£200 Million Ofwat Innovation Fund Goes Live!
Industry regulator Ofwat has announced that a new £200 million Innovation Fund has now been set up to help the water sector grow and innovate, ensuring that it is better able to meet the changing needs of customers, the environment and society as a whole.
A series of innovation competitions are being delivered through the fund, open to water companies in partnership with other organisations… like SwitchWaterSupplier.com!
Various rounds of the competitions are expected to run until 2025 so there’s plenty of time for companies to get their projects in, with consultations also now being carried out to see how feasible it will be to continue the fund until 2030. However, the ultimate goal is for the impact of the fund to continue well into the future.
The Water Discovery Challenge opened on January 25th, with £4 million now available for early stage solutions from innovators in any industry and any sector. There are no requirements for organisations to work in collaboration with water companies in order to enter this challenge, which aims to accelerate the development and adoption of a range of different innovations.
This new wave of funding has been designed to complement Ofwat’s existing approach to innovation, with the organisation believing that uptake of new approaches will be key in delivering long-term resilience and excellent customer service at affordable prices.
As such, the water industry will need to up its game in order to ensure that it can continue providing reliable, resilient and safe water supplies that remain affordable for all.
As well as its innovation competition fund, the watchdog runs a StreamLine joint advice service with the Drinking Water Inspectorate and the Environment Agency to provide businesses and innovators with access to regulatory advice on rules and regulations as they work towards developing innovation opportunities.
In its Time To Act, Together strategy, Ofwat sets out its ambitions for the water sector as a whole, providing customers with the very best service, improving the environment and improving life through water now and in the future.
The plan sets out three strategic goals: To transform water company performance for customers, to drive companies to meet long-term challenges through collaboration and partnerships, and for companies to serve a wider public purpose and deliver more for customers, the environment and society.
Here at SwitchWaterSupplier.com, we now have plans firmly in place to enter the Water Discovery Challenge, as it seems that we meet all the necessary criteria for applications… so watch this space!
Director Graham Mann said: “This is a very exciting time for the team at SwitchWaterSupplier.com. Having read the eligibility criteria for submitting an application to Ofwat’s innovation fund for funding, we have ticked all boxes.
“We developed the UK’s first business water switching platform with the sole purpose of resolving the many challenges that exist in the water industry today, prompted by water market deregulation during April 2017 allowing non-domestic customers to switch supplier for a better deal on their water supply charges.
“The development of this unique platform that tenders one to 3,000+ sites to the entire water market aims to obtain the best value deal for customers and the water retail companies once switched. We get to work correcting the water market billing data to ensure the correct charges are levied to customers going forwards.
“We complete water audits across the customers portfolio to identify any historical overcharging and claim monies back on behalf of the customer. And we also engage with the customer to drive down their water consumption through water efficiency and leak detection projects, to ensure customers achieve their sustainability and carbon reduction targets… which is great for businesses, great for the water industry and our environment.
“Applying to Ofwat’s Discovery Challenge innovation fund and securing further funding will allow us to extend our reach and water market penetration, resulting in engaging thousands more business customers and helping them reduce water costs and drive down water consumption, and to further develop the platform with features to help resolve the challenges in the water market.”