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Ofwat announces first innovation competition winners

Ofwat has announced the winning entries into its inaugural Innovation in Water Challenge.

Each of the 11 projects will receive up to £250,000 each to tackle the biggest issues facing the water sector in England and Wales.

The initiatives have been selected for their innovative approach to key challenges in the water sector.  

These highly collaborative projects bring together 14 different water companies, as well as a wide range of partner organisations from within and outside the water sector. Their overall worth is £2.16 million.

The winning entries are (in alphabetical order):

  • AI & Sewer Defect Analysis - led by United Utilities
  • CatchmentLIFE - led by South East Water
  • Enabling Whole Life Carbon Design - led by Anglian Water
  • Industrial Symbiosis - led by United Utilities
  • Leak Detection using Dark Fibre - led by Hafren Dyfrdwy
  • Organics Ammonia Recovery - led by Northumbrian Water
  • Reservoir water community monitoring for algal associated risk assessment - led by Dŵr Cymru (Welsh Water)
  • Seagrass Seeds of Recovery - led by Affinity Water
  • Smarter Tanks to build a resilient network - led by Affinity Water
  • Supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances - led by Severn Trent
  • UK Water Sector Innovation Centre of Excellence - led by Northumbrian Water

Rich Walwyn, head of asset intelligence & innovation at Severn Trent, said: “We’re delighted that Severn Trent and Hafren Dyfrdwy have been named winners in Ofwat’s first ever innovation competition. Working with our project partners, we believe that this funding will support two projects that have the potential to make a real difference for our customers.  Partnership and collaborative working are key themes than run throughout each of them – making them a perfect fit for Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge.”

Lindsey Taylor, innovation manager at Anglian Water, said: “We are pleased and excited to receive funding for this project from Ofwat which will enable us to transform how we affect cultural and behavioural change to deliver zero carbon emissions as a sector. We look forward to working closely with our partners as we explore this opportunity which has been enabled through the innovation fund.”

Angela MacOscar, head of innovation at Northumbrian Water Group, said: “This project will drive us towards our net zero targets, and that is why I am delighted that we have been granted this funding by Ofwat. There were so many fantastic bids in the Innovation in Water Challenge, but I am so glad that Ofwathave seen the value of what we are hoping to achieve. Not only will this project help us to achieve zero emissions, but it will also improve ecological status of our rivers and test whether we can not only treat waste but recover it to add value. As an industry-first, we can’t wait to get our teeth into the Organics Ammonia Recovery project.”

Topic: Innovation , Leaks & bursts , Policy & Regulation , Sustainability & social value , Water resources
Tags: ofwat , Innovation


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