Match-making of local needs with sustainable solutions and procurements
There are several challenges for companies that want to reach the market with their WASH innovations. In product development, acquiring information on market opportunities and how products can be adjusted to address challenges with their solutions is time consuming and costly. Additionally, reaching the market demands proof of concept. Without these resources, products cannot compete in public procurement. At the commercialisation stage, procurement processes are challenging, thus understanding when to compete creates an additional burden. These factors explain why very few new innovations reach those in need.
To lower barriers for sustainable WASH companies, Parlametric AB and RISE have joined forces to develop an AI-based tool. The tool provides companies with relevant data from sources such as development projects, funding, research, etc., using open data sources that can be used to understand the market demand and specific conditions of low- and middle-income countries for product development. The solution will also allow companies to match their product with procurement opportunities, find those that fit the criteria and check if the product is competitive.
The aim is to ensure off-grid WASH innovations are relevant, sustainable and able to compete in humanitarian and development aid procurements to reach those in need. Results from our test sites in Bolivia, Cuba, Lebanon, South Africa and Tanzania will be integrated into the software tool, which will be completed in June 2022.
The tool builds on Parlametric’s patented Customer DNA platform and RISE expertise on the target market as well as standards, and data structuring. By creating a common solution that covers both product development and commercialization, innovators can benchmark their product during all phases in product development. We use advanced language-based AI. This allows users to only provide descriptions of products that can then be automatically codified and matched against opportunities, to benchmark a product against sustainability criteria or to find funding or a testbed.
A beta-version where innovators can match their solutions to actual needs in development projects or to find documents and data, is available below. It is also possible to benchmark a solution against the global goals. This version is currently used by students in the Malmö University course, Global Product Development.
A second beta where innovators can assess their products’ relevance and competitiveness against ongoing UN and EU procurement opportunities will be released in the first trimester of 2022. The tool will continuously be updated during the project with a final version released by the end of the project. Potential scaling opportunities are organisation-specific interfaces that allow procurers to design more sustainable procurement calls or for companies to get tailor-made matching for funding.