Ruud Kaitjily, HAL24K: “Earlier this autumn we were at the WEFTEC in New Orleans, the world's largest annual water quality event, with over 20,000 participants. For us it was a very valuable step towards entering that huge market. Being part of the Netherlands Pavilion proved to be an excellent choice. You make valuable contacts and get a clear picture of the market and of the competition."
"With this experience, we also decided to attend the Vietwater Conference & Exhibition. I walked around the exhibition floor and I honestly did not see any other company that is engaged in artificial intelligence and building predictive models to the same extent and at the same level as we are. So we see attractive opportunities and the contacts that we made certainly confirm this. We met several very interesting Dutch organisations that recognise the value of data and AI solutions and with whom we have identified synergies. We will be discussing future partnerships. Our strategic partner Royal HaskoningDHV, who has a branch in Vietnam, also helped us with valuable contacts before the event. As a result, the trip to Vietnam was already successful before Vietwater had even started. The efforts of the Netherlands Embassy and Consulate were also very valuable. I met many people at the opening dinner at the Consulate, and this gave us a head start."
"In all our contacts during Vietwater, we experienced genuine interest in what we can offer the water world. This includes operational and predictive water level management, optimisation of water distribution, decrease in pollution, optimised energy usage and decrease in environmental impact. An example case is a flood prediction solution we built for a UK river network. Based on data from water level sensors, rainfall gauges and geospatial information, our team built a model to predict short-term river levels and flooding instances. By enabling optimised planning and targeted flood response, our solution can support government in keeping people safer, while efficiently using resources and saving costs."
"In truth, the market in which we operate is less relevant than the potential to solve issues through cleverly dealing with data. For example, we built a demand forecasting model for a major roadside assistance organisation which enables it to optimise the distribution of replacement cars across Europe during holiday seasons. Our solution helps it improve customer service while saving costs and decreasing its CO2 footprint."
"We wanted to present this expertise on the Vietwater stage and we certainly succeeded – thanks to the added value given us by the Netherlands Pavilion. If you go it alone at an event like this, you will find yourself in a small stand in a corner of a hall and you won’t get a lot of visitors. At the Netherlands Pavilion we were very visible – we were literally at the centre of attention. In terms of content, it yielded a lot and, on the practical side, the Pavilion staff took a lot of the work off our hands. We could completely concentrate on what we had come for: strengthening our network. All in all, it was an excellent and very fruitful experience. We have a lot of promising leads to follow up and that is exactly why we went to Vietwater."
Interesting topical fact: the name HAL24K is derived from the name of the iconic computer from the movie ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’. This week Douglas Rain, who was the voice behind the HAL 9000 computer in the movie, died at the age of 90.