ABB completes acquisition of smart water technology company Real Tech

Interview | February 1, 2024

Following the completion of the acquisition of Canadian company Real Tech by ABB, we talked to Jean-René Roy, Global Business Line Manager, ABB Measurement & Analytics, and Jodi Glover, CEO and co-founder of Real Tech.

In early January, ABB announced that it has agreed to acquire Canadian company Real Tech, a leading supplier of innovative optical sensor technology that enables real-time water monitoring and testing. Following the completion of the acquisition on 1 February, we asked Jean-René Roy and Jodi Glover what lies ahead. 

“First and foremost, I am very excited to welcome to ABB Measurement & Analytics all our new colleagues,” said Jean-René Roy, Global Business Line Manager, ABB Measurement & Analytics. “The Real Tech team will join the Continuous Water Analysis team in Business Line Analytical, ABB Measurement & Analytics.”

Through the acquisition of Real Tech, ABB is expanding its strong presence in the water segment and particularly in the fast growing municipal and industrial wastewater treatment segments where there is strong global push for sustainable water management. 

“Our products and market expertise fit together so well,” added Jean-René Roy. “Real Tech complements our product portfolio with optical technology critical for smart water management.” 

Since Real Tech was founded 20 years ago, the company’s vision has been to advance the management of water by bringing optical sensors and measurements usually only performed in the lab into the plant and process environment. 

“Real Tech has made optical sensors more practical, accurate and affordable, helping to increase accessibility of real-time monitoring for multiple parameters and compounds,” said Jodi Glover, CEO and co-founder of Real Tech. “Most plants have ‘commodity sensors’ such as pH, DO, conductivity, turbidity, and others that provide valuable real-time water quality data. However, the measurement of other invaluable water quality parameters is still left to delayed laboratory testing techniques. This often leaves operators flying blind to critical changes in water quality, unable to make rapid treatment optimization and control decisions due to lack of monitoring and data.” 

According to Jodi Glover, managing water and wastewater is both a responsibility and a challenge, especially in the context of increasing water scarcity, environmental contamination, tightening regulations, and rising treatment costs. 

“Our acquisition by ABB will accelerate the advancement of smart water management. The time for advancing water into a new era is now. We need to transform how we are managing water, and I am very excited about our role in improving the industry.”

Jean-René Roy expects to see a step change in Real Tech’s access to market. 

“Bringing together the expertise of Real Tech and ABB will accelerate the deployment of Real Tech's technologies through the vast ABB global sales and service network. This is a growth story. It will create many new opportunities – for our customers and employees alike.”

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