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Vortex, a company dedicated to creating a digital twin of our waterways. Co-founded by Guillaume, Vortex has developed a sensor that provides water information and allows for predictions. Vortex.io sells monitoring and alert services, its data always remains proprietary. As the co-founder explains in our interview: "Today the value is not the sensor, it's the data".
The objective of Vortex, thanks to its digital twin, is to have a human toll that approaches 0 during floods and to minimize the financial repercussions as much as possible and to limit the deterioration of the various installations.
Vortex is able to help predict flood. It's way better than preventing it. In application, emergencies and firefighters can protect people and infrastructure much more easily. Currently, there is 5000 floods every years and 30,000 people die from floods in the world. Their goal is to end it!
By monitoring water, Vortex also aims in the long term to sustainably manage the water resource, which is becoming increasingly scarce and which, as Guillaume told us, "water is the source of everything. It becomes a resource that everyone snaps away from."
The sensor that embeds space technology requires very little work. It can be installed in 10 min. The sensors have the ability not to drift over time and do not require calibration. Everything is remotely controlled in Toulouse. The sensor measures the surface height of the water, the speed of movement of the water, the temperature, and the quality of the water, all thanks to the technological satellites. In addition, it is self-sufficient in energy thanks to a solar panel. Therefore, the product is highly scalable. It is much less expensive compared to what is currently done by the French state. However, for a decade, floods have increasingly come from small streams where there is no sensor and the sensor is suitable for this.
Guillaume Valladeau the CEO and the business manager of Vortex was inspired to create the Vortex Sensor due to his experience which lasted more than 15 years. He saw the need for more accurate and cost-effective measurement solutions, while he was working in the oil and gas industry. He observed that the traditional flow meters used in the industry were always so expensive, hard, and difficult to install, and more than that, required frequent maintenance. Guillaume Valledeau and his co-founder Jean Christophe Poisson had grasped the potential of ultrasonic technology that allow to furnish a better solution and help to develop the Vortex Sensor in order to go to this need.
During our interview with Guillaum Valladeau, we could recognize his interest in entrepreneurship and his passion and desire to create his own company that could have a positive impact on the environment and on the society, as an impulse for founding Predictive Layer and developing the Vortex sensor. He said that “our company is trying to respond to the concerns of the planet without trying to earn thousands of euros or even to shine in newspaper articles.” He spotted the potential for the innovation to reinforce efficiency and to demote the wastefulness in industries such as water treatment and energy production and was driven to bring the Vortex new sensor to market to bear a hand in order to solve these challenges.
Vortex-io's innovation has had a significant impact on the resilience of territories and the safety of people and property facing flood and drought risks.
“5% of the world's rivers are monitored [...], and the idea of Vortex is to observe on a larger scale.”
In the short term, it has provided a reliable and easy-to-use solution to the growing need for river monitoring in the context of rapid climate change. The system has helped mitigate the negative impact of flooding and drought by providing early warning and accurate measurements to support decision-making. In the long term, this system has the potential to contribute to the development of more sustainable and resilient territories by supporting the implementation of more effective measures to reduce flood and drought risks. Indeed, each +1°C increase in temperature leads to a +7% increase in humidity in the atmosphere. Similarly, an increase of around +3°C will result in an increase in intense rainfall episodes of 20% to 30% in Europe.
The evidence of this innovation can be seen in the positive feedback from users who have reported improved monitoring and management of water resources in their areas. Additionally, the Vortex-io system has received several awards and recognitions, including the "Innovation Grand Prix" at the Mayors and Local Communities Trade Show in 2019, in France. It has also been deployed in several territories in France and other countries, demonstrating the scalability and adaptability of the solution to different contexts.
Vortex-io’s innovative sensor technology has brought significant benefits to the company. First and foremost, the development of this micro-station has opened up a new market for the company, allowing them to offer a unique and highly accurate solution for hydrological monitoring. This has helped to establish Vortex-io as a leading player in the field of flood and drought risk management. They have for example a 200% network growth each year. “Today, what makes the difference [...] is the quality of service behind.”
Moreover, the innovation has opened up new investment opportunities for the company. With their success in the market, VorteX-io has attracted the attention of venture capitalists and other investors who see the potential for the company to grow even further. This has allowed the company to secure additional funding to continue developing their technology and expanding their operations. With the demand for their technology on the rise, Vortex-io has continued to hire new employees and expand their operations. As of now, they have 15 employees and are still growing, which is a testament to the success of their innovation.
In addition to this, it has also helped to foster a strong sense of well-being and dynamism within the company. With a young and talented team of professionals, Vortex-io has been able to cultivate a culture of innovation, collaboration, and passion for making a positive impact in the world. Finally, this innovation made it possible to develop the notoriety of Vortex-io. For example, the company was voted start-up of the year 2022 in the Occitanie region in France.
To sum up, Vortex is a business for good which aim is to give answers and solutions to all problems related to water and intense climatic episodes even for the other sustainable development goals. Vortex’s water sensors provide several benefits to society and the environment. Starting with a better water management, Vortex's water sensors provide accurate and reliable measurements of various water parameters such as water level, flow rate, and water quality. This information helps water resource managers make informed decisions about how to manage water resources effectively. By optimizing water management practices, Vortex's sensors help to ensure adequate water supply for various societal needs, including domestic, agricultural, and industrial use. Secondly, an environmental Protection, by providing real-time data on water quality, Vortex's sensors help environmental agencies identify sources of pollution and take measures to protect aquatic ecosystems. This can help prevent harmful algae blooms, protect fisheries, and maintain healthy aquatic habitats.
Other benefits include a water conservation, in that Vortex's water sensors can detect leaks in water supply networks and irrigation systems, helping to conserve water resources. By identifying and addressing water losses, Vortex's sensors help reduce water wastage and improve the overall efficiency of water management practices. Moreover, a cost-effective solution, Vortex’s water sensors offer cost-effective solutions for monitoring water resources. They require minimal maintenance and have a long lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacement. This makes them an affordable option for governments, environmental agencies, and industries.
Overall, Vortex's water sensors represent a game changing innovation that can help protect and manage water resources, protect the environment, and benefit society by improving the efficiency and sustainability of water management practices.
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Guillaume Valladeau, CEO & co-founder
The company VorteX-io was born from the idea of transferring the expertise and know-how of its founders in altimetry and space oceanography to address climate challenges in continental hydrology and to provide a large-scale solution for the resilience of territories and the security of people and property against flood and drought risks. Thus, Vortex.io responds to the growing need for monitoring waterways in the current context of rapid climate change. Vortex.io is the digital twin of your waterways. This company t installs satellites under your bridges !