Aquatic Science
ULiège

Aquatic Science

Biotech
Biotech
Biotech
Biotech

Aquatic Science produces chemical-free biological filtration systems for pools and ponds.

The water in swimming pools is continuously treated to achieve the required water quality. This generally includes filtration, pH correction, and disinfection. Chemical disinfectants, of which chlorine is the most widely used, are added to the water to inactivate pathogens and other nuisance microorganisms. Unfortunately, chlorine also reacts with organic matter (e.g. perspiration and urine) to form unwanted disinfectant byproducts. These byproducts irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, corrode the metal in the pool’s infrastructure, and negatively affect the environment. Aquatic Science produces chemical-free biological filtration systems for pools and ponds. This process starts with a mechanical pre-filtration of the water to remove particles. The water then passes through a biological pressure filter, in which purifying bacteria degrade organic matter. Finally, a UV reactor disinfects the water before returning it to the pool.

The idea behind the company was born when two Belgian scientists met at the University of Stirling, a world-renowned aquatic research institute. Keen on advancing the well-being of fish, they started developing dietary products for Koi carps. In addition, they introduced natural products and filtration systems to promote the water quality and clarity in fishponds. As swimming ponds became increasingly popular, the demand for their products surged, and gradually the company’s focus broadened to include pools.

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What started as a hobby came to be a flourishing business, illustrated by the creation of a French subsidiary, expansion of the Belgian premises, and extensive partnerships with the University of Liège and specialized laboratories. The company’s focus on research and innovation enticed an increasing number of experts to join the team, which now includes about 30 people. What prompted Gauthier Lacroix, Aquatic Science’s CEO, to come aboard was the alignment between the company’s mission and his personal values. As he explains “I have always been interested in sustainability. Renewable energy and related topics really mean something to me. Being an engineer, I was in a job that was very interesting from a technical point of view, but I was looking for something more in line with what I believe in.” On top of that, he relishes the dynamics of a smaller-sized company. “You can discuss every part of the business within a day; research and development in the morning and marketing in the afternoon. In a big company, you could also be leading 30 people, but still only be in charge of a very small part of the business.”

Together with our investors, we work on the strategy - not just for the upcoming month, but for the next couple of years.

The company’s growth was spurred by joining forces with public and private investors.  According to Gauthier, “Working with private investors such as Qbic helped the company to grow in the right direction and to build a successful business. Together, we work on the strategy - not just for the upcoming month, but for the next couple of years. It is not that easy to take a helicopter view when you are in the trenches of the day-to-day business. Plus, they have a network you can access, which proved very beneficial for us.”

Water recycling will likely play a prominent role in the house of the future and it would be great to be able to have a positive impact on the way people live.

Aquatic Science intends to continue expanding its scope. As Gauthier elaborates “Besides penetrating the residential pool market, one of the company’s goals is to also service public pools, as well as semi-public pools, such as those in hotels. Essentially, what we develop can be applied very broadly to treat used water. Water recycling will likely play a prominent role in the house of the future and it would be great to be able to have a positive impact on the way people live.”

Jean Van Nuwenborg

Jean Van Nuwenborg

Qbic II

This company is aligned with the following SDGs

Good health and well-being
Good health and well-being
Gender equality
Gender equality
Clean water and sanitation
Clean water and sanitation
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Responsible consumption and production
Responsible consumption and production
Life below water
Life below water
Life on land
Life on land
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