A new deal with TEA Group opens the way to PlanetWatch outdoor air quality data monetization in Italy.
A key deliverable for PlanetWatch in 2023 is demonstrating scalable data monetization. The main tools to make this possible are already in place, namely our API-based data access and billing system.
In this context, PlanetWatch recently closed a data sale with TEA Group, a spin-off of the Italian National Research Council. Besides manufacturing advanced air quality sensors, TEA provides environmental monitoring services to several local government institutions in Italy. Clients include the cities of Arezzo, Prato, the Livorno Port Authority, plus several smaller towns.
TEA Group has over time deployed its own network of air quality Airqino sensors across Italy.
In the last two years, PlanetWatch has independently deployed an additional 180 Airqino sensors across the country via its community and partners.
Now TEA Group is planning to deliver additional services to its customers by complementing its own datasets with data from all the PlanetWatch Airqino sensors in Italy.
Alessandro Zaldei, TEA Group’s Chief Scientific Officer, explains the rationale: “When analyzing pollution patterns in a city, the need for data from adjacent territories often emerges, as air flows obviously do not correlate with municipal boundaries. In addition, pollution sources are sometimes located at the boundary between two municipalities. As mayors have no power to deploy sensors beyond their territory, we often lack critical data. Leveraging data from the PlanetWatch network across the country will be instrumental in filling this gap.”
According to Carolina Vagnoli, Researcher at Italian National Research Council’s Institute for Bioeconomics, “Planetwatch’s innovative participatory model allows for a dense network of sensors that provide detailed information on the air quality of the territory, enabling the provision of services that until now were unthinkable with the few available monitoring stations of the official European monitoring network. To date, Planetwatch’s network has thousands of sensors whose detailed information, allows, for the first time, the realization of hyperlocal studies of air quality at the scale of neighborhood, street, and even individual building.”
Claudio Parrinello, PlanetWatch’s CEO, said: “We are proud to be chosen by TEA Group, a company with more than 30 years of air quality monitoring experience, as an outdoor data provider. This partnership adds substance to the business case for hyperlocal air quality data from PlanetWatch’s network. Our scalable, community-driven network deployment strategy is generating tangible results.”
Following the activation of the deal with TEA, roughly 280 sensors out of approximately 20,000 currently active in the PlanetWatch network will be having their data sold, 180 being the Type 1 sensors involved in the deal with TEA Group, the remaining 100 being Type 3 sensors.
A large fraction of these Type 3 sensors are installed in two high-end hotels in Italy, which have obtained RESET air quality certifications as a result of projects conducted in partnership with PlanetWatch. The remainder of the Type 3 sensors are installed in the framework of a pilot project with a local authority to monitor schools in Northern Italy. The territory managed by our local authority partner has a population of 1 million, so that there is strong potential for scaling up the business with this customer and replicating this type of deal with other authorities across Italy and other countries.
All in all, 1.4% of all the sensors currently connected to the PlanetWatch network are having their data monetized. Our goal is both to grow this percentage over time and to maximize the yield from each sensor. In fact, data from the same sensor can in principle be sold to several customers. This is particularly true for outdoor data since, for example, the same dataset could be used for a local government dashboard and by a mapping App.
It is important to emphasize that we see monetization opportunities for all PlanetWatch sensors, not just Type 1 and Type 3. Type 2 sensors add density to our outdoor network. Type 4 sensors are relevant to a number of organizations interested to study the air people are breathing in their homes.
The White Paper spells out the rules to redistribute revenue from PlanetWatch data sales – 20% goes to PlanetWatch, 40% to sensor owners, and 40% to the recycling bins. This of course also applies to the deal with TEA.
As mentioned by Claudio in the 6th episode of Fireside Chat:
1. We are completing the deployment of all tools connected to the Earth Credit system. We want to start Planets distributions to recycle bins and relevant sensor holders when the whole process is ready.
2. While the agreement with TEA is a new one, the indoor monetization deals with hotels are already up and running. The other difference is that for indoor deals, the sensors are owned by the data customers themselves, while for TEA’s deal sensors are owned by the community.
Our business development team is working on a long pipeline of potential deals and expressions of interest both from companies and local government institutions. We will release details on each of them as soon as deals are signed and clients agree to do so.
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