Collaboration opportunity for Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge


Written by Laura Underhill

Collaboration opportunity for Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge

We are seeking proposals for the second round of Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC) through the Water Innovation Network (WIN).

Suppliers from all sectors are invited to partner with Anglian Water to submit project proposals with a value of between £50,000 and £250,000 to drive transformation in the water sector. They are encouraged to put forward their ideas for project proposals via the WIN platform between now (week commencing 12 April) and Friday 5 August. These will be reviewed by the business and submitted via the official Ofwat competition channels when the competition round opens in autumn.

WIN is specifically interested in receiving ideas that address the big challenges facing the water sector and align to the Ofwat five strategic innovation themes and principles set out.

These are:
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.

Laura Underhill, WIN manager, said: “We have opened the invitation to partner with us earlier than the first IWC round in January to allow suppliers ample time to develop proposals with us. As with our usual WIN entry process, we will be working closely with suppliers following submission, ensuring they have the greatest chance of success. We hope this process will allow us to strengthen relationships with our suppliers and enable us all to get the most value from the fund.”

The first round of the IWC was launched in January and saw four proposals submitted by Anglian in collaboration with suppliers and other water companies.

We are now starting to gather ideas for the second round of the IWC. WIN will be proactively encouraging and supporting suppliers to submit proposals that meet Ofwat’s criteria via its portal (week commencing 12 April). Bids submitted will also need to measure up against a number of innovation enablers that have been identified as critical to growing the water sector’s innovation capacity.

If you have a project idea that you’d like to put forward, please use the WIN route and we will be in touch. For questions, please contact Laura Underhill (lunderhill@anglianwater.co.uk).