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Water for emerging countries

Christian Koch, soon a graduate with a Master’s degree in environmental engineering, wants to market ETH technology world-wide.


How do you explain the concept of biofilms to a lay person?

A biofilm is a matrix of organic and inorganic substances into which bacteria are incorporated. The great thing is that these microorganisms feed on the substances that we filter from polluted water without chemicals and high pressure.

“SelfPuris” uses a technology developed at ETH. Why do you think the market is ready right now for your project?
In the last few months, my partners and I have mainly dealt with future serialization of our filter modules. Thanks to a fundamentally new design, we are now able to use comparatively inexpensive components. We will be able to offer a retail price that is lower, by a factor of five, than what seemed possible before.

Where do you see the market for your filter modules?

In a first phase, we will target operators of hotel facilities on Caribbean islands. There the drinking and service water must often be brought in on container ships; our system is considerably cheaper. However, decentralized water treatment has much more potential: We see ourselves as a construction supplier in emerging markets with poor water supply.

Plant construction is expensive. Will you need investors?

The first financing round is scheduled for mid-2018.

What growth history can you offer investors?

I reckon that by the end of five years, we will be selling thousands of filter modules and employing over 100 people, most of them in Switzerland and Latin America.


Christian Koch participated in the Business Concept course in spring 2017.