Ponnod Smart, the aquaponic solution of Ponika

Ponika Ltd. was foponikaunded in 2013 with a mission to develop aquaponic technologies for vegetables and fish production. Aquaponics is a new trend in sustainable food production. By combining aquaculture and hydroponics, the company created a closed-loop system that follows natural processes and saves up to 90 % of water compared to conventional soil production.

What makes theem unique is their zeal to achieve higher, greener, and more innovative standards in the way our food is produced. The team combines highly skilled visionaries with a passion to do better.


What is the core idea of your project?

Managing aquaponics and aquaculture systems can be quite a challenging task, and this is one of the key reasons, aquaponics is not being as widely used as it could be. Nevertheless, it’s one of the most rapidly expanding new agricultural technologies in the past decade.

Each system needs an advanced ICT management solution, that will monitor water and air parameters, preventing potential disasters, allow easy maintenance and support, further optimization of used resources, automation of the system.

Such a solution needs to be scalable from home user to commercial facilities, easy to use and be affordable, stable and reliable.

That is why we are developing the Ponnod Smart (previously known as AquaSmartOptiManager).


What inspired you to think about Ponnod Smart?

We started developing aquaponics “hardware”: small and large-scale aquaponics systems.  But we soon discovered that people needed help not only in creating their aquaponics gardens, but even more in maintaining them. Caring for greens and fish needs skills and knowledge and our generations are receiving this knowledge in a digital way and do not have the time or the patience to learn slowly.  What we thus discovered, is that aquaponics needs to get Smart.

So that you can easily follow what is going on in your system, understand the changes and the necessary actions needed in order for your fish and greens to thrive.  Additionally, Ponnod Smart allows for full automation, and you can let your garden take care of itself.


How did you find your business partner?

Finding a partner was an easy task for us – we are part of the European network termed COST Aquaponics Hub, where we regularly meet with other aquaponcis experts in Europe and around the world. Connecting with Rob from LandIng Aquaculture in the Ponnod Smart development was a continuation of good previous cooperation and sharing of knowledge.


Which FIWARE GEs are you using?

From FIWARE we are using Orion Context Broker GE (OCB) as main component for transferring data from our devices to front end and vice versa, Identity manager GE (Authentication oAuth) and KeyRock GE for authentication and security, Application mashup – Wirecloud GE for front end parts of web application and FIspace currently for weather service. If we would have to pick one favorite, it would be OCB as it is in the core of our functionality. We are also using FIspace currently for weather service – and this works great!


How is your experience with FIWARE so fare?

We have some smaller issues using GE’s, part of it as lack of knowledge, part as unstable testing environment but we are currently successfully handling all issues. Some parts of FIWARE are really great and our favorite OCB can play an important role here. When we will get more used to working with it, there can be some additional benefits as well. We do most of our programming part in .NET Framework using VB.net programming language. We haven’t been to Developers Week as we have large tasks to complete and as usual always not enough time to do it, but we would love to be there next time. The same applies to being more active in the FIWARE community.


What are you dream for your project?

The world eats 3 mio tonnes of greens and 300.000 tonnes of fish EVERY DAY. If only 1 % of this food would be produced aquaponically, we would save 1.512 million litres of water, 1.800 litres of herbicides, pesticides and insecticides, 540.000 litres of added nutrients, 1.800 tonnes of fish waste, 1.050 grams of antibiotics.

Aquaponics has grown because of the enthusiasm of its early adopters and their ethos of sharing knowledge and advice with other users.

Our vision is for the community of DIY aquaponics enthusiasts and innovative commercial producers to grow into a global typhoon that will sweep away the unsustainable practices in our food production.

The world needs good quality food: every terrace, rooftop and poor-quality soil surface can be transformed into a lush, environment friendly food production garden.

Ponnod Smart will play a key role in this typhoon: it will allow an easy and understandable way for each individual, especially the “newbies” to monitor, understand and automate the garden parameters and easily share the data online with others, both for self-representation as a good aquaponics farm owner or for asking questions and looking for advice, when something is wrong for example with the way the plants grow of the fish behave.