Valerann wins 1st prize at the 13th Sacyr Foundation Innovation Awards

  • Valerann’s proposal stands out for its contribution to enhance road safety and connectivity, one of the three challenges issued to the innovation ecosystem in the open innovation program, Sacyr iChallenges 6, which had 205 submissions from 34 countries.
  • The British-Israeli tech firm proposed a solution to enhance infrastructure safety and sustainability based on a last generation, smart traffic management platform, which addresses the challenge of adapting linear infrastructure to new mobility models.
  • Companies Kraken Sense (Canada) and SPH Engineering (Latvia) came out as the runner ups for their technologies aimed at detecting pollutants in water and solutions to explore land characteristics in construction projects, respectively.

The company Valerann was the winner of the 13th edition of the Sacyr Innovation Awards by the Sacyr Foundation.

This edition, the Sacyr Foundation awarded Valerann’s solution aimed at enhancing infrastructure safety and sustainability.

Valerann’s proposal was the best of the 205 submitted to one of the three challenges issued by Sacyr in the open innovation program Sacyr iChallenges. 

The Foundation also gave two runner-up prizes to the Canadian Kraken Sense and the Latvian SPH Engineering.

The award ceremony was conducted by journalist Ángeles Blanco and had Sergio Álvarez-Teleña (Economist and PhD in Computer science) as a speaker. Teleña is one of the leading experts in AI and advanced transformation in Europe.

Manuel Manrique, Sacyr Chairman, stressed that innovation is a must for our company to remain competitive

“We’re keeping a close eye on the evolution of AI to incorporate it into our infrastructure projects, that must adapt to be kinder, safer, more resilient and sustainable”, the Chairman said.

Roads challenge

Valerann offers a last generation smart traffic management platform

By using data analysis this technology facilitates faster response times, generates automated notifications, and communicates relevant information to infrastructure users.

Valerann’s solution answers to Sacyr iChallenges 6's challenge to find solutions to enhance safety and sustainability in linear infrastructure.

Runner-ups: Kraken Sense and SPH Engineering

Canadian firm Kraken Sense got a runner up prize at the Sacyr Foundation Innovation Awards for their real-time pathogen and pollutant detection system in wastewater. This solution automates the sampling and testing process to measure microorganism concentration in trace elements. 

Kraken Sense’s solution answers to the challenge to detect and monitor priority and concern-raising pollutants in water treatment facilities.

On their end, SPH Engineering was the runner up of the Construction challenge, which sought to get better insights about geotechnical and topographical characteristics at early project stages.

The Latvian firm was recognized for their drone-based aerial and bathymetric GPR solution. 

By using unmanned aerial vehicles with integrated sensors, this solution enables to carry out bathymetric surveys in areas where access and operation are complex.

205 submissions from 34 countries 

On a yearly basis, the Sacyr Foundation acknowledges the best initiatives submitted by the innovation community in Sacyr iChallenges, Sacyr’s open innovation program. 

Sacyr iChallenges is one of the drivers for the company’s innovation and transformation strategy, which is based on a bid on teamwork and co-creation with the innovation ecosystem globally.

International turnout went up by 40% this year with submissions coming from 34 countries. 

Besides from Spain, countries with the highest volume of submissions were the United States, Canada, Israel, Finland, the United Kingdom, or South Korea. Thus, Sacyr iChallenges consolidates its presence in English-speaking countries, which made up 27% of turnout this edition. 

Turnout in innovation agents with over 10 years of experience went up 40%, too.



Sustainable solutions

With Sacyr iChallenges as its flagship open innovation program, Sacyr seeks to find travel companions with whom to promote sustainable solutions that improve people’s quality of life with better infrastructure.

All submissions were subject to review by a panel of experts from different Sacyr business units.

In the last six years, the program has received a total of 1,500 proposals from different innovation agents from all over the world. Tech solutions addressing challenges across all company units. 

Around 20 pilot projects have been put in motion over the six years that the program has been active. 

Learn more at

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