A COMPETITION has been launched in England and Wales to seek innovative responses to challenges in the water industry, with winning partnerships getting a share of £2m (US$2.7m).
The Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC) is run by Ofwat in partnership with Nesta Challenges, Arup, and Isle Utilities. The aim is to tackle challenges such as the climate crisis, protecting ecosystems from pollution, and delivering better value for customers in England and Wales.
The IWC is the first of two competitions this year from Ofwat’s £200m Innovation Fund to create innovative new collaborations in the water sector.
Water companies from England and Wales, along their business partners, are eligible to apply. Partners can be inside or outside the water sector. Winning partnerships will receive between £50,000 to £200,000. The deadline for submission of entries is 12:00 GMT on 26 February.
Chris Gorst, Director of Challenges at Nesta Challenges, said: “We’re open to all kinds of entries – from technology, methodologies and approaches, business practices, commercial models and other budding ideas – and we know the best ideas can often come from the most unlikely places, so we hope to see a range of partnerships from both within and outside the sector.”
John Russell, Senior Director at Ofwat, said: “We strongly believe in the power of partnerships and collaboration in bringing about more innovation that will help deliver better outcomes for customers, society and the environment.
“We are now at a pivotal point in the sector’s future and we’re excited to open up the door to innovation and new ideas from both within and outside the sector. This is just the first of a series of competitions we’ll be running as part of our Innovation Fund to deliver long term transformational change for the water sector.”
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