Startup Of The Week

Startup Of The Week: Rocsole

Finnish deep tech startup Rocsole, a 2022 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, applies a combination of tomography and AI/neural networks to liquid and solid multi-phase flows to enable better process control of pipelines, refineries, or manufacturing production plants. The technology aims to help corporates optimize their processes, streamline their operations, and enable higher levels of energy efficiency. Customers include Shell, Repsol and Syngenta.

Energy production and manufacturing processes together emit more than 50% of GHG emissions. Actionable insights for stable processing have been lacking, causing unexpected shutdowns and higher than normal emissions. Operation teams need relevant data to improve performance and take corrective measures, says CEO Mika Tienhaara, “but 97% of current data is useless. We make the invisible visible.”

Rocsole is a spin-out of the University of Eastern Finland. The university has done advanced work on tomography, the use of electronic signals as a medium to read fluids and solids, in the field of healthcare.  “We further developed the technology to fill a gap we saw in industry,” says Tienhaara. “Manufacturing processes that use liquids and solids are data starved.” Today manufacturers need to do manual sampling, which takes days to process, he says. This gap and lack of digitalization lead to unwanted shutdowns.

“Some 75% of maintenance is unplanned,” says Tienhaara. And when operations breakdown they emit massive amounts of toxic substances into the atmosphere. “It is kind of astonishing how poor industries are at operational efficiency,” he says.

Rocsole has proprietary smart sensors with low voltage feed that utilize alternating currents to generate iinformation about liquids and solids and uses its own software to generate insights. “The more data we get, the better we can make it perform,” he says.

The company is Industry agnostic and operates globally, says Tienhaara. Rocsole’s first customers were in the mining and paper and pulp sectors. It has since added clients in the oil and gas sectors, applying its technology to critical processing equipment used in pipelines and separators.  Shell and Repsol are both shareholders and customers. Rocsole also works with chemical and semiconductor companies.

Competitors include AI analytics companies and Industrial automation companies. Large industrial automation and services companies are partners of Rocsole. It is currently in discussions with several additional partners. “We want to build more partnerships with established service providers and integrators,” he says.

The company has raised a total of €15 million in venture capital plus some grants.

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About the author

Jennifer L. Schenker

Jennifer L. Schenker, an award-winning journalist, has been covering the global tech industry from Europe since 1985, working full-time, at various points in her career for the Wall Street Journal Europe, Time Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Red Herring and BusinessWeek. She is currently the editor-in-chief of The Innovator, an English-language global publication about the digital transformation of business. Jennifer was voted one of the 50 most inspiring women in technology in Europe in 2015 and 2016 and was named by Forbes Magazine in 2018 as one of the 30 women leaders disrupting tech in France. She has been a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneers judge for 20 years. She lives in Paris and has dual U.S. and French citizenship.