A shot of the Novion green infrastructure monitoring device on a City of Vancouver drain
Pilot Updates & Successes

Case Study: Novion Supports Climate Resiliency through City of Vancouver Technology Pilot

Vancouver-based Novion, a climate intelligence company that helps cities plan and build for climate resiliency, has completed a pilot with the City of Vancouver after their proposal was selected through a call for innovation posted to Project Greenlight.

Technology overview

Novion’s pilot involved remotely monitoring the performance of several green infrastructure sites across Vancouver, with collected data showing how each site infiltrates stormwater. Water level sensors connected to Novion’s proprietary Internet of Things-enabled data loggers generated real-time insights, without the need for site visits or manual work. Results were fed into Novion’s Climate Intelligence Platform, which can compile months of manual data collection in seconds.

Ultimately, Novion’s end-to-end solution handled everything from procuring sensors to installation, to generating insights – all completed entirely remotely.

Climate-focused results

Novion’s pilot with the City of Vancouver ran for 26 weeks, collecting performance data from over 48 major rainfall events between February and August 2022. Initial data obtained will support the implementation of over 10,000 green infrastructure assets over the next 30 years. The successful pilot has led to an ongoing annual subscription to the service.

The resulting enhancement to green infrastructure has improved drainage of city streets, as well as the quality of water entering Vancouver’s stormwater drains. The monitoring system has also eliminated the need for City of Vancouver staff to physically visit their green infrastructure sites for data collection. In addition, the City is now better able to assess its green infrastructure performance, supporting future planning decisions that can improve Vancouver’s water quality and increase climate resilience while reducing maintenance costs.

The importance of green infrastructure monitoring

“Green infrastructure” refers to any infrastructure that uses natural processes to absorb and filter rainwater where it lands. Particularly important in cities like Vancouver that see rainfall throughout much of the year, green infrastructure can lower flood risk, improve water quality, and reduce the load on stormwater pipes.

Monitoring these systems is critical to ensure stormwater best management practices are properly implemented. Monitoring can also pinpoint sites requiring additional maintenance, and improve the cost effectiveness and quality of green infrastructure construction.

Opportunities beyond Project Greenlight

As a result of Novion’s pilot with the City of Vancouver, which was made possible through Project Greenlight, the company was selected as a candidate to participate in Vancouver Economic Commission’s Angels for Climate Solutions program. Designed to catalyze the growth of climate solutions by connecting investors with climate-focused startups, the program has identified 15 startup finalists, including Novion, that will undergo six weeks of intensive presentation to pitch their solution to a group of angel investors – all with the goal of winning a $100,000 seed investment.

The Project Greenlight difference

“The Project Greenlight platform’s online submission makes bidding fast, easy and accessible for an early-stage company like ours,” said Refayet Siam, CEO of Novion. “The pilot enabled Novion to successfully develop and deploy a cutting-edge green rainwater infrastructure monitoring solution that will help cities around the world to reduce costs, improve water quality, and reduce flooding in city streets.”

“Novion worked with us to select the right sensors, install them, and maintain them over time,” said Sylvie Spraakman, Senior Engineer at City of Vancouver. “Novion’s platform allowed us to see how our green infrastructure assets are performing in real-time, allowing us to make decisions quickly when problems arise.”

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