Ofwat innovation fund consultation – approach for 2025-30: Tell us what you think by 30 April 2024

Ofwat have launched their consultation on the Ofwat innovation fund for 2025-30, which sets out their plans to go bigger, better and faster on water innovation

Ofwat are consulting on changes to make the fund achieve an even greater impact, including doubling its size to £400 million for 2025-30 and introducing new competitions to develop the bold, transformational innovations that the water sector needs.

Their exciting plans include:

  • working with other sectors to support cross-sector projects to tackle common problems, including the European Space Agency’s‘Space for Infrastructure’ call seeking to use space technologies to improve life on Earth;
  • introducing new collaborative challenges to support all water companies to work together on strategically important areas;
  • improving knowledge sharing and exploring ways to implement successful innovations;
  • increasing the number of transformational innovations by increasing the funding available for our main Water Breakthrough Challenge innovation competition; and
  • supporting the greater flow of innovations from outside the water sector by increasing the size and frequency of our Water Discovery Challenge innovation competition.

Back in 2020, they established the Ofwat Innovation Fund to ensure the sector can better meet the needs of, and create long-term value for, customers, society and the environment through innovation. The fund has already made progress in accelerating innovations, creating an innovative culture and growing the water sector’s ability to innovate  they need to continue that progress: by going bigger, better and faster on water innovation.

Their plans for the fund for 2025-30 are drawn from our engagement and from the findings of our ongoing evaluation. Over the last year Ofwat have engaged with a wide range of people across the water sector and beyond. They also held a webinar, sought views through a survey and at events and hosted a cross-sector workshop. That engagement showed strong support for what the Innovation Fund has achieved so far and recognised the potential the Fund has to help transform the sector.

Ofwat would like to hear from anyone who may be interested in applying for the fund or is interested in the outcome of the fund such as:

  • academia;
  • charities;
  • consultancies;
  • customers and customer representative bodies;
  • industry bodies and associations;
  • manufacturers;
  • new appointment and variations (navs);
  • non-governmental organisations;
  • other regulators;
  • start-ups;
  • supply chain organisations;
  • technology providers;
  • water companies; and
  • water retailers.

You can respond to this consultation online via our survey, by email innovationconsultation@ofwat.gov.uk or by post (details in the consultation). We welcome your response by Tuesday 30 April 2024.

by the Ofwat innovation team