Smart.met is looking for beyond state-of-the-art smart metering solutions
Have you developed innovative and ground-breaking solutions for the water sector or are you commercialising them?
Are you informed about high performing innovative solutions for smart metering?
Smart.met is a project funded by the European Commission whose the general objective is to address the development a new remote reading system for water meters, which ensures effectiveness, efficiency and interoperability and which is based on open standards.
Along the project duration a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) will be launched, concerning R&D service contracts that will be awarded to a number of R&D providers in parallel and in a phased approach. This will make it possible to compare competing alternative prototypes and a set of first products.
Each company selected to participate in the PCP will be awarded a framework agreement that covers three R&D phases: solution design, prototyping, original development and validation and testing of a limited set of first products or services. After each phase, intermediate evaluations will be carried out to progressively select the best of the competing solutions. The companies with the best value-for-money solutions will be offered a specific contract for the next phase.
This testing may also serve as a first customer test reference for companies (contractors).
The procurement is expected to start at the beginning of 2018 and end in 2020.
The selected companies will retain ownership of the intellectual property rights (IPRs) that they generate during the PCP and will be able to use them to exploit the full market potential of the developed solutions.
The Lead Procurer will be Viveracqua, the public water utility supplying the Veneto Region in Italy. The other buyers are:
Public companies in charge of the management of drinking water supply are facing key challenges, some of them related to external factors (such as water scarcity due changing climate conditions) and others related to technical and economic aspects of drinking water provision (such as infrastructure ageing). Some of those challenges are directly connected to traditional water meters, including water losses ("non-revenue water") or the need for more efficient meter reading and billing systems.
In this context, smart water metering will be one of the key elements leading to more efficient water management in this new century. By allowing for automatic reading and billing, real-time assessment of the water balance or direct detection of meter defaults, smart meters can help decrease operating costs, identify performance issues, improve customer service and better prioritize infrastructure investments.
However, the lack of common European standards and the lack of "open technology platforms" combined with high demand-side transaction costs create a blocking situation on the market and lead to a long-term dependency of water utilities on technology suppliers. This situation results in high average operating costs and in collective inefficiencies linked to the multiplication of different proprietary solutions.
One of the major aims of this project is therefore to guide the development of new technologies for the management of intelligent metering collection and management. We are seeking an effective, efficient and interoperable system that is based on open standards.
To foster the development of innovative solutions it is necessary for the utilities to understand what the market is currently offering. This is the aim of the Open Market Consultations that are being organised during the month of September 2017: investigating the market and look for best solutions available today, so as to elaborate tender requirements that take into account the performance of the latest innovative solutions that are already on the market.
Specifically, the SMART.MET Open Market Consultations aim at:
Finding out whether technologies are commercially available and acquire information about the advantages and disadvantages and the level of coverage of the desired functionalities, in order to confirm the assumption for the need of a PCP.
Enabling and increasing the opportunities for industry to form fit-for-purpose consortia.
Identifying market risks that could endanger business goals and supplier performance;
The Open Market Consultations are open to all companies (regardless of their geographic location, size and governance structure) aiming to acquire information about the state of the art of the technology in the field of smart water meters and access potential new markets.
Four Open Market Consultations will be organized:
A written contribution (based on a questionnaire aimed to collect market information on innovative and commercialized solution) can be provided by the participants to help us develop a more in-depth state-of-the-art analysis and to assure the confidentiality on the information and solutions presented.
In addition, an Open Market Innovation Survey has been put online. This survey is intended to explore the supplier market "as-it-is", there are, therefore, no "wrong" or "right" answers. The answers provided to this survey will be used as input for our procurement strategy, helping us to align it with the market offer.