The Water Hub’s Ripple 2020 – 18 March 2020

 

 

 

The Water Hub’s Ripple 2020 – 18 March 2020

Free to attend @ Life Centre, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, from 9am

A network event for government, businesses, researchers, creative thinkers & practitioners looking to impact the water and environment sectors.

Looking to meet and network with like-minded individuals across sectors to explore new ideas and opportunities?

Interested in open innovation and opportunities to pitch answers to challenges set by industry leaders?

The urgency has never been greater for us to develop new and sustainable ways to secure and sustain our water. Often the most innovative and impactful solutions come from the cross-section of creative ideas and collaborations from across sectors. Ripple has been designed to help facilitate these forms of engagement and knowledge exchange. Whether you already work within the water sector or are looking for opportunities to expand into these areas, Ripple is for you.

Join us for a day of networking, opportunities, pitches, and challenges at the Life Centre in Newcastle. This will be an all-day event, with refreshments and lunch served. Priority will be given to those businesses operating in the North East area.

For further information about this event please feel free to contact [email protected]

Please register to attend the event:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ripple-2020-tickets-90629843301


Dragonfly Challenge 2020

Organisations looking for inventors to help Dragonfly idea take flight

Northumbrian Water, CGI and the Water Hub are offering inventors and creators up to £25,000 to help them turn an idea which will both protect the environment and improve internet connectivity, into a reality.
The concept of ‘Dragonfly’ aims to see information on a number of variables such as temperature, quality, flow and depth, collected in real-time from the regions’ watercourses, through the use of water sensors.
The information will help the North East water company maintain its industry-leading environmental performance by managing its water and wastewater network even better, as well as helping other organisations make decisions about how the catchment is managed and water safety.
A number of the different sensors placed in rivers and streams would form a mesh concept, linking multiple units together by 5G and also creating a physical network of wireless connectivity for the benefit of rural communities.
The idea came out of Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival last year, where more than 100 people took part in the five-day challenge to enhance rural communities and the environment, facilitated by global IT and business consulting company, CGI.
Now, the two organisations, together with the Water Hub - a Durham University-led partnership between Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, are looking for inventive minds to help them develop a working Dragonfly product.
Up to £25,000 will be awarded to the chosen applicant, who will have until July to create and build the prototype, before showcasing it at Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival from 6-12 July 2020.
The concept will also be presented at the Water Hub’s Ripple Event on Wednesday March 18, 2020 – a networking event for water technology innovation.
Northumbrian Water’s Catchment Co-ordinator, Clare Deasy, said: “Dragonfly is a very exciting project that came out of our Innovation Festival.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to help us bring Dragonfly to life, exploring the possibility for creating a low-cost, low-maintenance, self-powered sensor which would have huge benefits for water companies, the partners we work with and our customers.
“We’re very excited to see what possibilities they bring to the table and to start helping us make a difference for the environment.”
People interested have until Friday February 14, 2020 to submit a formal application through Durham University’s Water Hub, including a CV to [email protected]

More information here:

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/1a9ea06e769332afe6137b741/files/ac021c0b-11b2-4518-b885-fb8100741611/Dragonfly_2020_Challenge_Revised_01_20.pdf


Water Hub partners and SMEs working to resolve major problems from damaged sewer networks.

Water Hub partners and SMEs working to resolve major problems from damaged sewer networks which increase the risk of flooding and pollution.

Dr Flora Hetherington has been working with Northumbrian Water, civil engineering firm Esh Stantec, SME Intelligent Gels, Durham University Botanic Gardens and Department of Biosciences, to produce a permanent outreach space in the Botanic Gardens. This area showcases the problem of tree roots growing into sewage pipes leading to blockages and breakages. Together Northumbrian Water, Intelligent Gels and Durham University are working on a solution to resist further tree root intrusion. The Water Hub helped bring the partners together to access project funding.

Problems arise when tree roots work their way into sewer pipes, thrive off the water and nutrients, causing hundreds of blocked pipes every year and costing water companies thousands of pounds to repair.

The roots can block the pipes on their own, or sometimes, they can even form a living mesh that traps other flushed items, causing even bigger blockages and leading to sewer flooding and pollution.

Blockages such as these, or those caused by people flushing items such as wipes or sanitary products down the toilet not only create work for the water company, they also cause flooding in people′s homes.

The three organisations have been working together to create a clever new gel which uses a more eco-friendly copper formulation to form a protective barrier and anti-root invasion solution. It would be applied to the inside of existing sewer pipes and coated on new pipes laid in the future, to stop tree roots growing any further without killing the tree.

Durham University′s Botanic Garden has set aside an area for the project to help showcase the idea.

 

Dr Flora Hetherington at Durham University's Botanic Garden demonstration site.



Water Dragon's Heat 2019

For the second year running, we are delighted to announce our up and coming Water Dragons Heat at Durham University, on Wednesday 9th October at Durham University.

Future Water Association's 'Water Dragons' provides a platform for organisations to showcase their products, services or processes with a view to providing innovative solutions to the challenges faced in the water industry. The pitches are judged by a panel consisting of water sector specialists.

 

 

Our People’s Choice winner from 2018, Rain Drop Harvest, went on to win the People’s Choice winner at the Water Dragon’s Final in March 2019.

Rain Drop Harvest make gravity fed rainwater harvesting systems for homes and wowed the audiences with how simple a solution this was, saving up to 30% water usage in new homes.

Lynn McCallum, inventor of Rain Drop Harvest said “The Water Dragon's has been an invaluable experience"

 

See more of what we got up to last year here!

This year we are looking for innovative ideas, products and services for the water and environment sector. We will consider all applications for shortlisting; however, we have a particular interest in products and services that will feed into upcoming work streams at the Future Water Association and The Water Hub.

Systems thinking in asset and catchment management

In November, the Future Water Association will be bringing new thinking from asset management, catchment management and adoption of systems thinking to the future of network management. The Association wants to see ideas that can be adapted to support pipeline system maintenance.

Water related services for agriculture

From November, The Water Hub will be sourcing products and services that provide water related services for agriculture in a joint project with Natural England. The Water Hub wants to see ideas that could service the agriculture sector.

Additional Training and Insight

We will be holding a Webinar in late September (date TBC) for the successful applicants. This will insight into what the Future Water Association and The Water Hub are looking for in a pitch and give an opportunity for questions.

Timeline

Deadline: The deadline for applications is Friday 30th August 2019.
Notification: Applicants will be notified of the outcome in the first week of Sept.
Training: A webinar will be held in late September (date TBC)
Water Dragons: Wednesday 9th October 2019.

For more information, please read our Water Dragon's Information Pack:

TWH_ Water Dragons 2019_Info Pack

To apply to pitch, download the application form:

TWH_Water Dragons 2019_Application form

If you're an SME, you will also need to complete and return an SME eligibility form:

FORM 03 SME Eligibilty Form

 


Partnership Celebration and Green Fund Fair

Partnership Celebration and Green Fund Fair with the Environment Agency

On June 11th 2019, The Core at Helix Newcastle played host to our Partnership Celebration and Green Fund Fair event organised in partnership with Environment Agency.

The day was an opportunity to celebrate a host of successful regional community projects that have received direct support from The Water Hub and funding from the Environment Agency and a range of other sources over the past 12-months.

Clare Steward, Environment Programme Manager for the Environment Agency, said:

“We are celebrating what we have achieved in the North East but also looking forward at what other valuable community projects we can accomplish in association with our partners and investors across the region.

We were treated to celebratory presentations about projects that were funded in 2018/19, which included the launch of the Water Body Explorer, a beta platform developed by Jumping Rivers in collaboration with The Water Hub and the Environment Agency, as well as inspirational talks from Northumberland Rivers Trust, Groundwork North East and Cumbria, Brightwater Landscape Project and the Tyne Rivers Trust.

The Partnership Celebration and Green Fund Fair also gave funding bodies, businesses and groups the chance to let the world know about their current projects, producst and services through the “Pitch My Fund” and “Pitch My Project” windows of opportunity.

Various funding bodies set out their stalls to showcase collaborative funding opportunities, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Northumbrian Water Limited North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence and The Water Hub.

George Gerring, Environment Programme Officer for the Environment Agency and Partnerships Director at The Water Hub advisor, commented:

“The beautiful thing about this celebratory event was the opportunity of bringing under one roof representatives from organisations and community groups who experience real world challenges and in the same room having people with the potential solutions.

“It was the chance to introduce local groups to cutting edge technology businesses including the European Space Agency and national funders like Heritage Lottery Fund. It led to free-flowing conversations on how solution providers could help those with challenges to resolve.

The day also enabled The Water Hub and the Environment Agency to strike up new relationships with businesses, investors and environmental groups in generating partnerships for years to come.

Join us at the next event by subscribing to our mailing list [email protected]


Pitch your product for Crimdon Coastal Hub

This challenge has now closed. To find out how it unfolded follow this link.

The Water Hub has an exciting opportunity for businesses to pitch their products and services for the proposed "Crimdon Coastal Hub" development. This project seeks to create a visitor and events hub in the form of café, public toilets, changing rooms, and interpretive space at Crimdon (OS Map reference NZ482373).

The Water Hub has identified five key areas to deliver innovation in water management and data insight. Showcase your brilliant solutions in a one-day closed pitching session to Durham County Council. This is a competitive process. We will shortlist up to eight applicants to pitch to a panel of stakeholders in July 2019. If you have a solution to one of the challenges below, please  download and complete this application form and send to [email protected]

Background
The Crimdon Coastal Hub proposal developed by the Heritage Coast Partnership hopes to create a visitor and events hub in the form of a café, public toilets, changing rooms and space for volunteers, wardens and the community to benefit over 220,000 visitors every year.

Currently there are no public facilities on site. This is a barrier to use by family groups, community groups and local schools. In recent surveys, 87% of visitors listed the lack of facilities as the key reason for not visiting more frequently and 76% looking for a café or an activities venue.

The Crimdon Coastal Hub proposal is for a single new build facility.

The Challenge
The Water Hub is looking for innovative solutions to ensure this new development is exemplary in terms of building-level efficiency and engaging the local community. This is a competitive process and Durham County Council are not obliged to take anything forward. We’re looking for products and services which:

1. Reduce water use in the café, public toilets and changing rooms,
2. Encourage rainwater harvesting for non-potable applications,
3. Promote biodiversity through green spaces to ensure the Hub fits with the transformed Heritage Coast and areas of conservation interest,
4. Reduce waste,
5. Connect communities, by exploring how smart tech could improve monitoring and engagement.

Applicants must be able to provide evidence of testing and approved documentation of their products and services. Prototypes may be considered for future opportunities, once testing has been carried out and documentation has been approved. Data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines. The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point.

Timeline

• 27th May 2019 – Call for applications launched
• 14th June 2019, 5pm – Deadline for applications
• 20th June 2019 – Notification of shortlisting
• 4th July 2019 – Shortlisted candidates to pitch ideas at Spectrum Business Park (SR7 7TT)
• Feedback by 12th July 2019.

Pitching Day Outcome

We hosted a one-day pitching session for the proposed Crimdon Coastal Hub. Nine businesses pitched products and services for the proposed new development, which seeks to create a visitor and events hub in the form of café, public toilets, changing rooms, and interpretive space at Crimdon.

A panel, including architects and project managers from Durham County Council, Durham's Heritage Coast Officer and the Scientific Director of The Water Hub, heard from a wide range of solution providers, showcasing ways to reduce water use, promote biodiversity and connect communities.

Reflecting on the day, Niall Benson, Heritage Coast Officer at DCC said, "It is extremely exciting to be in the position where we are able to explore the cutting edge of water use innovation. As the final designs for the scheme are developed we will be including the solutions that best fit our situation. Thank you to all who presented, and to The Water Hub for enabling the opportunity"

Louise Bracken added, "It was an engaging event with quality pitches and relevant solutions. We’ll work with SMEs to try to get as many included in the development as possible."

 


Water Hubber Wins 'Emerging Talent' Award!

One of The Water Hub’s Innovation Managers, Dr Sarah Cotterill, was presented with the 2019 ‘Emerging Talent’ Award by Future Water Association’s CEO, Paul Horton.

Prof. Louise Bracken, Scientific Director of The Water Hub nominated Sarah for the award:

‘Sarah joined The Water Hub in early 2018 and her drive to improve the environment through better use and reuse of water has helped grow The Water Hub and our network of businesses and partners. Sarah has excelled in bringing new ideas and new thinking to the work of The Water Hub, developing strategic opportunities for businesses to develop new products and extend sales of existing products, and delivering a suite of high quality activities and events’.

Paul Horton explained the importance of the awards at FWA’s awards lunch in April:

“People and innovation are the driving force behind today’s water industry and these awards have been established to celebrate the water sector; the successes, the achievements, the technology and the people that all help deliver a valuable resource we sometimes take for granted."

The Emerging Talent Award, sponsored by Arup, recognises young people, starting out in the sector who have brought something new and different to their organisation.

On receiving the award, Sarah said:

‘I’m honoured to have received this lovely award from an organisation I’ve really enjoyed collaborating with. It’s a brilliant recognition of what The Water Hub is seeking to achieve, and I’m grateful for the support and opportunities I’ve had early on in my career.’

To find out more about The Water Hub team and what we do, click here.


Open Grant Call

Are you an SME looking for funding to develop a new product or service?

Our small grant scheme aims to support the development of innovative products, processes and services in the water sector, especially from non-traditional smart specialization sectors. Submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) before 31st May 2019 to check if you're eligible for a grant of up to £5,000. 

Submit your EOI here!

Grants may be requested for ideas at the outset of development or used to increase technology readiness level of products and services. We will consider proposals in any aspect of the water sector, such as:

  • improving water efficiency in residential properties,
  • developing new catchment management tools,
  • reducing water pollution in rivers, or
  • new ways of utilizing wastewater.

Proposals may include work to pump-prime new products, test ideas, access demonstration facilities or survey public opinion.

We are purposefully keeping our definition of the water sector broad, and the use of award as flexible, so SMEs can think creatively to support their innovation journey.

You will need to go through a 2-stage process:

  1. Complete a short Expression of Interest (EOI) first, and
  2. If successful, you will be invited to complete a more detailed application, which will be reviewed by two of The Water Hub team ahead of funding.

Project delivery will be limited to 6 months*. The deadline for the first wave of Expressions of Interest (EOI) is Friday 31st May at 5:00pm and the following stages are scheduled as follows:

o   Notification of outcome of EOI:  7th June 2019
o   Deadline for submitting full applications: 28th June 2019
o   Notification of outcome of full application: 10th July 2019
o   Start of the project: middle or end of July 2019
o   Completion of the project:  by 31st January 2020

*All purchases must be made (and claimed back) within this period. Non-financial elements of the grant, such as ongoing data collection and monitoring can continue beyong this point. 

Please note that data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines. The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point. This is a competitive process and applicants will be chosen based on their fit with The Water Hub and whether the problem or product they present provides opportunities for open innovation, collaboration and business growth.


Challenge: How can digital technologies be used to inspire people to care about rivers?

Opportunity
The Water Hub launched a series of exciting challenges at our annual networking event RIPPLE. We are calling on our network of innovators to propose solutions to the National Trust to address their challenge of how they we use digital technologies to enhance existing engagement and attract new audiences to take an interest in rivers.  To see Richard Higg's presentation from RIPPLE, download his presentation here.  A contract will be made, to the value of £1,500 for a scoping study to identify a range of ideas, with the potential for one to be taken through feasibility and concept to testing and demonstration in collaboration with the National Trust.

If you have an idea or existing solution, please download our Application Form here and send to [email protected] before Thursday 2nd May at 17:00.

The Challenge Holder
National Trust is a national a charity founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces and wanted to preserve them for everyone to enjoy.  More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything they do.

In partnership with the Environment Agency, the National Trust last year announced its most ambitious waterways restoration project in its history – Riverlands. Riverlands is a landscape scale programme working with a wide range of partners at several sites (off and on Trust land) across England and Wales. It is about delivering both environmental and social outcomes by working with the public – enabling greater access, inspiring action and connecting more people with the natural heritage. We would like to explore how we build on work already happening nationally and locally to help deepen and sustain public engagement with rivers. We also want to find ways of connecting with audiences which currently have no awareness or interest.

The Challenge
The health of our rivers are in decline yet the impact is often invisible - why should anyone care? It’s often only when you are directly impacted (eg. through flooding) that people see the relevance to them and think about the part they play in this. Behaviour change often comes through establishing empathy, with the situation and creating nudges to make it easier for people to care and make a difference.

As well as restoring nature, the Riverlands project is about helping communities (local to rivers as well as at a national level) enjoy their rivers more, not only as a home for wildlife but also as a space for health and wellbeing and as a cultural resource. Our ambition on the Riverlands programme is for:

  • More people to understand and be inspired by the role rivers play in their lives past, present and future.
  • More people to have the opportunity to make a difference to the long term care of rivers and catchments.

This challenge aims to identify and potentially trial how digital technologies can be used to inspire more people to care about rivers - how can we use digital technologies to enhance existing engagement and attract new audiences to take an interest in rivers?

What are we looking for?
Initially we are looking for a broad range of ideas on how we can use digital technologies to help with this challenge to give us an idea of what might be possible. We want to know what is currently available and how could we adopt or adapt these existing technologies to achieve our aims.

Applicants are asked to offer a range of ideas that they feel best meets our challenge and that include:

  • What existing technologies could we use (reference to existing technologies that could be adopted or adapted or are just comparators)?
  • What is scalable?
  • Which audiences these might work for?
  • What can be developed into a valuable test?
  • The benefits for both the intended audiences and also for Riverlands as a programme
  • Ball park costs for development and delivery

What we can offer
A contract worth £1,500 to the winning applicant for the feasibility stage to work with the National Trust on the chosen ideas, with potential for a longer term collaboration in the testing and development phases.

The Water Hub will provide all applications to National Trust after the deadline. National Trust will be responsible for reviewing applications and providing feedback to the applicants in a timely manner.

Timeline

  • 21st March 2019 – Launch of challenge and call for applications
  • National Trust will provide an opportunity for interested applicants to learn more about the Riverlands project and explore this challenge in greater detail (date and details TBC)
  • 2nd May 2019 - Deadline for applications to The Water Hub.
  • The Water Hub will collate all applications and send to National Trust within 2 days of the deadline.

For more information, get in touch at [email protected]

*Please note that data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines. The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point.

 


Challenge: Using Augmented and Virtual Reality for enhancing householder flood preparedness and resilience

Opportunity
The Water Hub launched a series of exciting challenges at our annual networking event RIPPLE. We are calling on our network of innovators to propose solutions to Teesside University School of Science, Engineering, and Design (SSED) to address their challenge of “Using immersive technology for enhancing householder flood preparedness and resilience”.  To see Ed Rollason's presentation from RIPPLE, download his presentation here.  SSED is offering a contract, to the value of £3,000, to work with us on preparing an initial scoping study into how immersive tech can be practically applied to enhancing householder flood preparedness and resilience. Our ambition is that we will collaborate with the winning contractor, and our existing partners, to develop a larger funding proposal with InnovateUK to take this work forwards.

If you have a solution to one of the challenges below, please download our Application Form here and send to [email protected] before 16th May 2019 at 17:00.

The Challenge Holder
The School of Science, Engineering, and Design is a school of Teesside University, a centre for research and teaching based in the heart of Middlesbrough.
The School offers programmes of study across the disciplines of Design, Engineering, and Science, aiming to develop the next generation of problem solvers, innovators and leaders. Our teaching is underpinned by a diverse research portfolio which addresses complex, multi and inter-disciplinary through to highly focused discipline based research. Across five ‘Grand Challenge’ thematic areas, our research adopts a collaborative and multifaceted approach which enables our researchers to cross traditional discipline boundaries and provide the fresh thinking needed to help address some of the biggest national and global 'Grand Challenges' society today faces.  You can find out more at: http://www.tees.ac.uk/science&engineering/

The Challenge
There are over 5 million properties at risk from flooding across England, and this risk is likely to increase due to climate change with predicted increases in rainfall of up to 100% and peak river flows by 300% by the 2080s.  Property flooding in England causes £800 million worth of damage annually. Associated impacts to health include increased mortality, as well as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Research shows that increasing householder understanding of what might happen during a flood, and what action can be taken to reduce flooding impacts, has significant positive effect on the mental and physical impacts experienced before and after a flooding event. However, Environment Agency evidence shows that current levels of preparedness are very low. Only 1/3 of the public have prepared or thought through a flood plan, and only 50% of people who receive a flood warning take any action such as moving vulnerable possessions. Existing methods of communicating flood risk information are not working effectively. Our challenge is to explore how immersive technologies might be used for enhancing how householders engage with and experience information on preparing for and responding to floods. This is situated within a wider ambition for flood authorities to transform how they deliver improved services through use of new technologies.

What we are offering
We are offering an initial contract, to the value of £3,000, to work with us and our existing partners on preparing an initial feasibility study into how immersive can be practically applied to enhancing householder flood preparedness and resilience. Our ambition is that this work will build on our existing research base and expertise in flood modelling and community resilience to support a larger funding application to InnovateUK to develop and evaluate tools and services based on immersive tech for use in the flooding sector.

The Challenge Workshop
To support challenge applicants Teesside University is hosting a challenge workshop on the 24th of April between 09.30 and 13.00. The workshop is intended to help prospective applicants to this challenge engage with researchers and other partners in discussing the challenge. The workshop will be structured around two main sessions, the first exploring our existing research and expertise and that of our partners, and the second what we hope to achieve from partnering with a business through the challenge and how we see the work developing. This will be followed by a networking lunch where applicants to discuss the challenge with researchers and our partners. Details of the workshop and how to sign up will be provided shortly, in the meantime,  if you have any queries please contact Dr Ed Rollason at Teesside University on [email protected]

Applications
Your application will be judged solely on the information you provide in the application form and any associated attachments. The Water Hub will provide all applications to Teesside University SSED after the deadline. Teesside University SSED will be responsible for reviewing applications and providing feedback to the applicants in a timely manner.

Timeline
• 21 March 2019 – Launch of challenge and call for applications
• 24 April – challenge exploration workshop, Teesside University for interested applicants to further explore the challenge and develop their proposals.
• 16 May 2019, Deadline for applications to The Water Hub.
• The Water Hub will collate all applications and send to Teesside University SSED within 2 days of the deadline.
• Teesside University SSED will review the applications by 16 June 2019.
• Teesside University SSED will provide feedback to The Water Hub on which applicant(s) has/have been successful in the review 16 June 2019. The Water Hub will pass on this feedback to the applicants with 1 week of receiving it.
• Teesside University SSED will award funding to successful applicant(s) by 16 September 2019

For more information, get in touch at [email protected]

*Please note that data submitted in the supporting application form will be reviewed by The Water Hub, and will be handled and stored in accordance with GDPR guidelines. The applicant can withdraw their application and/or ask for their information to be updated or removed at any point.

Cover Image: Flooded England by Flickr User S. Rae (image used under CC BY 2.0 License)