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Funding granted to develop ideas from Innovation Festival 2020

Northumbrian Water Group has granted almost £130,000 worth of funding to develop ideas from its first ever all-digital Innovation Festival 2020.

Eight different projects have received financial backing in order to further improve the way the business operates - with focus on areas including customer service, staff wellbeing, leakage prevention and environmental impacts.

Following a rigorous decision process undertaken by a panel of Innovation Ambassadors from within the company, funding was granted and has been split between the different projects.

The variety of ideas, which were developed during hacks, dashes and sprints at the completely-digital festival in September, include a range of both physical inventions and digital concepts.

Some of the projects are specifically customer-focused, including an app which will enable customers to have more freedom to set up payment arrangements, upload documents and receive additional help when required.

Others are set to keep staff safe, with one concept using un-intrusive technology and biometric data to monitor when workers are feeling stressed or tired.

A number of the projects will include energy-saving measures - with one project creating a digital twin of a Water Treatment Works to monitor energy consumption and carbon count, helping the company to reach its net-zero target.

As well as this, a digital platform will also be developed in order to enable better decision making in the vehicle replacement programme.

A burst prediction model is also among the ideas set to be developed, which will help to reduce leakage.

Angela MacOscar, head of innovation at Northumbrian Water Group, said: "Once the funding and support has been allocated, the wheels are set into motion and the projects begin to rapidly develop. Innovation is a risky business, but we are going to do all we can to help and support the projects that have been chosen to be developed as far as they can be within their deliverable period.

"Granting funding to developments such as these will deliver a significant impact for our customers in the future, and will also help us to reach our carbon goals. Sadly, we can't choose to fund every project, however I am confident that we will see some interesting projects coming into fruition over the next few months. I love watching each of the projects progress and can't wait to see how they will change the way we operate going forward."

In addition to the funded projects, six self-propelling projects, which are unfunded, are also being progressed with the support and leadership of industry experts from within Northumbrian Water Group - setting each concept up for success.

More than 100 strong ideas came out of the festival, but only 14 will be progressed with clear deliverables over the next three months.

For more information on the festival, visit - https://www.innovationfestival.org/

Topic: Innovation
Tags: funding , Innovation , leakage , Data , technology , digital

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