Report puts suppliers at heart of innovation

British Water has welcomed the strong emphasis Ofwat has placed on supply chain collaboration in its latest innovation funding consultation.


The document seeks views on a number of areas relating to the regulator’s introduction of a £200 million innovation fund and competition during the 2020-2025 AMP7 investment period.

It sets out suggested approaches to areas including intellectual property rights, risk sharing and open data, as well as partnerships and collaboration.


It also details how it intends to give smaller players an opportunity to lead on innovation projects through an Innovation in Water Challenge.


British Water chief executive Lila Thompson said: “We are pleased to see collaboration with the supplier community is a key theme running through Ofwat’s innovation consultation document. We agree there are untapped opportunities for the industry in England and Wales to work with suppliers to adopt new practices and technologies to transform performance. 


“There is a genuine desire among our members for closer collaboration across the sector, and it is reassuring Ofwat has put this at the heart of its innovation plans.  We were particularly pleased to see how the proposed Innovation in Water Challenge, alongside the main competition, encourages strong supply chain participation, and in particular smaller innovators.


“To deal with the urgent challenges it is facing, including climate change and a growing population, the water industry must work differently. The supplier community chain boasts a wealth of skills and expertise and is able to provide critical solutions and technologies to address these issues.


“We are all looking forward to working with Ofwat and the rest of the sector in delivering exciting new outcomes for customers and making positive changes for future generations.”