Share of £2 million fund available for innovation partnerships with Yorkshire Water

Businesses could have access to a share of Ofwat’s innovation fund, by partnering with Yorkshire Water.

The region’s water company is asking for businesses to submit fresh innovation proposals for consideration.

The funding is part of Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC) launched to stimulate innovative responses to challenges in the water industry, such as climate change and the risk of pollution in UK waterways.

Run by Ofwat, the IWC is the first in a series of competitions funded through Ofwat’s Innovation Fund that aims to create new collaborations in the water sector so it can meet the needs of society and the environment. Ofwat has identified five strategic innovation themes for the competition:

  1. Responding and adapting to climate change, including how to meet the sector’s ambition of net-zero emissions.
  2. Restoring and improving the ecological status of our water environments, protecting current and future customers from the impacts of extreme weather and pollution.
  3. Understanding long-term operational resilience and infrastructure risks to customers and the environment, finding solutions to mitigate these in sustainable and efficient ways.
  4. Testing new ways of conducting core activities to deliver wider public value.
  5. Exploring the opportunities associated with open data, stimulating innovation and collaboration, for example, encouraging new business models and service offerings that benefit customers, including those in vulnerable circumstances.

Entries for the IWC are now open for water companies and their partners to submit their ideas and be in with a chance of winning up to £250,000. Applications close on 26th February.

Entries must be submitted by water companies from England and Wales together with their partner organisations. The partner organisations can be either within or outside the water sector, for example energy, manufacturing, health or financial services. Each winning partnership will receive between £50,000 and £250,000 to support their initiatives.

Jon Brigg, innovation manager at Yorkshire Water said: “We’re looking for new, exciting, interesting proposals – we often get companies getting in touch to suggest ideas, but it has to fit with our focuses and the concerns of the business and industry.

“I’d encourage all businesses interested in applying, to have a look through our innovation road maps on the Yorkshire Water website to see if your proposal fits.”