3AWater is a start-up company offering a solution for fast and easy analytics of metal contents in waters. The product can be used as a water management and environmental monitoring tool for industries handling large amounts of metal containing waters such as mining and metal industry.
The three As
The name was not chosen just to be the first in any alphabetical order listing companies or organizations, but with deeper meaning behind it. The three As in the name stand for Advanced, Accessible, Analysis. These three words are the core of what 3AWater is offering:
Advanced means that we are using state of the art technology that allows easy and fast measurement on-site compared to slow and complicated traditional laboratory technologies.
Accessible is referring to the fact that 3AWater technology can be reliably used by almost anybody without laboratory training or facilities. We bring metal analysis from the laboratories to the field and make it available for companies, organizations and communities of all sizes.
Analysis of dissolved metals from waters is what we are offering.
History: Path from research to ready product
3AWater was founded by a team of researchers at Department of Applied Physics in University of Eastern Finland (UEF) in January 2019. But seeds of 3AWater were planted already five years earlier, when future CTO Joakim Riikonen with his colleagues developed a nanomaterial for collecting metals from waters. At the time, mining and its environmental impact was a hot topic in Finnish media and adverse impact of metals in the natural waters was frequently discussed. Initially, the material was thought to be used for cleaning waste waters from heavy metal pollutants but commercializing the tailored and expensive nanomaterial to be used in large volumes is very challenging.
The team started to look for other opportunities for commercializing their research and realized the material could be used for water analysis. The to be CEO of 3AWater, Tuomo Nissinen, took the lead of the commercialization efforts.
In 2018 3AWater team built a prototype measurement system and tested it successfully with industrial collaborators building proof of concept for the technology and validating the market interest with Business Finland research to business funding. The most important decision on early stage was going straight to the customers even with very limited prototype.
After the incorporation, motivated by his passion of creating concrete products and benefits to our customers from the research done in the university Tuomo took the leap to leave his academic work to pursue the success of 3AWater full time. The company won Tahko Ski Lift Pitch competition in Spring 2019 and secured the first pre-seed investment from Butterfly Ventures in late 2019. The acquired funding allowed building the research and development laboratory in KPY Novapolis in Kuopio.
During the years 2020 and 2021 the company worked on turning the prototype into a product and piloted it with several collaborators and customers. The work culminated at the beginning of 2022 when the 3AWater’s Multimetal Water Analysis System (MWAS) was launched. The team did not need to wait for long until the first units were delivered to the customers.
It has been a challenging journey but the 3AWater team could not be happier to finally be able to revolutionize the way how waters are analysed and help industries to operate in a more environmental-friendly manner. The team will continue to work hard to earn the trust of their existing customers, constantly improving their product and allow advanced accessible analysis of metal contents of water into the reach of ever wider customer base.