit your idea will bring to water customers in the North West?

VBact Scanner shall provide various benefits including monitoring the water in real-time for better water quality and safety for the consumers. It’s used as a tool for immediate reaction to water contamination events, a way to streamline and efficient water monitoring, optimize the water treatment processes and ultimately increase water quality, all in a cost-effective way.

How are you hoping to develop your idea through the Innovation Lab?

Test the system and its capabilities in a real-life operational environment, compare results with standard methods, and analyze the new improved data. If possible, also analyze the data with water events during the testing and integrate it with data from other sensors to develop deeper understanding of water quality trends.

How important do you think programmes like the Innovation Lab are for developing ideas?

The innovation lab program is of high importance. It enables us to implement and test new technologies and solutions in real-life environment of water systems, which are considered critical infrastructure. It also allows us to demonstrate to water professional and experts the solution and benefits, get feedback from experts who have a broad practical understanding of the whole water cycle and, if suggested by the users, add new capabilities.

What does innovation mean to you in three words?

Creativity, improvement, [high] value

If you fast forward two years from now, where do you see your product?

A robust product, with more features, implemented at various customers, in various locations within our target sectors of public water systems and beverage plants. In addition, getting into new markets, i.e., pharmaceutical production, and smart agriculture.