Local water technology businesses are gaining steam

Bacterial Robotics, CitiLogics hit milestones

CINCINNATI – Momentum is building for Greater Cincinnati’s water technology businesses.

Consider:

• A subsidiary of Cincinnati-based Bacterial Robotics signed a deal to create tiny robots to clean water used in nuclear power plants.

• Newport-based CitiLogics hired its first employee and is finalizing a deal with Greater Cincinnati Water Works.

• And the nonprofit Confluence met with several Israeli water technology companies that want to do business in Greater Cincinnati.

“We moved the interests and visibility of our region forward,” said Scott Koorndyk, chief operations officer for the Dayton Development Coalition and a Confluence board member.

That’s a lot of progress since WCPO and 91.7 WVXU collaborated to publish Liquid Assets, a series of stories focused on the region’s $2.1 billion water-related business potential.

‘This Proves Our Business’

For Bacterial Robotics, the agreement with Tauriga Sciences Inc. marks the first time it has inked a deal to develop and license BactoBots for a specific industrial use.

“This proves our business,” said CEO Jason Barkeloo. “This gives us a real big proof of the model working when our next one comes out.”

Bacterial Robotics’ Pilus Energy subsidiary will develop the BactoBots for use in nuclear power plants. The company also is continuing to work with the Metropolitan Sewer District to launch a pilot program there, Barkeloo said.

The technology used in sewer plants can absorb the waste in sewer water and convert it into energy. Barkeloo said it’s too early to know whether the BactoBots will be able to convert the contaminants in the nuclear power plant water into energy or whether they will simply help clean that water.

Under the terms of the deal, Tauriga will pay Bacterial Robotics $25,000 up front and another $25,000 once Bacterial Robotics has researched exactly how the NuclearBot technology will work. Tauriga also will give Bacterial Robotics $1.5 million in company stock, which amounts to a 25 percent ownership stake in the company, which is currently based in Florida, Barkeloo said.

Bacterial Robotics currently employs about 10 people, and this could mean hiring another five, he said.

When asked if that meant Tauriga could move jobs here, Barkeloo said:

“Stay tuned. There’s more to follow.”

Milestone For CitiLogics

CitiLogics reached a milestone recently in hiring its first employee.

This month the company hired Carolyn Morris, a magna cum laude math major who recently graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky.

She’ll work with CitiLogics three founding partners to develop and build out the company’s software for use in the municipal water industry.

“There’s been three of us since the beginning, but we’re all partners,” said Jim Uber, a principal with CitiLogics. “We know that we want to employ people – lots of people. But the first one is significant.”

The hire comes just as CitiLogics is about to complete its first installation of its Polaris software at Greater Cincinnati Water Works this month, Uber said.

The software helps utilities find leaks throughout its distribution system where water never makes it to paying customers.

Israel Trip Could Bring Business Investment Here

Water utilities all over the world are working to identify those leaks. And during a recent economic development trip to Israel, Confluence Executive Director Melinda Kruyer said she met a potential customer for CitiLogics.

The company is an international consulting firm that is focused on working with utilities to reduce their leaks, Uber said.

The companies are at the early discussion stages, he said, adding, “maybe out of that comes a really fruitful partnership.”

Kruyer said the Cincinnati USA Partnership identified roughly a dozen water technology companies that are interested in doing business here.

The companies are particularly interested in the testing facilities the region has to offer, she said. They also are drawn because of the progressive public utilities and the major corporations that could serve as customers, Kruyer said.

“It’s really connecting the dots, and you just see that in a way it’s a small world of water technology and scientists,” she said.

 

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