Mathclick develops AI-based software solutions for water applications, in particular for aquaculture and for seabed analysis.
The startup provides two softwares: the first, for the analysis and forecasting of the okadaic acid in harvest mussels; the second, for the optimization of CDF simulations in predicting behavior of marine energy devices.
meet the startup
For those working in an environment that is anything but stable, such as the marine world, the start-up Mathclick is able to offer an essential asset: assessments and forecasts for the aquatic environment based on standardised, comprehensive and reliable data analysis. How? Using artificial intelligence models.
We discussed this with Michele Grassi, CEO and CTO at Mathclick.
What is Mathclick core business?
Mathclick works with artificial intelligence: we process data that comes from the sea or water, more generally.
As you may well imagine, the sea is far from being a stable environment. In this context, our system is highly effective to work in situations where it is normally difficult to acquire and process data: either because of survey conditions or if the data is incomplete, for example because the equipment is damaged or due to other variables.
Artificial intelligence enables us to clean and/or complete missing – yet necessary – data in order to conduct comprehensive and in-depth analyses.
How did the idea come about?
I have always been enthusiastic about the sea and been actively engaged in it for quite some time. My background is in mathematics, and I have been working in the field of marine engineering for years. I founded three companies, all related to the marine environment.
I experienced first-hand the many problems connected with data collection at sea. This led me and my collaborators to do research and experiment with artificial intelligence, initiating the path that eventually gave birth to Mathclick.
What is Mathclick’s main field of application?
Our first client was an opportunity for us to experiment in what is now one of the main fields of application of our technology: the shellfish farming industry. Here, the collection of marine data is used to do ‘precision shellfish farming’, similarly to precision agriculture, which is done on land.
Data acquisition makes it possible to reduce the variability within the breeding process, providing indications to optimise production.
More recently, thanks to our collaboration with PortXL, a strategic partner of Faros, we are pioneering the new area of sea logistics.
What is Mathclick’s main field of application?
The algorithms underpinning our technology are ‘generic’, i.e. once the data are structured in the same way, the system is able to adapt and provide adequate information in many different contexts: whether it is used to determine the presence of biotoxins in a mollusc, the depth of the sea, the turbidity of the water or even the energy level of waves.
Who are your competitors?
Artificial intelligence applied to aquaculture is something almost unknown. We are amongst the ‘first movers’.
This is also a great challenge: not so much to prove that we are the best in our field, but rather to demonstrate the usefulness and necessity of our service.
The aquaculture sector is still a fairly traditional one. Few producers have an industrial approach, the majority are ‘artisans’; it is essential that they fully understand the value that the introduction of our technology could generate in their supply chain.
Plus, there is a stark difference between Italy and abroad. For example, in France or Scotland there is on average more interest in technological innovation in the sector.
This is also true in the port sector where we are taking our first steps: In fact, through PortXL, we realised that the port of Rotterdam is absolutely keen on innovation and willing to invest in new technologies.
Objectives and plans for the future?
While aquaculture and shellfish farming will remain priority sectors, through our collaboration with PortXL we are trying to capture the strong interest in solutions like ours in the port sector, focusing on the validation of our technology in this area as well.
During our acceleration process with Faros, we discovered that our system could be crucial in water depth analysis: ports need to constantly update their seabed maps because sand and debris move as a result of wave motion. Software like ours can help develop more accurate maps and save time and resources needed to produce them.
How has the acceleration path been going?
Faros was a turning point for us: this path allowed us to start collaborating with PortXL and to engage with the sector of sea logistics. We were already interested in this sector, but now we are having the opportunity to develop it.
It is not easy to accelerate innovative start-ups, often times ‘first movers’, especially in a sector like the blue economy. The introduction to the market is always quite tricky, yet I believe that for large corporations, the opportunity to work profitably with start-ups is a great way to innovate, as well as an efficient approach to bring innovation to contexts where it is much needed.