The Digital Open Innovation project ‘Healthy people and work environment’
Nuvap and Eni, the global energy company, collaborated within the Digital Open Innovation project ‘Healthy people and work environment’, to experiment how the emerging technologies for continuous monitoring of the indoor air quality in workspaces and living environments can improve healthiness of workplaces and, therefore, the health of the occupants.
Nuvap contributed to the project by bringing its technical and technological skills, leveraged by Eni’s Health department, that is currently engaged in a program of digitization of its production processes. Nuvap solution has been used in real applications, focusing on use cases that could help accelerating the transition “4.0” of the company.
Thanks to this synergy and the interaction with Eni, Nuvap has improved the tools for real-time and dynamic analysis of huge amounts of collected data, to develop environmental performance maps in a simple and intuitive way and thus accelerating its analytics roadmap for enterprise customers.
The collaboration between Nuvap and Eni, which continues today, began in March 2019, when Nuvap was selected as part of the Call For Growth Eni, an open innovation challenge aimed at developing cutting-edge digital solutions also (but not only) in the areas of health and safety of employees.
The identified use cases concerned the healthiness of workplaces through the continuous monitoring of environmental parameters related to indoor and outdoor environmental healthiness, and the exploration of technologies useful for monitoring new pollutants, in addition to the chemical and physical ones already supported by Nuvap technology. In fact, the Open Innovation project intended to work on a solution capable of providing real-time information on a wide range of environmental parameters, in order to identify critical issues with an impact on human health at their early stage. This requirement has led to focus above all on developments related to data collection and analysis.
Scope of the Work and main evidence
As part of the experimentation, it was possible to analyze how the impact of human presence and the functioning of the air treatment systems had a significant impact on the level of indoor pollution (especially chemical one). The absence of critical issues in Eni’s workplaces proved the company to be equipped with efficient air exchange systems.
It was possible to compare the average level of healthiness recorded between different types of environments (for example: offices, laboratories and rest areas). This work confirmed how important it is to take into consideration the intended use of the indoor environments, when performing the analysis. Moreover, it supported the opportunity to use Nuvap’s synthetic index of environmental healthiness (Nuvap Index) to represent the characteristics of each type of environment.
With respect to the types of pollutants, Volatile Organic Compounds have proved to be a good tracer of indoor pollution, typically linked both to the activities that take place in buildings and to other endogenous sources of pollution. Some environmental factors have been reconsidered and the range of monitored parameters has been expanded to have additional or better quality data compared to the initial set-up.
Based on the evidence, it was possible to develop analytics tools which, thanks to the construction of some mathematical models, allow for a seamless identification of any irregularity and deviation from ‘typical’ situations, for the benefit of prevention or continuous improvement programs.
The new data analysis and visualisation services were initially structured to meet certain requirements, and to simplify:
- the dynamic representation of large amounts of data
- the analysis of the same
- the comparison and visualization of data.
The final objective of the activity remains, however, the generation of additional useful information, extracted from known environmental quality data, thanks to which Eni will be able to analyze the performance of the workspaces, at a given moment or over time, by performing a few intuitive steps.
Benefits for the Market
With respect to the market, the activities carried out have highlighted how a continuous air quality monitoring system can be complementary to the compliance procedures of each company, allowing events to be tracked dynamically, in real time, and enabling in deep ex-post analysis.
Several stakeholders can leverage on these insights: whether they are interested in the performance of buildings, or in the healthiness of the occupants, it is advisable that all the concerned professionals look at the same data.