STeP Updates

On Demand Webinar: Global Access Strategy & Opportunities in Sanitation

How the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Firmenich are partnering to ensure safe sanitation for all.

Sarah d’Arbeloff of Firmenich speaks with the STeP team about Firmenich’s partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the new sanitation economy — estimated at $200 billion globally, with $62 billion in India alone by 2021. Sarah share insights and her perspective on:

Work Begins on the Generation 2 Reinvented Toilet

After more than eight years promoting efforts to bring safe sanitation to the billions worldwide who need it, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Reinvent the Toilet challenge has given way to a new initiative. Coined the Generation 2 Reinvented Toilet, researchers from current STeP partners Cranfield University, Duke University and Swiss engineering company Helbling Technik are collaborating with peers from the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, University of Applied Sciences in Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), and Scion, a New Zealand company. The researchers are supporting Georgia Institute of Technology’s work to demonstrate single user reinvented toilet (SURT) prototypes that the world’s poorest regions can afford. The team will have 42 months to produce a minimum of six reinvented toilet prototypes ready for a commercial manufacturer.

On Demand Webinar: Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape

Amanda Rose, STeP’s Market Readiness Lead, shares the research that is the foundation of our Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape – Exploring potential resources to validate and prepare markets for novel sanitation solutions. Resources to validate and prepare markets for new sanitation technologies and business models— prerequisites for achieving sustainable, scaled solutions — tend to be scarce​. Consequently, a problematic funding “Pioneer Gap” exists (Koh et al., 2016)​. Amanda helps participants understand the Pioneer Gap and how to bridge it, and provides additional resources for those seeking funding.

Article: “University of Alabama team look at untreated sewage issue”

“Al.com reports University of Alabama graduate students and professors, backed by a federal grant, are joining efforts to determine just how widespread these practices are and what can be done about them.

The UA team received a $15,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “People, Prosperity and the Planet,” program, a competition for students proposing a yearlong project to address an environmental or public health issue.”

India Water Market Analysis

This report aims to help partners and system developers identify industries representing target markets for the sale of Ankur Omni Processor (A-OP) water in India. These sales have the potential to offset some of the costs associated with building and operating a A-OP. Many industries that originally looked promising for A-OP water sales were screened out because of end-user acceptance issues, low volumes procured, low prices paid, and/or startup challenges. Two markets—battery manufacturing and coolant manufacturing—were identified as possible target markets segments. Water buyers in these markets did not voice acceptance concerns for J-OP water and sometimes buy at prices and volumes that may allow for recoup of some, but not all, of A-OP costs. However, to sell into these markets, an A-OP operator would likely have to identify locations with a high enough concentration of buyers, have to compete with established local water suppliers to win market share, and incur startup costs associated with selling into these markets.

Key topics:

  • Better manufacturing market
  • Engine coolant manufacturing market
  • Price ranges and factors impacting price
  • Production costs for purified water
  • Potential business models for A-OP

China Sanitation Market Brief

China is home to 1.4 billion people and about 67% of China’s population is expected to reside in urban areas by 2030. Nearly 100% of China’s population is reliant, in some manner, on onsite sanitation (OSS) requiring a blend of fecal sludge management (FSM) and sewage treatment. China is undergoing a Toilet Revolution, in which the National Tourist Administration pledged to build or renovate 100,000 public toilets in tourist sites around the country by 2020. Total investment in the program has exceeded $3B. This brief provides readers with an update on the sanitation market with a focus on the Reinvented Toilet (RT) in China.

Key topics:

  • Population and housing trends
  • Sewerage coverage
  • Policy landscape
  • Fecal sludge generation and collection
  • Funding for the Reinvented Toilet (RT) and fecal sludge management (FSM)
  • Cost recovery for FSM and willingness to pay (WTP)
  • Incumbent solutions
  • Potential market for the RT, Omni Processor (OP), and Omni Ingestor (OI)

Feedstock Adequacy for a 2-Engine J-OP in One Indian City: Findings from a Multifunctional Study in Tiruppur, India

Prior to designing and installing a fecal sludge treatment system (whether an Omni Processor [OP] or a fecal sludge treatment plant [FSTP]), it is important to gain an understanding of your fecal sludge management (FSM) reliant population, including the volumes of FS and mass of dry solids they generate. STeP, along with local partner Athena Infonomics, conducted a 3-part study between November 2017 and March 2018 to better understand the FSM reliant population residing within a 20 km radius of a potential OP site in Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu. The study aimed to (a) understand household characteristics and FSM behaviors; (b) quantify the volume of FS generated in the 20-km catchment area; and (c) evaluate the energetic properties and total solids content of the FS collected in Tiruppur. Based on measured FS accumulation, total solids and energetic value, there is close to sufficient feedstock to supply a 2-engine J-OP within a 20 km radius of the proposed site in Tiruppur, equating to a fecal sludge management (FSM) population of approximately 1 million people.

Key topics:

  • Fecal sludge accumulation and volume
  • Household characteristics and FSM behavior
  • Calorific value and total solids (TS) content of FS
  • Optimal size J-OP

Gender in Sanitation: A Resource for Commercial Partners

This resource aims to provide readers with a guide to integrating a gender lens into sanitation solutions, including technology, policy, and others. Readers should expect to come away with: An understanding of how gender influences sanitation and the resulting impacts of sanitation on gender-related outcomes; working knowledge of the language and terminology used in gender and sanitation; gender-related elements to keep in mind when designing sanitation solutions and go-to-market strategies; examples of what can go wrong when gender is not considered in sanitation solutions; and a path forward to integrating a gender lens into sanitation solutions.

Key topics:

  • Overview of gender and sanitation
  • Gender vocabulary
  • Gender influences across the sanitation value chain
  • What does this mean for Commercial Partners?

South Africa: Municipal Sanitation

This study from SP Investment Holdings focuses on the Reinvented Toilet (RT) sanitation landscape for South African municipalities. The report provides nine key recommendations for sanitation technology innovators considering the South African market and highlights eight key factors municipalities consider when procuring new sanitation technologies. Insights are driven by qualitative interviews and data at both national and municipal levels. Readers can apply these insights to tailor design and go-to-market strategy for your sanitation technology to the South African context. A data-rich annex provides readers with a deeper understanding of the demographics and sanitation technology experiences of 23 South African municipalities.

Key topics:

  • State of sanitation services and technology innovations in South Africa
  • Sanitation technology procurement by municipalities
  • National and municipal legal frameworks governing sanitation