One of the most significant challenges created by climate change is water scarcity. And as we saw during the European drought of 2022, this is a pressing problem facing nations worldwide. However, one innovative firm based in Pontyclun in south Wales has devised a technology to help with global water shortages.

Deploy Tech has developed ready-to-use water tank technology manufactured with a concrete-filled fabric. A wide range of sectors can use the products to meet pressing water needs. The potential for deploying this technology in humanitarian crises was illustrated when Deploy Tech sent its products to Turkey to ensure people could access clean drinking water in the aftermath of the recent earthquake.

Deploy Tech has been supported through Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP). The AGP provides targeted support for ambitious, growing firms. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.


Here, Paul Mendieta, the co-founder and CEO of Deploy Tech, shares the company’s story and explains how vital support from the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has been in its growth.


Tell us about Deploy Tech
Before I explore the more technical detail of what we do, I’ll start with a little about myself and how I founded this business with Beren Kayali, our chief technical officer. I have a 50-year family legacy in the water management sector. I started working with a concrete material manufacturer called Concrete Canvas, where the idea of creating a water storage unit with their products was born.

Then, Beren joined me to help develop a manufacturing line. We were classmates in a MA from the Royal College of Art and an MSc in Innovation Design Engineering at Imperial College London. This was back in 2020, and since then, we’ve raised more than £1.1m of funding, including private investment, grants and start-up competition prizes. It took us almost three years to develop the product. We are now a team of eight people with a product ready for launch. We’re now gearing up to transition from research and development to sales. 


To explain what we do, we’re making water storage faster, easier and more convenient. The storage tanks we’ve developed can be used in the agricultural sector, including livestock and arable farming, by garden centres and elsewhere, for more efficient management of water resources. This is key if we are to meet the challenges posed by climate change here in the UK and worldwide.

Deploy is an air-deployed, ready-to-use water tank manufactured with a concrete-filled fabric. Each Deploy tank has a capacity of 14,000 litres. Its transportability means it’s easy to ship the product anywhere worldwide, something not previously possible for concrete-based products.

By replacing conventional concrete tanks, the resulting carbon footprint reduction could be more than 70% in materials and more than 90% in transportation. These are not simple improvements; these are game-changing benefits that will positively impact the concrete infrastructure industry and the planet.


What are your proudest moments in business so far?
It was a proud moment when we recently announced our donation of three tanks for earthquake survivors, asking engineers and builders to help us on-site with the installation. Our social media video reached 28.1 million views in two days. Now we are deploying several water tanks for drinking water and sanitation. It shows how valuable our products can be in humanitarian crises as well as in agriculture and other industry.


What challenges have you faced in business
We decided to start the company in the middle of the pandemic. Thanks to our collaboration with Concrete Canvas and prize money from university and start-up competitions, we were able to develop our technology at a very low cost. Once our technology achieved a readiness level five – meaning it was ready to pilot – we applied for grants and private investment. We were highly successful, with some investment funds battling for who would take the most equity. The biggest challenge we faced was developing a production line as well as the product at the same time. This delayed development and increased our cost of production since everything had to be built from scratch. 


If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
This is a difficult question since everything that has gone wrong has been essential for our development as a company. But we underestimated the effort and experience needed to build a team. Especially the first hires, which are so crucial.

Also, we would have engaged with our end users sooner to learn what they needed from our product.


How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
We received the SmartCymru grant, which helped us take our product from technology readiness level five to seven, which is the demonstration stage. The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme has always supported us in addressing our growth challenges - from hiring to manufacturing. The programme’s support has been vital to our growth.


What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting out?

  • You always need to have a plan B and a plan C.
  • If you outsource or bring in consultants, assign that project to a team member to manage and follow up.
  • Set a budget and stick with it.
  • If you are an SME, suppliers, consultancy companies, or contractors might not take you seriously. So make sure you convey your passion, purpose and future work you will be able to offer them.

Select here to learn more about Deploy Tech and what they do.


Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme


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The Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme is a pan-Wales programme part funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

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