Smart companies in Peterborough urged to help keep the water flowing

A burst water mains in Peterborough.  ENGEMN00120130821155135
A burst water mains in Peterborough. ENGEMN00120130821155135
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Innovative companies in Peterborough are being urged to take part in a competition to devise new ways to combat burst water pipes.

The contest has been devised by the Water Innovation Network, which is a partnership between Anglian Water and Opportunity Peterborough.

Anglian Water carries out maintenance to some of its water mains.

Anglian Water carries out maintenance to some of its water mains.

Called the Big Water Challenge 2016, the contest will run for two months and involves companies working out ground-breaking solutions to one of the industry’s thorniest problems.

The theme for the challenge is Keep the Water Flowing and focuses on ways Anglian Water can maintain supplies to customers’ homes and restore water as quickly as possible after a burst pipe.

Businesses can find out more during an event at the Allia Future Business Centre in Peterborough on May 6.

Competitors will then have six weeks to submit their ideas before entries are whittled down to a final shortlist of firms that will pitch to a panel of senior Anglian Water staff.

The winner will receive financial and technical support from Anglian Water to make their idea a reality.

David Ward, Anglian Water’s head of networks, said: “When a pipe bursts and our customers are without water we want to get supplies back on as soon as possible.

“We’ve made some really good advances in this area but we need to do much more.

“We want to explore the way our people, our network and our IT systems work to see how innovation can help make us faster and more efficient – and we’re asking for help.

“We’ve worked in the past with some really forward thinking, innovative companies on technology which has made a big difference to our business.

“So setting them a challenge like this is a great way to inspire and encourage innovation in the water industry whilst finding a solution to a current challenge.

“It could be an engineering solution, it could be a piece of software or it could be something else entirely – and it doesn’t matter how big or small it is.

“We want to guide companies through the process and support them to hone their ideas.

“We’re really excited to see what they come up with.”

Steve Bowyer, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for Peterborough businesses to work with Anglian Water and develop innovations that will benefit their customers.

“While this competition is open to businesses from across the country, we’re keen to encourage local firms and aspiring entrepreneurs from any sector to explore how they might get involved – the prize on offer is both unique and significant.”

For more details visit www.waterinnovation.net