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Entries open for second water breakthrough challenge

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Entries have opened for Ofwat’s second Water Breakthrough Challenge calling for initiatives to drive innovation and collaboration within the water sector.
The winning partnerships will be able to win a share of approximately £39 million (€46 million).
Following the successful partnerships formed in the first Water Breakthrough Challenge the second challenge is encouraging even more creative partnerships from cutting-edge technologies, to new ways for the water sector to collaborate and engage with customers.
The winners of the first round of the competition were announced last month with water companies partnering with the likes of Airbus, Microsoft, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), and the Rivers Trust.
John Russell, senior director at Ofwat, said: “Through our Innovation Fund we want to bring in fresh thinking and inject new ideas and ways of working into the water sector to tackle the major challenges we face. Promoting the formation of new partnerships within the water sector and beyond, the Water Breakthrough Challenge encourages a start-up like approach to overcoming challenges with the potential to scale the solutions for long-term impact.
“Our goal is to create a more open, collaborative, progressive and outward-facing sector – supporting water companies to tap into new opportunities to learn from other industries and transform practices to make a lasting difference to the environment, society and people’s lives. The innovation we’ve seen in the two previous competitions have exceeded our expectations in their ambition and imagination and we’re excited to see what entrants come up with in this round.”
Holly Jamieson, New Frontiers Director, Nesta Challenges, commented: “The water sector, like many others, continues to confront the challenge of climate change, while at the same time needing to support customers and deal with an ageing infrastructure. By collaborating with others in the sector, as well as other industries, we can ensure the water sector is well armed with breakthrough solutions to help them overcome these pressing challenges and benefit water customers, wider society and the environment – long into the future.”