Ofwat have announced a new wave of funding through their £200 million Innovation Fund, with the next Water Breakthrough Challenge opening on 3 October, and a new open access competition which will make approximately £4 million available to early-stage ideas from any sector.
The third round of the Water Breakthrough Challenge (‘Breakthrough 3’) launch on 3 October 2022, with two streams of funding available for innovative, water company-led innovations which can deliver benefits for customers, society and the environment:
- The £8 million Catalyst Stream will allow entries seeking between £500,000 and £2 million. Entries will open at 12 noon BST on Monday 3 October 2022, and close at 12 noon GMT on Thursday 8 December 2022.
- The £30 million Transform Stream will allow entries seeking between £2-10 million (with Ofwat exploring the option to allow bids over £10 million). Stage 1 entries will open at 12 noon BST on Monday 3 October 2022, and close at 12 noon GMT on Wednesday 9 November 2022.
In addition to the Water Breakthrough Challenge, a new ‘open access’ competition will launch in early 2023. Unlike past competitions in the Fund, entries will not need to be in partnership with water companies. The competition will target early-stage innovation, allocating approximately £4 million in funding, with innovators from any sector able to receive up to £500,000 per individual entry. Ofwat will be publishing more detail about this competition in autumn this year.