Entries open for second round of Ofwat Water Breakthrough Challenge: total £39m prize pot

Processed Water, Water Resources

Ofwat has announced that entries for the second round of its Water Breakthrough Challenge, in which it partners with Nesta Challenges, have opened with succesful partnerships able to win a share of prize pot worth approximately £39 million.

The first round of the Challenge, which saw outgoing CIWEM president and host of the Let's Talk WEM Podcast Niki Roach acting as a member of the judging panel, saw water company partnerships with conservation charities, technology giants and academia and more including a project to support the restoration of the country’s rivers in partnership with the Rivers Trust.

The competition calls for initiatives to drive innovation and collaboration within the water sector and beyond, drawing in new perspectives from across the globe with the aim of creating long-term transformation in the services water companies provide.

The Challenge forms part of the water regulator's pioneering £200m Innovation Fund, and has two funding streams, as outlined below:

  • Catalyst Stream – Approximately £5 million is available for entries seeking funding of between £100,000 – £1 million. The Catalyst Stream will close for entries at 12pm on 8th December 2021.
  • Transform Stream – Approximately £34 million is available for entries seeking funding of between £1 million – £10 million. Stage 1 of the Transform Stream will close for entries at 12pm on 16th November 2021. Stage 2 entries will open on 15 December 2021 and close at 12pm on 8th February 2022.

Commenting Nesta Challenges new frontiers director Holly Jamieson said: “The water sector, like many others, continues to confront the challenge of climate change, while at the same time needing to support customers and deal with an ageing infrastructure.

"By collaborating with others in the sector, as well as other industries, we can ensure the water sector is well armed with breakthrough solutions to help them overcome these pressing challenges and benefit water customers, wider society and the environment – long into the future.”

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