Essex and Suffolk Water hosts first 'Day of Innovation'
Essex & Suffolk Water hosted its first ever 'Day of Innovation' on 18 September as more than 250 innovation experts, scientists, engineers, designers, artists, customers and representatives from major global businesses came together to tackle 13 major social and environmental challenges.
The event, held on grounds of Hanningfield Reservoir, built on the ideas generated at Northumbrian Water Group's Innovation Festival 2018, which took place in Newcastle in July. The event saw 13 ‘sprint sessions' take place, each tasked with a different social and environmental question to solve.
The Day of Innovation was an opportunity to develop and test the big ideas that came out of these sprints, through a series of workshops, tech demos and interactive presentations.
Some of the major ideas showcased and developed during the day included underground maps, wellbeing apps, travel assistance for the visually impaired, smart devices to monitor the water, ‘dog bogs', self-sustaining homes and a ‘drop swap' so people can save money as they save water.
A team from the ‘Blue Planet' sprint even took the event on tour and headed into Billericay to speak to around 40 local businesses about becoming Refill stations, with many signing up on the day. Refill is the national campaign that urges people to ditch single use plastics by filling up their reusable water bottles at Refill points across the country.
Attendees were also able to take some time out from the sprints and problem solving with yoga sessions, mini treatments, mindfulness sessions, volleyball, a pub quiz and a silent disco.
NWG is seeking to take a leading approach to innovation in order to make a real difference to its customers' lives. Earlier this year the company won the Digital Innovation Award at the prestigious Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards, in recognition for its innovative approach to reducing flood risk.
Organiser and NWG IS group director Nigel Watson said: "It's been a really fantastic day and a wonderful celebration of innovation and creativity.
"Some real game-changing ideas came out of our Innovation Festival in July, and I'm so pleased that we've been able to bring that spirit to Essex as the ideas are brought to life.
"Of course the journey doesn't end here, and we look forward to seeing these ideas develop further and start making real changes to our everyday lives.
"At NWG we firmly believe that innovation is key if we are to continue delivering unrivalled experiences for our customers, and in our recent business plan submission to Ofwat we made the ambitious pledge to lead in innovation in the water sector and beyond.
"I'd like to thank everyone who attended today and made the Day of Innovation such a runaway success, from our customers who came along and gave their feedback to our employees who have worked so hard to make it happen."
- Northumbrian and OS partner on underground digital map system A pioneering underground digital map system that will help improve safety conditions for workers and reduce the time that... Read More >
- NI Water uses drone boat to inspect reservoirs Northern Ireland Water is to start using an unmanned drone boat to inspect the bottom of its reservoirs. Read More >
- River diverted in North Tyneside flood reduction scheme A river has been diverted to help tackle flooding in North Tyneside. Read More >
- Reaching net carbon zero In summer 2019, the water industry committed to reach net carbon zero by 2030. This is a very ambitious aim and... Read More >
- In the frame for delivery: UKWIR CEO on Ofwat's innovation competition With Ofwat confirming plans for a £200 million innovation competition which will run between 2020 and 2025, UKWIR chief... Read More >
- A digital revolution in water The UK Water Partnership (UKWP) has launched a 10-point action plan to help ensure that UK plc wins its share of an... Read More >
- Industry 4.0 - how to build a digital twin Chris Steele, head of information management and analytics at Black & Veatch Europe, runs through the steps required to... Read More >
- Rewarding excellence WWT content director Alec Peachey looks ahead to next year's Water Industry Awards. Read More >