Water Dragons

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – Henry Ford

FabLittleBag Water Dragons winner

Future Water Association launched Water Dragons in 2008. It provides a unique opportunity for companies to pitch product, service or process innovations to a panel of senior water company executives and industry specialists: ‘Water Dragons’. Entries are now invited for our 2018 Competition and we are currently completing arrangements for 3 heats throughout the year culminating with a Grand Final at the beginning of 2019.

Now in its eleventh year, Water Dragons is itself innovating, 2017 saw three regional heats, attracting a wide range of excellent entries from across the sector.

Like all the best ideas, the fundamentals underpinning Water Dragons are simple and straightforward. Companies pitch their innovative product or service to the ‘Dragons’, who cross-examine the presenters, focussing on three key areas:

  • Have they clearly identified the potential size and value of the market?
  • Have the presenters thought through how their innovation would be implemented?
  • No innovation operates in a vacuum – how will its introduction impact on existing operations, working practices and systems?

Have you got an idea to enter?

Water Dragons dovetails with Future Water Association’s ‘Innovating for the future’ roadmap, innovation training modules and the newly launched Young Water Dragons. Together they help members travel the innovation journey with increased confidence and certainty.

Take a look at the Water Dragons winner success stories.

Over its history 109 companies have entered with ideas and developments that: increase ease of access to water mains; improve flow measurement; reducing shut off periods during pipe repairs; adopt in-situ lining trenchless technology practices; bring real-time blockage detection to sewer systems along with CSO mitigation; optimise activated sludge systems; increase leak detection; improve flow sensor systems in pipe networks; reduce CAPEX & OPEX at Wastewater Treatment plants; help mitigate flood risk in emergency situations; improve the management of Fat’s Oils & Greases (FOGs) and many more.

The innovations have been across both product and services, driven by new ways of thinking.

The Water Dragons

The entrants have been challenged by judges from a range of companies and organisations including representatives from, Anglian Water, Irish Water, Northern Ireland Water, Southern Water, South West Water, South Staffs Water, Severn Trent Water, Thames Water, Yorkshire Water and Wessex Water. In addition ‘Dragons’ have also included Tier 1 contractors such as Skanska and Government bodies Innovate UK, KTN (Knowledge Transfer Network).

Water Dragons 2018 – Heat

  • Heat 1: Took place on Wednesday 2nd May at the Skanska Innovation & Supplier Day, Doncaster, – This heat formed part of the programme for the Innovation Day. ​Whilst all entries will be considered for short-listing, for this Heat there is a particular interest in products and services in the following areas:​
      • Optimisation of Water & Wastewater Processes
      • No-dig structural repair & replacement technology
      • Smart network technology
      • Leakage technology
  • Heat 2: 10th October, Durham University, Hosted by The Water Hub
  • ​Heat 3: 3rd December, Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth as part of Future Water Networks 2018

Read more about previous finals:

Water Dragons 2017

Water Dragons 2016

Inspiring the next generation… Young Water Dragons Initiative 

Water Dragons is a Future Water Association initiative aimed to support and develop the creative and future entrepreneurs of the water sector.  Water Dragons is the inspiration of Future Water Association member, John Batty of Bluejohn Marketing Ltd. John appeared on the BBC’s ‘Dragons’ Den’ programme and realised its applicability to the innovation challenges facing the water industry. John is also the author of the ‘Innovating for the future’ roadmap. You can find out more about the services provided by Bluejohn Marketing at www.bluejohnmarketing.com.

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