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Clean wastewater for food production – a globally unique method

May 17 2024

The partnership between Optima Planta and the Unity4Water project exemplifies the potent synergy that arises when academic rigor converges with industrial acumen. 

In the realm of scientific exploration, partnerships often pave the way for groundbreaking discoveries and innovative solutions. Optima Planta, rooted in the esteemed Uppsala University and SLU, has embraced this ethos through its collaboration with the Unity4Water project. This venture promises not only to expand the frontiers of knowledge but also to revolutionize wastewater management practices. 

– We have high hopes that we will be able to draw conclusions regarding the quality and usability of various types of wastewater. More generally, we will develop a methodology to test and determine how different measures to purify wastewater affect plants – something that is likely to become globally unique, says Lennart Sör, founder/CEO at Optima Planta.

The inception of the partnership between Optima Planta and the Unity4Water project was marked by a convergence of shared visions and complementary expertise. Optima Planta’s professional skills lies in its methodology for data collection and comparative studies, a capability that resonated with the objectives of the Unity4Water initiative. 

Expectations and Impact

With optimism brimming, Optima Planta harbors expectations of unraveling insights into the quality and usability of various wastewater streams. The company envisions the development of a robust methodology for evaluating the impact of wastewater treatment measures on plant life. While acknowledging the inherent value of engagement in academic research, Optima Planta remains pragmatic about the unpredictable nature of early-stage research ventures. The company remains receptive to serendipitous avenues that may emerge, albeit cognizant of the fluidity of the landscape.

Navigating Challenges

The collaborative nature of the Unity4Water project presents a spectrum of stakeholders and perspectives—a testament to its richness and complexity. Optima Planta recognizes the importance of alignment with the project’s overarching goals while remaining adaptable to the evolving dynamics of collaboration.

– We need to be receptive to all of the project’s collaborators and project leaders, says Lennart Sör and adds: 
– A major challenge in agriculture is the difficulty in drawing conclusions using conventional methods. This is partly due to the high variability in conditions, such as greenhouse cultivation, where parameter values are interdependent and the issue is multivariate. If we succeed, together with Unity4Water, in drawing conclusions from the studies undertaken by the project, then we have succeeded—and thus, our KPIs will be linked to the quality of experiments, the number of experiments, and so forth. 

Tangible Gains and Future Prospects

The symbiotic relationship forged with the Unity4Water project has already yielded dividends for Optima Planta, catalyzing a paradigm shift in its research focus. As the collaboration continues to evolve, Optima Planta remains poised to leverage its newfound insights to address multifaceted challenges in wastewater management and being part of the ecosystem driving transformative change.