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Spring makes innovation project showcase live

Water sector centre of excellence, Spring, has launched a knowledge-sharing and project showcase platform in a bid to further facilitate collaborative innovation within the industry.

The Knowledge Transfer Service provides a central bank of information and case studies detailing projects and trials alongside a programme of live showcase events to explore lessons learnt.

Launched in 2021, water innovation accelerator Spring is backed by all UK and Irish water and wastewater companies.

Its new platform is organised around the seven themes identified in the Water Innovation 2050 strategy, a collective vision published in 2020 with input from all 19 UK water and wastewater companies. These key themes are – providing the services society needs, expects and values; providing clean water for all; protecting and enhancing natural systems; delivering resilient infrastructure systems; achieving net zero carbon; taking a whole life approach to responsible consumption and production; and enabling diverse future-ready people and partnership working.

The offering also gives utilities access to 26 global case studies from new partner WaterStart – a non-profit that has been solving challenges through innovation for utilities and other large consumers of water.

Duplication of effort

Spring’s programme of best practice webinars will also see utility project teams present their innovation initiatives – with the first such showcase delivered by SES Water, focusing on the company’s smart network project, iDMA, in June.

“Spring’s Knowledge Transfer Service is a brilliant way of sharing findings, and we were delighted to lead its first showcase webinar,” Jeremy Heath, SES Water innovation manager, said.

“Cutting live to site for a demo of our leak solutions was bold, but it really held people’s interest as they could see the technology working in real-time. I’m really keen that we work together as a sector on innovation, without duplication of effort. I hope we’ve given companies a blueprint to follow when it comes to knowledge sharing.”

Speaking after the showcase, SES Water’s chief executive Ian Cain added: “We’re always looking for ways we can collaborate within the industry, and Spring is an excellent platform that allows us to do this.

“By sharing our successes and, of course, what didn’t work, we can influence a positive change in the industry.”

Incentives to share

Ofwat’s PR24 draft methodology for the 2024 price review was published on 7 July 2022, proposing a new approach to offer greater rewards to any company that “exceptionally pushes the boundaries on performance provided that is shares the knowledge gained with the rest of the sector”.

“With Ofwat setting out new incentives around information sharing, this is the perfect time for the Spring Knowledge Transfer Service to launch and start scaling,” Spring managing director Carly Perry said.

“By collaborating and sharing knowledge and ideas, the water sector can deliver better value for customers, better outcomes for society and the environment and support a more sustainable sector.

“If you are a supplier, who has worked on a project with a water company, and wants to share the case study, please get in touch with us and we will share the process.”

The Knowledge Transfer Service’s launch comes after Spring announced that technologies from Siemens, Xylem and Cobalt were being mobilised through 10 collaborating water companies as part of its first Accelerator challenge.

Utility Week Innovate, in collaboration with Utility Week Live aims to discover and promote innovative approaches to tackle front line business challenges through case studies, technical/project studies, networking, and live content. Be recognised as a key solution provider and meet your target audience face-to-face at UWL23. Find out more about exhibiting