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Novel low-cost ground penetrating radar system for safe, simple and swift detection of all utilities piping and cabling located underground (e-Safe)
Start date: Nov 1, 2015, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Across Europe and the world, the installation of underground utility services continues to grow. The ground beneath Europe’s cities streets, which already contains a myriad of pipelines and cables, is rapidly becoming over congested. For example, the city of Rome’s 3million inhabitants are serviced by 65,000km of buried pipes and cables. Due to this congestion, delivery of vital utilities through the installation and maintenance of new and existing underground services is becoming increasingly difficult and dangerous. The personnel working in the various utilities sectors (telecoms, water, gas, electricity etc.) face daily challenges with regard safe excavation for installation and maintenance.With limited utility detection solutions available on the market and the general absence of accurate underground piping and cabling records, accidents and damage to these utilities is occurring on a large scale. Maintenance contractors are causing 90,000 incidences of third party damage to EU gas pipelines alone annually. In a North American study, it was found that 25% of incidences are due to insufficient locating practice. The impact of such damage is wide-ranging; approximately 120 deaths and 6,000 serious injuries are attributed to contact with the electricity network occur in Europe every year, while repair costs for damaged services can run into many millions of euros.The above problem demands urgent action. There is a clear need for a cost effective, rapid, compact, high performance “all services avoidance” solution that ensures the safety of utilities maintenance personnel, prevents utilities damage, and speeds up location of safe excavation zones. PipeHawk Plc has developed a totally unique system (e-Safe) that addresses all these needs. Our innovation project will bring the e-Safe system, currently at TRL6, to market readiness. We expect to capture up to 5% of the global market, generate annual profits of €16.4million, & create 70 new jobs by yr 5 post project.
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