The Innovation in Water Challenge has been created to reward those developing innovative solutions to the UK water sector's biggest environmental challenges, benefiting society and the environment. The scheme is focused on solutions for the water sector, including the net-zero transition, the need to protect ecosystems from pollution and leaks, and delivering value for money for customers.
Ofwat, Wales and England’s water industry regulator, is looking for initiatives that water companies would not otherwise be able to explore or invest in. All types of projects are invited, be they technology, culture, business practices, commercial models or something else. Initiatives can be at any stage, as can the technologies, practices and models that applicants may use within them.
Entries must be submitted by water companies from England and Wales, together with partner organisations. Partners can be either within or outside the water sector, for example water retail suppliers, energy, manufacturing, health or financial services, start-ups and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs).
There is £2 million available to fund innovative projects, depending on the quality of bids submitted. Each winning partnership will receive between £50,000 and £250,000 to support their initiatives, meaning there can be a minimum of eight winners. In exceptional circumstances, the judging panel may recommend that more than £2 million is awarded.
The deadline for applications is 26 February 2021.
How To Apply
Applications opened 18 January 2021. The deadline for entries to the Innovation in Water Challenge is 12 noon (GMT) on 26 February 2021.
A second round of the IWC is expected to open in November 2021, with more information about this round available at a later date.
Applications are made online at the programme website.
More details can be accessed here
Those who are new to the water sector may wish to email [email protected] to get in contact with a water company about an innovative idea or solution.
Those who have any questions about this scheme should email Nesta Challenges at [email protected]