The Water Hub is a North East partnership addressing societal challenges in the water and environment sector. We work with small and medium sized businesses to develop the solutions.

The Water Hub drives innovation and practical application in water and the environment to improve the way we use and manage water resources. We use our expertise and networks to shape opportunities, grow ideas, test products and deliver solutions to simultaneously grow business opportunities and deliver sustainable solutions to societal challenges. The initiative builds on partnerships between Durham University, Durham County Council, Northumbria Water Limited and the Environment Agency.

Professor Louise Bracken, Scientific Director of The Water Hub, and Executive Director of IHRR, said: “The Water Hub is all about harnessing the talent and technology of the business community to solve real challenges that affect us all, in areas such as water efficiency, water cleaning and flooding.

“We are really excited to lead this ambitious initiative and look forward to sharing lots of valuable opportunities with businesses and partners to improve the way we mange water and the environment.”


Find out more about The Water Hub.

What We Offer

These offer businesses the chance to work on specific problems to find innovative solutions to applications in the water and environment sectors. Solutions are tested and developed using live facilities and feedback from partners. Events include ideation, hackathons, and opening up tenders from partners to enable access to their supply chains.

The Water Hub provides valuable support to businesses to help develop ideas further, open up new supply chains and connecting SMEs with research innovation services across the North East of England.

To help support the development of novel ideas The Water Hub has a number of small grants between £1000 and £5000, but these need to be fully matched by the SME.

The Water Hub will develop new working relationships between businesses, practice and research to bringing people together to form new, exciting collaborations that will drive ideas, testing and product development.

The Water Hub provides access to a range of test facilities to facilitate product development and assist with market feasibility testing. These facilities including residential homes, laboratories and infrastructure to help test and develop innovative ideas.

Want to find out about what we’re doing currently? Have a read through our news.

Live Challenges

We are working with partners to identify challenges. Each challenge will offer an opportunity for businesses to engage with partners. Challenges will frame the problem, question current practice, and showcase pathways for businesses to get involved.


Community scale blue green infrastructure

Download the challenge



Reducing the impacts of flooding by harnessing new technologies

Download the challenge


Thu, 8 Mar 2018, 10:00 – 16:00, The College of St Hild & St Bede, Durham University, DH1 1SZ

Future Water Association ‘Water Dragons’ Final: The finalists from the 2017 ‘Water Dragons’ heats will present their innovative products and services to a panel of judges from Northumbrian Water, Anglian Water, Southern Water and Thames Water.

For more information and to book your place in the audience, please visit Future Water Association or send us an email.


Wed, 14 Mar 2018, 09:00 – Thu, 15 Mar 2018, 12:00, Sunderland Software Centre, SR1 1PB

EA Mini Hackathon: This event seeks to explore how to better share and communicate environmental information for local action. Up to three winning ideas or concepts will receive up to £2500 in prize money on the day, and may be explored by potential customers for further funding.

For more information and to book your place at the event, please visit EventBrite or send us an email.


Stay Informed

Sign up to our interest list to stay informed about new challenges, updates, developments and opportunities – or send us an email.