» Spending on infrastructure maintenance can be reduced by 30% report says: time to harvest this potential.
Spending on infrastructure maintenance can be reduced by 30% report says: time to harvest this potential.
Friday, 10 March, 2017 - 15:53
The maintenance costs for our critical infrastructure can be reduced by at least 30% and the operational life of the structures can be extended by an average of 20 years. These numbers are derived from a report drafted with the assistance of the Boston Consulting Group for the World Economic Forum. The possibilities are clear and the budget that can be freed up is more than welcome to finance the essential new investments in new infrastructure projects. The only thing missing right now is implementing this approach on a larger scale in real projects. In the past years the Brussels-based startup company Zensor has been working out of the spotlights on an integrated approach for the smart management of infrastructure based on sensor-data. The company strives to radically change the way we treat our infrastructure: maximise availability and minimise the use of resources based on a continuous close follow-up.
To enable the roll-out of their approach all over Europe the company has now secured an investment in the single digit million range from the German investment fund SHS Ventures together with well-known Belgian Business Angel Paul Kumpen. The funds raised will enable Zensor to structure the company further in its growth to become a market leader in its industry together with further broadening the services offered to its customers.
Since its incorporation in 2013 as a Spin-Off of Brussels-based VUB university Zensor has provided solutions to multiple companies all over Europe, amongst which well know entities as Dutch energy player Eneco, construction mogul Besix and French pipeline operator Air Liquide. In the following months more projects will be started up in multiple international locations and the more robust structure will allow growing the project portfolio even further.
Yves van Ingelgem, founder and CEO of Zensor said: “When talking to operators of large infrastructure projects in offshore wind and transportation it is becoming increasingly clear that we find ourselves at the start of a new era. Classic, periodic inspection tasks are increasingly replaced by continuous, remote monitoring. As such the risks related to the project can be reduced significantly.”
The organization specializes in collecting, treating and analyzing data, combined into ‘Infrastructure Analytics’. The data are gathered from sensors installed at structures such as offshore wind turbines or bridges, as well as from existing data sources related to weather conditions for example. “In order to predict with confidence how a structure will behave in the future one has to control the full process, from selecting and installing sensors up to converting the analysis results into a health dashboard for the client.”
Looking at the growth path ahead Zensor is continuously looking for a wide range of profiles in order to further strengthen its organization to become a renowned player in the integrity management of large infrastructures. Van Ingelgem concluded: “What makes us so unique is that we have united experts from different disciplines under the same roof. As such we were able to create a well-oiled machine comprising of specialists in materials science, mechanics, data science as well as electronics. Only when all these experts speak the same language one can be certain of a successful outcome of such complex projects.”
Combining the industry expertise of both investors with the startup dynamics and clear vision within Zensor will enable the fourth industrial revolution to become a reality not far from now.
Established in 2013 as a Spin-Off of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel Zensor serves industries such as renewable energy, civil infrastructure, oil & gas and pipelines. Zensor allows safe and cost-effective intelligent monitoring of assets, providing real-time integrity management, leading to optimal maintenance planning as well as lifetime extension. This happens through sensor-driven data collection and infrastructure analytics. In 2015 a first recognition was awarded as MIT Innovator under 35 for Belgium and in 2016 Zensor was awarded the Rising Star of the Blue Economy for their innovative offering for the offshore wind, and wave and tidal industry. The award was handed out by the European Commission (DG Maritime) in Hamburg, Germany. www.zensor.be
About SHS Ventures GmbH & Co. KGaA
The holding company was founded in February 2016 by VSE AG and SHS – Stahl-Holding-Saar GmbH & Co. KGaA. The goal is to identify and develop new business segments for Saarland, allowing the area to participate actively in current developments. As a result, SHS Ventures systematically establishes contacts with start-ups within Germany and abroad.