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International Water Day 2022
Interview with Enric Queralt, CEO at Bluephage
March is an important month for Bluephage. March 22 is International Water Day, a relevant day for a company that works to market analytical kits that help ensure the safety of viral and fecal water contamination. In addition, just one year ago, on March 25, 2021, Bluephage was recognized as the world’s first BCorp company in the field of microbial water testing.
Why did Bluephage decide to join the BCorp movement, and how has it positively influenced the development of the business?
At Bluephage, we work with a natural resource such as water, and our mission conveys many of the sustainable values promoted by certifications such as the B Corporation. Our main goal is to provide safe water for all, for a better world, and we do this by marketing easy-to-use kits to test for viral and fecal contamination in water. In addition, our technology aims to revolutionize the way water is monitored, reducing the time to results by up to six hours. This will be a breakthrough in detecting contaminated water in near real-time, preventing many diseases that cause high mortality in underdeveloped countries.
Being a BCorp company reinforces and helps us communicate the values and mission we pursue as a company on a large scale. On the other hand, it gives us access to an international network of companies with which we share these values and with which we can generate synergies that will surely benefit the global community of water and food consumers.
Why is there a clear growth trend in environmental water testing, driven by the increasing need for microbial water quality testing?
Awareness towards a better environment, focus on sustainability, climate change, implementation of sanitary safety plans are examples that promote this need. And the potential growth of the global environmental testing market between 2021 and 2023 will exceed $15.4 billion in 2030, with a CAGR of 6.59% over the next few years, from 2021 to 2030.
What are the industry’s real demands, and what equipment and tools does Bluephage propose to lead the environmental testing market?
Rapid industrialization, increasing contamination of water resources, and new European and international regulations specifying the use of coliphages as indicators of water wholesomeness are driving the demand for rapid, on-site viral testing to ensure water safety.
Bluephage offers microbiological test kits that make the analyst’s job easier by providing all components properly prepared and calibrated. Our flagship kit is the coliphage kit that allows analysis within 6 hours, so there is no need to wait for the result the next day.
Why does Bluephage propose products that detect viruses, specifically non-pathogenic ones such as coliphages, to ensure safe drinking water worldwide?
Waterborne diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. In addition, children are the most vulnerable to waterborne diseases as they die from waterborne microbes.
The reliability of test kits will be a significant challenge for the coliphage testing market. Our value proposition involves incubation of the sample to test for viable virus, as opposed to genetics, which determines the presence or not, but not viability or infective capacity.
What are Bluephage’s growth prospects for the coming years?
In 2021 we conducted a crowdfunding campaign with Crowdcube and raised more than 1 million euros. Thanks to these contributions, Bluephage expects to expand its product portfolio, always focused on microbiological analysis of water, food, and biosolids. On the other hand, we expect to increase the number of countries where we are present and expand internationally.