The state of Israel has become a world center for inventions nd technology, cyber, science, and startup companies. It appears that the Israeli mind works non-stop to make life in Israel most advantageous and to spill this progress scope to the entire world.
Ben Shenkar, Curapipe CEO, is one of those humanity’s treasure people, deeply involved in our world’s ecosystem. Subsequently, he is involved in the developmental innovations, related to his advocacy in this field.
In a Skype interview, I spent a longer than usual time with Ben and have learned and penned how large and worldwide is the loss of water problem.
Ben, an MBA economist, joined Curapipe four years ago. The company is based in Israel, founded by a group of PhDs in physics and chemistry in 2007. Ben’s textile industrialist family background is impressive, among which is worth mentioning the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design, in Ramat Gan, Israel.
The family formerly operated a multi-million dollar value ‘made in Israel‘ textile items industry which sold its goods to major US brands. When the economy in Israel changed, 12 years ago, the family sold its factories and Ben, with manufacturing and large scale operations background, moved to other, more fitting businesses, such as renewable and solar energy, social media marketing and investment opportunities.
With that change in business direction, Ben came across Curapipe which he first joined as an investor. But with his business drive, he wanted to have more impact on the company’s direction, to contribute, in many aspects, to the way the startup Curapipe was heading.
Two years ago, a large South African mining company decided to divest from coal and venture into other business, investing a sizeable sum in Curapipe. That gave the company the impetus to be able to move forward with significant business steps.
What is Curapipe
What if water loss could be reduced by at least 75% and in the process save energy?
When dealing with the growing problem of leaking water pipes, in urban, distribution centers and network pipes, Curapipe developed technology to solve the water leakage at low cost.
There are many factors that cause leakage, among which are aging pipes and earth movement, causing cracks in the pipes. Pipe water leakage is a worldwide problem.
Water means life. Due to some global factors, among which is population explosion and the debatable climate change, fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce. Global water pipe leakage levels, which are as high as ever and constantly growing, are a critical matter to humanity. In Britain, the water loss is 25% and up to 45% in some regions in Italy. When 45% of fresh water is not reaching the end-consumer, it is a huge peril and a considerable economic loss.
The World Bank estimates that every day 88 billion liters of treated water are globally lost due to leaking urban pipelines.
Water leakage is also seen as a political case and falls under regulations that differ from region to region and from country to country. As an example, as of recent, in Britain, the water regulatory authorities are aggressively targeting the country’s Water Utilities to reduce the country’s water leakage.
Dublin, Capital of The Republic of Ireland Case:
Dublin, suffering from 50%-60% water leakage, is seeking new water sources. The decision-makers plan to dig a pipe from a long-distance river, meaning, using a huge number of pipes going through rural areas, where people will lose their farming lands, to try to correct the large water loss.
If Dublin used Curapipe technology, the application would significantly reduce the leakage and infrastructure cost will be nominal.
“A city can considerably reduce its water leakage in a relatively short time,” Ben emphasizes again and again. He explains that Curapipe is introducing, for the first time in 50 years, its breakthrough technology. Its purpose is to reduce bulk water leakage in an efficient, quick and affordable way. Curapipe’s core technology does not require prior costly detection of the leaky spot, nor use of disruptive digging of the pipe to repair the leaks.
Curapipe’s technology can be seen as a game-changer in addressing and reducing water leakage in many parts of the world, at a much lower cost than pipe replacement or the conventional detect, dig and fix or replace repair job, done by costly active leakage control teams.
How Curapipe Application Works
It is a bulk leakage reduction with a single intervention, launching material into the pipe that reduces the leakage by at least 75%. The technology eliminates the need to detect a small leakage, the most difficult to detect, and up to detecting regional leakage rate.
Curapipe’s proprietary materials are launched into a leaky pipe section and while being transported in the pipe, the material automatically finds all leaky spots and cures it from within the pipe. The technology addresses all major pipe materials and cures various types of leaks such as pinholes, cracks and faulty connections.
Currently, the Curapipe technology is being introduced in Israel, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom (U.K.).
While Israel, a young country, is a good example for advanced water management, with low leakage rate, older countries, and there are many of them in the world, are in urgent need to fix their water leakage.
Developing Curapipe’s new business category and its technology adoption is gradually increasing and, as Ben tells me, “this will be huge. The priority to reduce urban water leakage is emerging in many markets, and will be there for years to come.”
Home Water Leakage Venture
Following the successful collaboration, set with a large home plumbing company, Curapipe is now aiming to take its technology to the homeowner.
The water leakage repair in private homes much depends on insurance company bureaucracy and aggravating construction process. Curapipe technology can be advantageous, reducing cost, process, and work.
Based on its core technology’s competency edge, Curapipe is in the process of developing a solution to repair leaks found at homes and backyards – the plumbing market premise – a clean and efficient repair of leakage, less the need to detect the exact leaky spot, less breaking tiles or walls, less much dirt and possible workers’ disruption’s nuisance.
By a straightforward and rapid handling of a leak, with reduced hassle and the least number of parties involved, downsizing the technology to a Home Kit will bring relief to the homeowner.
Curapipe is expected to complete its research, testing and investigating market places, customizing and commercialization its upcoming home kit technology adaptation in 12-18 months; downscaling the large technology to a spin-off home kit solution that fits in a van. It will be applied by trained plumbers, through insurance companies and/or dedicated service providers.
At present Curapipe employs 15 people, mainly focusing on supporting present license holders, the technology and related IP, and searching for additional, good license holder partner in each chosen growing market. In order be able to support the right and serious potential licensee, Curapipe will arrive to the location, demonstrate its technology, offering paid for by the potential client pilot program.
Following its formation, the company received research funding from the Israeli chief scientist and later on from the European Union (EU). During its very long R&D process and commercial introduction of the technology with potential licensees and water utilities, the company received the support of private investors and international conglomerate. Currently, Curapipe holds 25 patents while constantly increases its IP basis in various parts of the world.
Curapipe is now in process of securing additional funding – some $5 million investment – to allow for the expansion of its technology to additional markets and for the development of its long-overdue Home Kit spinoff.
Water means life. Decreasing water leakage means increasing water availability, meaning more life. Curapipe is here to bring the appropriate relief.