In recent months we have seen the positive effects of the lockdown on our environment. The smog has disappeared and the air was clear again in many places. However, many cities only measure their air quality selectively, leaving large gaps in the data. This is set to change now. We spoke with Robert Heinecke about his startup Breeze Technologies for this mission.
Hello, Robert. Thanks for answering our questions today. Let’s get right to it: what does Breeze Technologies do?
Breeze Technologies provides comprehensive air quality and climate data, generates recommendations for action and thus helps cities and companies to create a more liveable environment.
That sounds very exciting! Could you explain to us exactly how this works?
Gladly! We develop small and cost-effective air quality sensors that detect all common air pollutants in real time. They collect the data thus obtained in a central cloud. In addition, we also integrate other data sources, such as satellite data, in order to obtain the most accurate picture possible of the air quality in our cities. An artificial intelligence system developed by us evaluates this data in real time. It provides optimal recommendations for action to improve local air quality. These are fed from a catalog of over 3,500 individual measures and range from photocatalytic asphalt in road construction to traffic control based on air quality data, such as that being tested in the city of Cologne as gatekeeper traffic lights.
By using artificial intelligence, your system gives new recommendations depending on the situation, right?
Right. Our system also measures the impact of the measures implemented, which enables us to make even better recommendations in the future. We also provide a similar service for building managers, whom we help to measure and optimise air quality in office environments. You can use our system both indoors and outdoors.
How did you build your business model?
We rent our sensors to companies and cities and charge an annual rental and maintenance fee. In addition to the measures recommended by us for improving air quality, service providers and manufacturers are acquired as partners who pay a commission fee for sales generated through us.
Do you keep your target group quite general?
Yes, we mainly address HSE and facility managers in larger companies and the municipal administration. The industry in which the company is active is not important for the time being.
Two years ago you won the Hamburg Founder’s Prize and you have already started exciting projects. Can you give us a little insight into that?
Sure. We have already achieved many successes with renowned pilot customers such as Deutsche Telekom and Smart City projects in Hamburg and Berlin. We also make some of the data we collect available to the public via a citizens’ platform. Our company has also been named one of the most promising European start-ups in numerous national and international competitions. These include, for example, the Hamburg Founder’s Prize, which you have just mentioned, the EU Top 50, an award from the German President and inclusion in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for social entrepreneurs.