Ofwat Innovation Fund


Please note that we are seeking project proposals and NOT product submissions. We want this process to be as inclusive as possible to allow for as many suppliers, whatever scale, to engage with us on potential ideas or proposals.

Ofwat Innovation Fund Consultation

Ofwat’s proposed competition approach for 2022-25 Ofwat have been operating the innovation fund since January 2021 as a pilot period…

Water Breakthrough challenge 3

Ofwat have been operating the innovation fund since January 2021 as a pilot period and are encouraged by the level of interest, collaboration, as well as the quality and types of entries seen to date.

Over the next three years (2022-25), Ofwat have identified some key areas where further evolution of the fund could be beneficial:

  • supporting more early-stage ideas through the innovation fund;
  • allowing innovators to have greater access to the fund;
  • encouraging a wider range of innovations to come forward, including from other sectors;
  • reducing barriers to involvement with the fund;
  • facilitating new relationships and collaborations across the sector and from other sectors.

Ofwat received 40 written responses to their consultation (published in April 2022) from a broad spectrum of stakeholders, with 16 of the 40 respondents representing innovators or supply chain bodies. Other respondents include 15 water companies (including one NAV) and a number of representative bodies such as Future Water Association, Spring, National Energy Action and the Consumer Council for Water.

With the vast number of positive responses to their consultation, Ofwat have made the decision to maintain the Water Breakthrough Challenge Catalyst and Transform streams for 2022-25, and to launch the new ‘open access’ competition:

 

Catalyst stream – aims to encourage new ways of working that go beyond business-as-usual innovation practices in the water sector, in particular, increasing and improving collaboration and building partnerships from within and outside the water sector. Ofwat will:

  • begin the entry period at 12 noon BST on Monday 3 October 2022 and close it at 12 noon GMT on Thursday 8 December 2022;
  • make circa £8 million available in 2022-23, with entrants able to bid for between £500,000 and £2 million;
  • require lead entrants to be a water company. Any organisation can be a partner. Lead entrants can devolve project management responsibilities to partners;
  • require a 10% mandatory financial contribution to enter;
  • allow background IPR to be licensed, plus maintain the option for entrants to propose an alternative IPR approach. Foreground IPR must be shared with water companies in England and Wales.

 

Transform stream – aims to spark ambitious innovation and enable new approaches and ways of working, equipping the water sector to address the big challenges it faces, driving far-reaching and long-lasting benefits to customers, society and the environment across England and Wales now and into the future. Ofwat will:

  • begin Stage 1 of the entry period at 12 noon BST on Monday 3 October 2022 and close it at 12 noon GMT on Wednesday 9 November 2022. Stage 2 dates are to be confirmed;
  • make circa £30 million available in 2022-23, with entrants able to bid for between £2 million and £10 million;
  • require lead entrants to be a water company. Any organisation can be a partner;
  • require a 10% mandatory financial contribution to enter;
  • allow background IPR to be licensed, and require that foreground IPR must be shared with water companies in England and Wales;
  • Maintain the option for entrants to propose an alternative IPR approach.

 

The ‘Open Access’ competition: this competition aims to support more early-stage ideas and encourage direct involvement of innovators with the fund.

It will launch no earlier than January 2023 with a straightforward entry process that is proportionate to the value and risk of these initiatives;

  1. there will be no requirement for organisations to partner and / or receive sponsorship from a water company to enter the competition;
  2. the competition will primarily target early-stage innovation, allocating circa £4 million annually;
  3. up to £500,000 will be available for individual entries;
  4. there will be no mandatory 10% financial contribution requirement;
  5. there will be no IPR licensing requirements applied to winning entries in the
    competition;
  6. entries to this competition will need to align with one or more of the four innovation themes.

More information on how the Open access competition will run is set to be provided in Autumn 2022.

 

For either the Catalyst, Transform or Open Access Competition, Anglian Water are looking to support applications that align with our values and business & customer needs. This support could be helping to write bids, providing funding contributions, supporting with research and giving access to facility and testing support. Once submitted, applications will be reviewed internally by subject matter experts in Anglian Water and the Innovation teams.

For more information, please take a look at Ofwat’s Decision document.

Previous Opportunities


Reducing water usage during pipeline testing

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Preventing midges/flies entering raw water tanks

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Solutions to stop people from walking on exposed pipes

EXPIRED We are looking for a solution that will prevent/deter individuals from accessing  pipe crossings owned by Anglian Water.