The company, VAPAR, was founded by civil engineer Amanda Siqueira and mechatronic engineer Michelle Aguilar.
The pair attended high school at Our Lady of Mercy College in Parramatta before studying engineering at the University of Technology, Sydney.
The technology that is to be developed will help change the way in which Australian councils and water utilities maintain their stormwater and sewerage assets.
“As an intern I spent eight hours a day watching this footage just looking for faults, a time-consuming and fatiguing process. Michelle and I thought up a better way of reviewing the footage that used Michelle’s background in enterprise automation and machine learning," she said.
“This grant helped us develop our platform and expand our technology to water utility customers including Northern Beaches Council, our partners in developing our prototype.”
Michelle Aguilar and Amanda Siqueira.
Aguilar said the technology would allow local councils and water utilities to upload pipe CCTV inspection footage directly to a cloud platform for automatic analysis.
“Our system cuts a two-day process down to two minutes, reducing inspection costs by 30% and allowing on-site repair work to be carried out straight after the inspection,” she said.
“With over 200,000 kilometres of gravity pipelines in Australia alone and $450 million spent each year maintaining sewerage networks, early detection and repair of faults in pipelines avoids the expensive process of digging up pipes once they are broken.”
Jobs for NSW chief executive Nicole Cook said: “The NSW Government is committed to investing in the best and brightest start-ups and fast-growing SMEs and Jobs for NSW supporting businesses like VAPAR is a great example of this commitment."
VAPAR has also been chosen for a 12-month incubator program to develop business opportunities in India, supported by the NSW Government and innovation consultancy Fusion Labs.
“Our technology has huge potential not only in Australia but globally. In India, we will be talking to IT providers and government asset managers to learn as much as we can to develop business strategies for that market,” Siqueira said.
Photos: courtesy NSW Department of Industry