Optimatics Joins Suez

Water infrastructure company to help digital transition

To help in its transition to all-digital infrastructure, a major player in the water industry has enlisted the services of Optimatics, an annual WEFTEC exhibitor.

Following the acquisition of a minority stake alongside Emerald Technology Ventures in 2017, Suez acquires the entire share capital of Optimatics via Suez Ventures, the group’s venture capital fund, the companies announced in an October 1 press release.

Optimatics was established in Adelaide, Australia in 1996, founded by engineers who recognized the potential of computational intelligence to revolutionize water system planning. The company now has headquarters in Overland Park, a Kansas City suburb. It has developed Optimizer, a unique software that allows network managers to identify the best way to allocate the economic resources in order to meet their performance targets. Developed from genetic algorithm research at the University of Adelaide, Optimizer combines the performance of metaheuristic methods with those of hydraulic modelling tools in order to calculate thousands of scenarios in only a few hours, forming a true breakthrough with traditional methods. With this new multi-criteria approach, Optimizer helps the water and wastewater network managers to take the most efficient technical and economic decisions, but also to produce significant gains going from 10 to 30%. The system has had great recent success, from cities like San Diego to Fort Wayne, Indiana.

An efficient management of water infrastructure: a global challenge. In a world of water scarcity, infrastructure maintenance is a greater challenge than ever before. Developed countries are now facing the need to renew almost all of their water networks, while emerging countries are expanding or creating the water infrastructure to meet the needs of populations. The historic infrastructure’s investment deficit often appears as an obstacle to economic and social development for assets worth 3,000 billion of dollars.

Each component of infrastructure has to provide a certain level of technical and economic performance, which is notably dependent on how facilities are designed, maintained and renewed. With the Optimizer solution, Suez offers to its clients a unique solution to optimise total investment volume and infrastructure performance (consumption, compliance, performance). The wide variety of use cases of Optimizer technology within Optimatics’ customers and contracts operated by Suez can reach up to 30% of the investment amount.

With over 50 current clients, Optimizer has met with resounding success since first being marketed in 2014. Almost 75 million residents now benefit from this service in Australia (South Australia Water), the United States (New York City DEP, Washington Suburban, Los Angeles, Denver Water, Minneapolis, Louisville MSD and more), the United Kingdom (United Utilities) and France as part of a partnership concluded with Suez in 2017.

“We are very excited to join Suez. It is a real opportunity to accelerate the development of our international activities and strengthen our presence notably in Europe and on the American, British and Australian markets. The higher costs in infrastructure and financing difficulties are global challenges that Suez will help us to face” comments Corey Williams, President and CEO of Optimatics.

Suez accelerating digital. This acquisition illustrates the major digital transformation of Suez, its activities and service offering. The acquisition of Optimatics is a key step forward that accelerates the digitalisation of the group’s solutions and the services it offers to its customers.

With Optimizer, Suez is expanding its range of digital solutions (“AquaAdvanced”) dedicated to the performance of water services. It helps decision makers to fulfil their aims of developing their local areas while ensuring resilient services in a well-controlled financial environment.

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