AM-Team is a deep-tech business that develops and implements globally unique computer models to solve the water industry’s biggest challenges. These models are virtual copies of the very big and expensive installations (i.e. ‘water factories’) that treat and provide the water for the big cities in the modern world. Comparable to a ‘flight simulator’, the computer simulations allow virtual tests that are impossible to conduct in reality and reveal unprecedented new insights. For example, AM-Team’s ‘laughing gas’ model is the world’s only computer model that predicts greenhouse gas emissions in wastewater treatment in full 3D.

The company helps cities such as Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Singapore, Auckland, Amsterdam, Paris, Hong Kong, etc. to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and chemicals, maximise water quality, reuse water, create smart plants, and efficiently train staff. Multinationals such as BASF, Eastman, J&J, Veolia, Suez, Intel, InBev, etc. also rely on AM-Team to improve their operations. Due to the global uniqueness and monopoly position in a niche, AM-Team has served clients in 22 countries on 4 continents.

The company was founded in 2017 as a Ghent University spin-off using the founders’ PhD knowledge. (P.S.: the company’s name was derived from ‘The A-Team’.) To date, AM-Team is fully owned by founders Wim Audenaert and Usman Rehman and bootstrapped itself to a 1.7 million euro turnover with a team of 10 (6 in Belgium, 2 in Italy, and 2 in Pakistan). While profits of the initial years were reinvested in solution development, the value creation and associated profitability are now rapidly increasing.

Working on the overlap of the megatrends of water scarcity, climate change, sustainability, and digitalisation, the AM-Team’s growth potential is enormous. In addition, significant regulatory developments on carbon footprint and water quality will further stimulate multibillion-euro water industry investments and market growth in the coming years. To validate the market and develop and test the unique IP, the company started as a service business.

However, to capitalise on the international potential and enhance scalability, AM-Team is currently deploying new recurring business models such as SaaS (Software as a Service) and MaaS (Model as a Service – i.e. clients using models themselves) that will further unlock client value and enable smart plant development through software and hardware integration. The existing service business line will also keep growing as the shift towards value-based pricing is being made and the services and new SaaS and MaaS business models will be mutually enforcing.

The company’s ambition in the coming years is to claim global leadership in process simulation and digital twins in the water industry by scaling and setting up the right partnerships. Water Europe, an organisation founded by the European Commission to stimulate innovation in the European water sector, recognised AM-Team with the Water Europe Innovation Award in both 2021 and 2022. As such, AM-Team was the first company to win the prestigious award for two consecutive years. Global Water Intelligence nominated AM-Team as a finalist for ‘Breakthrough Company of the Year’ in the 2023 Global Water Awards.