Procuring water for agriculture is a huge business. We estimate that the market for pumps alone accounts for a turnover of US$ 3 billion, or 2.12 billion Euro.
We have a part of this market but we aim to increase our market shares,” said Lars Enevoldsen, Grundfos Innovation Director.
Grundfos recently established a development and competence centre for , e.g., irrigation in Fresno, California. Fresno is located in one of the world’s most productive rural areas and so the state has an enormous need for water for farming.
”We have constantly research and development of new and sustainable solutions. This year we have asked an international group of university students to help us with developing ideas and products,” said Mr Enevoldsen.
Grundfos will strengthen American farming
When the students meet for Grundfos Challenge in Bjerringbro, Denmark, they will be asked to consider how the American farming industry may strengthen its competitiveness. Not only reflected in the output the farmers are able to deliver, but also doing it in a sustainable way.
”Farming in the USA is the field in which the largest amount of water is used; 70 percent of the entire consumption of fresh water is used by the farming industry and therefore it would be very interesting to consider how more output could be obtained with less water,” said Mr Enevoldsen.
Grundfos invited 45 students of engineering and economy from nine different countries. A total of 10 participants come from abroad. This is the highest number so far.
Grundfos is seeking sustainable solutions
At the moment Grundfos is most deeply involved in irrigation but the Group’s focus is also on, for instance, recycling/cleansing of water. The suggested answers from the students must also meet Grundfos’ ambitions of procuring technically advanced and innovative solutions in a sustainable way.
The best suggestions from the engineering teams and economist teams respectively will be awarded a prize of DKK 75,000 (10,000 Euro) to be shared between the participants of the winning teams. In addition a prize of DKK 15,000 (2,000 Euro) will be given to the most innovative team.
In keeping with tradition Grundfos Challenge will take place at the Poul Due Jensen Academy in Bjerringbro, Denmark. This year it will be held from 14 to 19 March. The students will arrive on Sunday and the challenge will be presented on Monday.