Yesterday, we officially inaugurated our office in Europe with a celebration at our European headquarters in the WaterCampus in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. We are extremely excited about what this means for us. While we have been operational in The Netherlands for a couple months, we had to bring out the champagne (not yet made with recycled wastewater, but perhaps someday) to make it real!

Early on in our journey, we recognized that Europe was going to be one of the most important growth areas for us. The regulatory environment in Europe is leading the globe in terms of disclosure and actions that companies need to take to reduce their environmental impact. As regulations in Europe and around the world continue to get stricter, and companies are forced to disclose, mitigate, and pay for emissions, solutions like ours provide a win-win, providing sustainability and operational benefits.

We know our systems can make a tremendous impact here and we can address a real problem, but we know we can’t do it entirely from San Diego. It is important for us to have a European presence, being closer to our customers, able to process samples that don’t need to be shipped outside the EU and having a deep understanding of customer and regulatory drivers. We can’t do that from California.

We have known Hein Mollenkamp and other leaders at the Water Alliance for around 5 years, pretty early on in our Aquacycl journey, and have always loved what is being built at the Water Alliance. We also made a thorough evaluation throughout all Europe and the competition was fierce specially amongst the countries that had “water cluster”. We chose to locate here at the Water Alliance because it is truly putting everything water and wastewater related in one location Business-Research-Education with very flexible solution to reduce the risk and streamline the cost of starting a new business in Europe.

The Water Alliance helps us by creating strong connections within the regional and international water sector, providing lab resources for water quality testing and staffing support for operating wastewater sample tests, as well as strong connection with research and development teams to continuously innovate the system development.

We cannot thank enough the various agencies that helped us get set up over the past months, in particular: Reinder de Jong at Investment and Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands (NOM), Faiza Mohamed at Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) and Water Alliance as well as the economic team of the municipality of Leeuwarden.

We also chose the Water Alliance to be close to one of our lead investors, Vopak, who has been very supportive of Aquacycl during the last few years.

And, we chose The Netherlands because it is very business friendly. What’s not to love about our Dutch friends?

So, we officially kicked off operations back in July, and immediately, we were running samples of wastewater from Elbak, a fruit processor dedicated to sustainability that had been waiting for us to get up and operational. Since then, we have had two students that were connected to us by the Center of Expertise Water Technologies who are helping us to run samples through our reactors for a variety of other wastewaters, including chemicals, food processing and more.

Even before we were fully set up and running in the Aquacycl Test Center, Ludo Vallet, our Global Sales Director was spending about half of his time over here, meeting potential partners, working with the European Water Tech Accelerator to validate our value proposition and positioning with European companies, and to start planting the seeds for commercial traction.

So, now we are fully set up – we have fantastic support here, we have a good understanding of the market dynamics, regulatory, drivers, value proposition, and we are ready to really see the business take off. In 2024, we hope to have our first commercial contract, and we’ll be building up the team to support the sales and marketing effort that we will be driving.

We sincerely thank everyone who has helped us achieve this major milestone, and we are excited for the next phase of our growth. If you are in the area, please reach out and connect with us.