Spring Appoints Carly Perry as First Managing Director

Spring, the water sector’s innovation centre of excellence has appointed Carly Perry as its first Managing Director.

This marks another crucial milestone in Spring’s journey to delivering the innovation needs of the water sector.

Carly has been responsible for overseeing Spring’s design and development since being appointed Consultant Executive Lead in July 2021. In well under a year, Spring has evolved from concept to reality – creating new communities of knowledge and developing the platforms the sector needs to incubate innovation.

On 14 February, Spring launched its first challenge on the theme of Achieving Net Zero Carbon with a call to address a specific challenge statement. This first call closed on 14 March, and will be followed in April by an open call for innovations on the same theme.

After Spring’s first challenge closes in late April its focus will shift to developing its Knowledge Transfer service – making it easier for teams to share learning from their projects, and giving its users access to global innovation learnings to accelerate progress across the UK and Ireland.

Carly Perry said “I’m delighted to be appointed as Spring’s first Managing Director. It’s so exciting to continue growing Spring from a concept in the Water Innovation Strategy to an organisation that’s already delivering on its promise. The encouragement and enthusiasm we’ve had from all our stakeholders has been incredible. We’re fundamentally a partnership organisation, and the progress we’ve made would have been impossible without this.

We’re particularly grateful for the support and guidance we’ve received from UKWIR, Ofwat, our founding partners and our Board.”

UKWIR CEO Steve Kaye said “It’s fantastic we’ve been able to appoint Carly to formally lead Spring into its next stage of development. Spring’s success is a real testament to the dedication of everyone involved – including the direct involvement of every water company in the UK and Ireland from the beginning, the team at Sia Partners working hard behind the scenes to bring things to life and everyone who’s engaged with Spring with an open mind and great ideas, especially partners from academia and the supply chain, to help give it the really strong foundations the sector expects”.

Ezechi Britton MBE, Spring Board member and Founding Member, Principal and CTO in Residence at Impact X Capital Partners LLP said “Carly’s done a fantastic job leading the team and bringing the people together to get Spring so far in such a short space of time. In addition to her wealth of experience, she really understands the diversity the sector needs – of people, approaches and ideas – to drive innovation. By connecting with the start-up community, as well as the sector’s supply chain and other crucial sectors, Spring is building the knowledge networks we need.”


Notes to editors

Carly Perry and Shaunna Berendsen were appointed to Spring (formerly the Centre of Excellence) in July 2021 as Consultant Executive Lead and Client Programme Lead respectively. Carly becomes Managing Director on Monday 16 May 2022.

UKWIR leads high-quality, collaborative research for the water industry with the aim of improving services for customers, protecting, and enhancing the environment and innovating to meet future challenges. It is a not-for-profit organisation set up in 1993 and is owned and funded by the 19 water companies in the UK and Ireland.

It invests around £3 million in independent research each year – ranging from eliminating water poverty to planning for climate change to reducing leakage – all designed to help tackle the short, medium, and long-term challenges faced by the water sector.

UKWIR played an integral role in establishing Spring – including securing funding from its members to match that from Ofwat’s Innovation Fund and proving the supporting corporate structure and governance to allow it to start work. In December 2021, Spring was formally established as a subsidiary of UKWIR, and UKWIR retains a seat on Spring’s board.

Carly Perry biography:

Before becoming Managing Director of Spring, Carly led the water sector business at Sia Partners with experience spanning across the sector globally.

She has an extensive and broad background, working with water companies to deliver transformational programmes in technology and innovation adoption, mobilising large scale initiatives to meet new regulatory requirements, as well as designing strategies for regulated water companies.

Carly worked with UKWIR and the whole sector to design and stand up the MVP for Spring, as well as leading the Open Data Strategy consortium, Stream. She has extensive knowledge of the UK water sector and has a strong network across it. Carly is passionate about using innovation to solve the big problems and bringing together complex stakeholder groups to deliver collaboratively.