Ecomotive AS was founded in January of 2006. The founders were Jets AS and the University of Environment and Life Sciences (UMB) - currently known as the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). The board consisted of Jan Driveklepp, Chairman of Jets AS, and Jarle Skjelhaugen, Research Director at UMB. Kåre A. Haddal became General Manager, a role he also had in Jets AS.
Driven by a need for solutions
The background for establishing the company was a need for a complete wastewater solution in the cabins and small homes market. Jets AS had a toilet solution that had proved very useful in such segments, but knowledge about, and good solutions for, local treatment of gray water were completely lacking. Ecomotive AS was established to remedy this. The company's goal was to gather relevant knowledge and ensure the development of good and simple solutions suitable for the treatment of gray water from cabins and cottages.
At the time, Arve Heistad worked on his PhD at UMB. An important part of his work included issues related to bacteria and viruses in water. Arve Heistad had clear ideas both about the design and functionality of compact water treatment plants. A collaboration with Heistad was established, and the company hired its first employee, Jostein Grevsgård. Jostein was responsible for running the development project going forward, and to collaborate with Jets AS and UMB on the construction and testing of an early prototype.
First product and approval
Eventually a mold was made for casting fiberglass treatment plants, and a first version, the A01, entered operation in 2008. At the same time, the County Governor in Oppland approved the installation of the system in a large cabin area under development in Grindafjell near Vang municipality in Valdres, Norway. The plant has been continuously refined and the latest incarnation, the Ecomotive A02, is now available for sale. When combined with a Jets™ vacuum toilet system, it creates a safe wastewater solution with no hazardous effluents, based on the principle of local source separation. A more environmentally friendly solution probably does not exist on the market today.
Maritime treatment plants
The cooperation between UMB and Jets™ has also led to a range of sewage treatment plants for maritime use. We are currently gathering knowledge and experience from plants in operation on vessels worldwide, to provide even more compact and user-friendly solutions. The newly developed treatment plants are IMO certified and Jets Vacuum is putting a lot of effort into production and sales of this treatment plant in the international market.
Ownership development with continued cooperationUMB / NMBU, which held shares in Ecomotive AS from the beginning, had achieved its goals for the company in 2013 and therefore decided to transfer those shares to Jets AS. That same year, the board was expanded and Ottar Håkonsholm was appointed as the new general manager.
The change in ownership does not impact product development or the cooperation between today's NMBU and Jets AS. It continues just as before. The goal is to develop a comprehensive water and energy cycle with all the solutions needed to achieve this goal.
Unique interaction between industry and researchers
Ecomotive AS benefits from its interaction with the Jets™ group, which is a major international player in water-saving sanitary solutions. With the company's insight into what the global market expects from the products we develop, we can do a much better job than if we operated completely independent of commercial interests. Furthermore, we have a great deal of freedom and space to work in a long-term perspective with independence, and so we are able to put purely commercial considerations aside when developing the best solutions for treating various types of wastewater.
Part of a global company
Our owner Jets™ is the world's leading supplier of resource-saving vacuum toilet systems, which are used both on board ships and in a variety of sanitary applications on land. Vacuum toilets reduce the water consumption seen by toilet flushing by up to 90%, and the environmental benefits of using such toilets are therefore very high. Jets™ delivers more than 30,000 vacuum toilets with associated pumps and equipment annually, and has in recent years completed its product range with treatment systems for both gray and black water developed by Ecomotive AS.