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INCAS³ is an independent, private, non-profit research institute dedicated to solving challenging industrial and social technological problems by combining academic and engineering excellence. All research is performed by doctoral students, postdoctoral researchers and senior scientists in collaboration with a team of skilled engineers from the headquarters in Assen, The Netherlands, as well as within internationally renowned partner institutes.




The quality of drinking water is either monitored while leaving the treatment plant or right before it enters the local water distribution system. Therefor the consumer is the first to notice issues with the drinking water quality, e.g. due to a pipeline breach, which is obviously too late for any pre-emptive action. The goal of the DistriSense project is to develop a monitoring system capable of continuous monitoring of drinking water quality throughout the distribution network by applying low cost, low energy and most importantly highly reliable sensor systems. Such a system does not only guarantee high quality of drinking water for the consumer, but also serves as an early warning system of incidents providing detailed information of the incident location. In addition, such a monitoring system enables long term monitoring of the local water distribution systems which allows for pre-emptive maintenance. The monitoring aspect is based on a method in which the water at the treatment plant is compared to the water at different locations in the local water distribution system where a predefined set of parameters is used as proxies for any contamination that could occur. The challenge is to determine the relevant parameters, develop low-maintenance sensors and reliable power and communication solutions. The DistriSense monitoring system enables a water company to maintain a safe and reliable supply of drinking water with the required quality. Besides that, the DistriSense solution can be applied to any other highly distributed infrastructure.



The Phoenix project leverages ongoing INCAS³ research into mote technology to propel radical technological advancements in a variety of sectors, where the exploration of unknowable terrain is crucial. This technology will provide a greater understanding of environmental and technological processes in various areas ranging from mining and heavy oil industry to processes associated with flooding and snowmelts in remote regions. Phoenix is devoted to developing new kinds of versatile physical agents that are capable of evolving to optimally explore and characterize unknown environments. To achieve this, Phoenix relies on a unique paradigm: virtual copies of physical agents perform measurements in a virtual environment which is developed with recourse to models of implicit knowledge. These measurements guide the evolution of both agents and models of the environment leading to the new generations of optimized physical agents ready for deployment. These agents will develop self-organizing, self-adapting features that optimize the quantity and quality of information about an unknown environment. Coordinated by the Technical University Eindhoven, and in collaboration with KU Leuven, and ICE RWTH Aachen, Phoenix is a highly multidisciplinary endeavor that combines expertise in engineering and the Natural Sciences with Evolutionary Computation and Knowledge Representation. This 4-year project started 1st October 2015.

Sensor project

Sensor project incubator

This is a platform for the development of innovative projects focused on solving challenging industrial and social technological problems in which sensing and monitoring plays a central role. This requires a joint effort by knowledge institutions and industry. INCAS³ will use its expertise and experience to develop projects and acquire the necessary funding. To keep up-to-date on opportunities, please join our LinkedIn group.

Interreg VA project initiative: 3MCA: Multi modal monitoring for care applications

The 3MCA project is an INCAS³ initiated project that develops sensor processing and fusion algorithms to enable applications, focussing on applications in care. Robustness and reliability are hard to achieve in a single sensor (modality), thus integration is a key aspect of this project. This should make the monitoring systems more reliable and allows the system to move to more open spaces. The consortium seeks SMEs in the Interreg VA region the join the project adding new application area’s or sensor modalities. For more information, contact Dr. Dirkjan Krijnders.

Interreg VA project initiative: Visual-Voice Serious Game for the treatment of motor speech disorders

Visual-Voice is an INCAS³-initiated project that develops an interactive serious game for those with Parkinson's Disease or other neurologically-based motor speech disorders. The game allows users to see the pathological characteristics of their voice (like the characteristic inability to modulate volume or pitch), helping them re-learn how to produce voice with normal, expressive characteristics. Visual-Voice also develops a technique to remotely detect certain dangerous voice pathologies from voicing cues, alerting medical professionals when an individual may be at a greater risk for choking. The consortium seeks SMEs in the German-Dutch border region that are involved with software development (incl. machine learning, Python), acoustic analysis (e.g. creating audio databases, sound manipulation), data visualization, and/or speech analysis. For more information, contact Dr. Matt Coler.

Interreg VA project initiative: WiseMotes™ for Fluid Dynamics in Large Scale Industrial Tanks

INCAS³ is preparing an INTERREG VA (Germany-Netherlands) project proposal on novel generation of the WiseMotes™. WiseMotes™ are spherically shaped robust sensor systems, which can be mixed with fluids inside of pipelines and/or physical and chemical reactors and which perform in situ measurements in order to gain insight into process dynamics and physical conditions relevant for process monitoring, control and optimisation.



The DROPS project (Dynamic Rain Observation and Parameterization System) focuses on measuring radioactivity in rainfall, and has several possibilities for applications in studying climate change. The DROPS project is currently focusing on the correlation between weather conditions and radon (a gaseous product of uranium decay) concentration. Given that radon’s half-life can be measured in the same time scale as that of the residence time of many atmospheric substances, radon and its decay products can be helpful in investigating the dynamics of such substances in the atmosphere. In particular, this developed sensor system will be used to find a correlation between radon concentration measurements and rain rate measurement, measured in two locations (based on proximity to the sea) to obtain information about the origin and path of the rain clouds, and their chemical contents. The DROPS project is a collaboration between the researchers at INCAS³, our industrial partners at Medusa Systems, students from the Wessel Gansfortcollege in Groningen, with academic support from Rob de Meijer (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, University of the Western Cape, South Africa). This project incorporates use of the ENSA (Embedded Nuclear Spectra Analyzer), a device for advanced gamma spectra analysis developed by Medusa Systems and further improved upon for new applications by INCAS³, and the Readout Engine (ROE), a device used to capture, digitize and process short episodes from a voltage signal source, developed at INCAS³



The SAWA (Sensors And Water) project is dedicated to ensuring that the water that comes from your tap is as free of contaminations as it was when it left the water treatment plant. The SAWA innovation project was set up to advance the monitoring of the quality of potable water. The aim is to develop a sensor network that consistently monitors water quality – not only during the production of drinking water from surface or ground water but also during distribution. The demands on the sensors are high. They need to be very sensitive to detect even the smallest amount of contamination. They must also be specific — the sensor network is required to recognize what substances it has detected, be they bacteria, hormones, traces of pesticides, or other chemicals. INCAS³ is helping to develop a reliable and affordable sensor system that satisfies every requirement.

SenTec Laboratory

Located in the Water Laboratory North in Glimmen (in Groningen Province, the Netherlands), SenTec is a unique laboratory for testing water sensors, because it provides access to water from different stages in the production and distribution process. There, researchers test their equipment on various water qualities from a variety of sources.


A consortium of several companies and research institutes based in the northern provinces of the Netherlands join forces within SAWA. The project partners are: AVIC, AquaExplorer, Bright Spark, Capilix, Interline Systems, KWR Watercycle Research Institute, Microdish, MicroLAN, 2M Sensors, NHL University, Wetsus, Water Laboraty North, Water Supply Company Groningen, Water Supply Company Drenthe.