August 20, 2020
Kurita and Fracta Launch Joint Digital Transformation Development Project for Water Treatment and AI, IoT Products
—Specialized digital technology company, Fracta Leap established to undertake the project—
Kurita Water Industries Ltd. (Head Office: Nakano-ku, Tokyo; President: Michiya Kadota; hereinafter "Kurita") announced today that it has launched Meta-Aqua Project jointly with Fracta (California, the United States; CEO: Takashi Kato; hereinafter "Fracta"), a subsidiary and AI startup based in the United States. In this project, the companies will work on the digital transformation (hereinafter "DX") and development of AI and IoT products for the water treatment industry. To mobilize this project, Fracta established Fracta Leap Inc. (hereinafter "Fracta Leap") in May this year, which specializes in digital technologies used in water treatment.
The Meta-Aqua Project aims to build innovative digital solutions for water treatment by integrating Kurita's technologies and expertise in water treatment with Fracta's advanced technologies and expertise in AI. By making full use of machine learning, simulation technologies, and other technologies, the companies will provide leading-edge technologies to improve operation efficiency and smarter management services of water treatment facilities to customers. Concurrently, innovative approaches to increase efficiency of Kurita's internal activities, such as automation utilizing machine learning for the design of water treatment facilities.
In April 2020, Kurita established its Digital Strategy Division to promote DX, aiming to break away from existing business processes, business models and create new customer values to accelerate its business transformation. The Meta-Aqua Project, launched as a part of these activities, is the first full-scale joint project between Kurita and Fracta. Through this project, the companies also aim to create further business synergies.
Established in 2015, Fracta has been operating a software service business, which utilizes AI to solve the social problem caused by the breaks and leaks of aging water mains in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Fracta Leap holds similar aspirations, aiming to solve the social issue of serious water shortages around the world by applying AI technologies to reduce the cost and extend the life of social infrastructure related to water.
Fracta Leap has engineers who belonged to Fracta. To accelerate the Meta-Aqua Project, Fracta Leap is proactively recruiting data scientists, software engineers, UI/ UX designers, and other human resources. It plans to establish a workforce of 30 to 40 employees within a few years.
Overview Fracta Leap
|Name||Fracta Leap Inc.|
|Location||(Tokyo Office) 3-2-14 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
(Kawasaki Office and Lab) KBIC Main Building, 7-7 Shinkawasaki, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa
|Business||Development of technologies and products which contribute to solving social infrastructure problems related to water treatment|
Fracta is an AI startup based the Silicon Valley that was established in 2015. In the United States, breaks and leaks caused by aging of water mains are a serious social issue. To solve this problem, the company provides a software service to predict water main degradation based on AI/machine learning. In May 2018, this company signed a capital and business alliance with Kurita. At present, the company provides services to 63 water utilities in 27 of the 50 states in the Unites States. In 2019, the company conducted inspections for six water-supply corporations in Japan. In March 2020, Fracta began to provide online pipeline diagnostic tools for water-supply corporations in Japan. In May 2020, the company signed an outsourcing agreement with the municipal government of Toyota City, Aichi. This is the first such agreement signed by the company in Japan.