After a couple of years of experience as a soil expert, Goedele conducted research during her PhD at VITO into the applicability of techniques to directly determine mass fluxes. Only the Passive Flux Meter (PFM) of the University of Florida met the technical requirements. With the possibility of a user-friendly and validated flux technology in mind, this became the start of a number of research projects that would eventually result into iFLUX.
The knowledge that it was technically perfectly possible to determine mass fluxes accurately, urged us to think beyond and to look at which way this would deliver the best results. With the help of a applied research project through the University of Antwerp, we were capable of optimizing the measuring technique and develop a user-friendly product design usable in existing measuring tubes. We also focused on protecting our intellectual property.
The transformation of a successful research project into a viable business model was the next challenge. As a business developer at VITO, Tim was immediately convinced of the potential of flux sampling. As a complementary tandem, they both elaborated on the business model and surrounded themselves with a network of the right people. The Innovation Circle of Esscenscia delivered the right person in mentor Luc Sterckx to share knowledge and experience on founding our young company. The six months at the accelerator The Birdhouse got us in touch with a wide network that is valuable to every starting company.
iFLUX started as a spin-off of the University of Antwerp and the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO). Both organizations had already facilitated the research conducted by Goedele Verreydt and her team. After several months of incubation, iFLUX now presents itself as an independent company.
In close collaboration with lab partner SGS, iFLUX optimized the validation technique of the different iFLUX analysis packages. Together we managed to elevate the recovery level above 95%, so that we can offer qualitative flux measuring. Besides validated analysis packages for VOCL, BETX, PAKs and heavy metals, we are currently researching flux analyses for PFOS/PFAS, cyanides and pesticides.
We settled in the Darwin Incubator in Niel's Science Park, where we have all facilities necessary to make our start-up grow. As an enthusiastic and industrious team, looking for expansion, we had a successful launch with about twenty projects, mostly in Flanders but also in France, The Netherlands, Italy and Finland.
This led to the expansion of our team with an experienced environmental expert or a top sales manager!
Investment funds Qbic II and VMH (Vlaamse Milieuholding) confirmed beginning of May an investment of 1.36M euro in iFLUX. The new investment will be used for the international expansion of the team and the digitization of the technology.
The current measurement method will be integrated into a real-time sensing application, in order to provide unique data that help to manage groundwater (both quality and quantity) faster and more efficiently. We want to use this to shift from problem management in groundwater to surface water, water purification, process flow and prevention. The development of an iFLUX real-time sensor confirms the ambition of iFLUX to record the spreading of process parameters and environmental pollutants throughout the entire water chain.
Together with Cyclopure (USA) and SGS (Belgium), iFLUX has developoed a state-of-the-art solution to collect PFAS components from groundwater for further analysis.
After an extensive study and validation cycle, the iFLUX PFAS cartridge is launched. This passive sampler can be used to monitor the direction and flow velocity of PFAS contaminants in groundwater.