Founded by civil engineer Amanda Siqueira and mechatronic engineer Michelle Aguilar, VAPAR is transforming the way Australian councils maintain their stormwater and sewerage assets thanks to a $25,000 Minimum Viable Product Grant from Jobs for NSW.
Ms Siqueira said: “This grant helped us develop our platform and expand our technology to water utility customers, including Northern Beaches Council, our partners in developing our prototype.”
She said the technology was designed to save time for engineers who spend hundreds of hours manually reviewing pipe CCTV inspection footage to identify problems.
“As an intern I spent eight hours a day watching this footage just looking for faults, a time consuming and fatiguing process. Michelle and I thought up a better way of reviewing the footage that used Michelle’s background in enterprise automation and machine learning.”
The technology will allow local councils and water utilities to upload pipe CCTV inspection footage directly to the cloud platform for automatic analysis.
Ms Aguilar said: “Our system cuts a two day process down to two minutes, reducing inspection costs by 30 per cent and allowing on site repair work to be carried out straight after the inspection.
“With over 200,000 kilometres of gravity pipelines in Australia alone and $450 million spent each year maintaining sewerage networks, early detection and repair of faults in pipelines avoids the expensive process of digging up pipes once they are broken.”
Jobs for NSW CEO Nicole Cook said the NSW Government was committed to investing in the best and brightest startups and fast-growing SMEs.
“Jobs for NSW supporting businesses like VAPAR is a great example of this commitment,” she said.
VAPAR has also been selected to take part in a 12-month incubator program, run by Fusion Labs and supported by the NSW Government. The program will develop business opportunities in the Indian market.
“Our technology has huge potential not only in Australia but globally. In India we will be talking with IT providers and government asset managers to learn as much as we can to develop business strategies for that market,” Ms Siqueira said.
For more information about VAPAR visit https://www.vapar.co/