Leading sustainable Agritech innovation in Cornwall

Water Powered Technologies

Challenge

Taking an invention from Cornwall, global

Solution

Phil’s idea was born in Cornwall, but thanks to local inspiration and innovation, it’s now changing lives and livelihoods around the world

Providing clean water 24/7 to remote farms and villages improving profitability and productivity by cutting down water costs and pump maintenance Fuel/electricity-free alternative to traditional water pumping systems

Leading sustainable Agritech innovation in Cornwall

Cornwall has always been a key agricultural hub of the UK, but a recent boom in Agritech research and innovation has seen the region become a hotspot for the development of game-changing new technologies.

Phil Selwyn, owner of Bude-based Water Powered Technologies, stands as a key example of the kind of Agritech innovation emerging from Cornwall today.

His ground-breaking invention – the Papa Pump – is a fuel/electricity-free alternative to traditional water pumping systems that appeals to a global market, putting sustainability first and enabling reliable pumping in areas where energy isn’t available.

Zero energy consumption, zero pollution

Being fuel/electricity-free has obvious environmental and running cost benefits, but crucially, it also means Phil’s innovative pump can be used virtually anywhere. Using the natural power of flowing water, the Papa pump has a huge range of applications, including:

  • Agriculture—used for rain-water recovery, livestock watering and irrigation, improving profitability and productivity by cutting down water costs and pump maintenance. Some farmers have saved over £20,000 per annum by using the Papa Pump.
  • Commercial—provides alternative, non-potable water for cleaning, watering and sanitation, cutting down on mains water costs.
  • Humanitarian—pumps water 24 hours a day, providing clean water to remote villages and farms.

With a pump and store system in place, the Papa Pump also offers an economic and environmental solution to flood and drought water problems. The system delivers water in both wet and dry seasons, due to its effective water catchment and storage abilities – in many cases almost eliminating the need for mains water.

An international innovation, born in Cornwall

The idea for the Papa Pump started in Cornwall, when Phil visited his friend’s farm to look at the issues he was having with his pump. Instead of fixing the pump, Phil decided it’d be better to just start from scratch – building a simpler and more efficient alternative from the ground up.

As with many Cornish businesses, the surrounding geography was always a huge influence for Phil. Growing up as an inventor in Cornwall, Phil explains; “I became interested in energy—I think this was helped by the fact I was living in the countryside, where you see it all around you”.

Showing a keen interest in natural energy from an early age meant that whatever project Phil worked on, it was always going to have an environmental focus. Phil explains, “As soon as I learnt that the sun is the primary energy source, I began to look at things in a sustainable way”; proven in his zero-energy and zero-pollution pump solution.

Thriving in Cornwall

Cornwall’s fast-growing Agritech industry makes the region a prime location for projects like the Papa Pump, which is why Phil says he wouldn’t do it anywhere else.

The improvement of digital communication in Cornwall, Phil explains, has “made travelling less relevant…the fact that you are out on the edge has no relevance at all to trading in the modern world”. Being surrounded by agricultural and commercial businesses that can benefit from the Papa Pump, and able to reach a global market through strong internet connectivity, Phil says he is in the perfect place.

Increasing amounts of investment in Agritech from European funding has been a huge bonus for companies like Water Powered Technologies too. Phil explains that “crowdfunding has filled a large hole recently” and suggests “there’s a great opportunity now for people with ideas to go straight out and utilise the support systems that are available”.

With an inspirational landscape, a burgeoning agricultural industry and a wealth of local support available, Cornwall has quickly become the location of choice to bring ideas like the Papa Pump to life. Phil’s idea was born in Cornwall, but thanks to local inspiration and innovation, it’s now changing lives and livelihoods around the world.

To learn more about Phil’s Papa Pump, visit the Water Powered Technologies website and look at the ways it has changed businesses and agricultural communities across the world.

 

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