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This blog is the first of a two-part blog from Faircap. 

Our story

Throughout the project, we faced many challenges which have served us to learn more about the different inputs, variables and processes of making a product. It has helped us gain experience to develop future innovations and products. We also think that sharing these lessons could help other projects and innovators tackle humanitarian challenges.

In our experience, innovation is not a straight and clear process. Having a plan, certain goals and parameters to check during the innovation process can help guide your work (research, design, prototyping, testing, etc.). However you should expect that there will be setbacks. These problems, delays, and challenges can actually become the source for new ideas, new experiments, new trials, new prototypes, new research paths. They can provide you with different results and improvements that can be incorporated into your final solution.

In part one of this two-part blog post, we will discuss the lessons learned from this process.

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Innovating based on lessons learned

We learned a great deal about the different variables that you must consider when making a product.

This means that now, we are able to come up with a new idea and rapidly determine these factors at an earlier stage. This has helped us not only design one filter model with our HIF grant, but create two final designs, and other accessories:

  • One for standard bottles
  • One for a hose connection for straw type bottles or even water pumps
  • An additional family filter with a membrane that removes viruses and that works with a manual pump to achieve a higher flow
  • A carbon fibre sleeve to remove organic chemicals and improve the taste of the water
  • Foldable bottles that serve as protection to the filter for shipping as well as packaging
  • A super low cost DIY incubator to make bacterial water tests anywhere in the world using a phone charger. This could help turn the Faircap filter project into an open citizen science project to test water samples in different places in the world with the collaboration of hundreds of volunteers and even NGOs.

Each of these innovations came as a result of the different problems we encountered during the development of the first concept. Be it adapting the filter to different applications, making sure that it was secured and could be used without any other accessories or proving that it actually works, in the case of the DIY incubator.

Read part two of this blog post to learn about how we intend to build evidence and the projects next steps.

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