Ricardo Barbosa Vicente

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What have you learned from the InnoEnergy PhD School’s programme?

I liked the Business Summer School at ESADE a lot because it made me change the way I was looking at the market for my device. I developed two devices with different technologies that extract five to 50 litres of water a day from the air. I had the thought of selling them in the supermarket or similar but after the course, I started thinking differently. I understood that I should target my devices at companies that deliver water instead.

Some places have huge difficulties with their water grid, and my device could provide water without building infrastructure. Instead they could just deliver water from the air directly to the consumer, perhaps 500 litres per day, extending the water grid without constructing additional infrastructure. It changes the whole concept of municipal water supply.

What else interested you?

The energy markets course was also very interesting because although I am ultimately selling water, it has an energy cost. You have to input energy in order to get the output of water, so the price of water becomes completely indexed to the price of energy. So it was interesting to see how the energy market works on a global scale and what is happening in other countries. I think it helped give me a holistic view of the market.

What has been the main benefit of the InnoEnergy PhD School?

First of all, meeting lots of people in different fields. I have already found two possible partners for the projects I’m working on. The other benefit is keeping an open mind. I’m looking to see how InnoEnergy can help me to find financial support to develop my prototypes, and help me learn how to sell things.

Where will the skills you have gained take you in the future?

I started my present company in order to get the financial help I needed to develop my prototype. I would like to expand the operations of the company, because the water problem is a big challenge in agriculture. I want to develop and design a complete off-grid greenhouse to put on any rooftop and lower the energy and water needs of the building.

I also want to build other start-ups to develop other ideas that could change something. I want to come up with ideas that enrich not only my company but also the way that people live.