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]

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.

• 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)