New search for inventors and creative thinkers    to help businesses save money or reduce costs by using less natural resources

Got an innovative idea that will help businesses or the public sector be more efficient and use water more effectively in the future?

The UK’s largest business water retailer has launched a new fund and awards to find the next generation of Einstein’s to drive innovation.

Shortlisted entries for the funding opportunities will be invited to an Innovators’ Insight Day, expected to be held in May this year (2019).

There’s three innovator awards, a top prize of up to £5,000 and a runners-up prize pot of up to £2,500. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, 29 March, 2019.

Andy Hughes, Chief Executive of Water Plus, said: “We’ve made significant progress on water efficiency in the last year, including showing one customer how they could cut their costs and reduce water use by 40% across their 200-site portfolio, but we want to do much more.

“That’s why we want to hear from inventors – from the individual bright spark, to universities, technology colleges and more established businesses who have a great idea that will help businesses or the public sector save money by using less natural resources in the future.

“It’s part of our drive for innovation and to help businesses of all sizes seize the benefits and savings from using water more efficiently, contributing to lower costs and Corporate Social Responsibility goals (CSR).”

“Check out the information we have on our website and submit your entry by emailing   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  , with the subject heading ‘Efficiency Innovation’,” he added.

There is also a Water Plus innovator Award for each of the three categories in the water innovation inventor’s search.

The appeal for inventors and the awards is backed by Waterwise, the independent campaigning organisation on water efficiency in the UK. They will meet the shortlisted inventors and also be on the panel at the Water Plus Innovators’ Insight Day.

Nicci Russell, Managing Director of Waterwise, said: “It’s great to see Water Plus leading the way to drive water innovation and reduce the impact on the environment from our buildings, as well as reducing the water and energy bills of individual customers.

“Water efficiency and the reduction of waste plays a vital role in ensuring UK businesses have a resilient and sustainable supply network -  it means we can make the water we have go further, for the sake of the economy, society and the environment, as climate change and population growth bite. The increasing demand on the water network, combined with the need to reduce costs and the impact of climate change means that the challenges facing the market are only going to get tougher. Innovating to drive water efficiency in business and the public sector is a great way to deliver all round.”

In 2018, Water Plus started an important partnership with Waterwise, the independent campaigning organisation, to boost water efficiency for consumers and innovation across the UK market. Water Plus was the first business water retailer to partner with Waterwise, which was established to promote the importance of network efficiency and conservation. The retailer is working with Waterwise and its network of partners to raise awareness regarding water efficiency and the need for market innovation with its customers. 

As a Waterwise partner, Water Plus also sits on the Waterwise Retail Leadership Group which brings together retailers, wholesalers and key industry groups to look at ways to increase water efficiency in businesses and non-household organisations.

   The three categories for inventors are:

  1.  Business site efficiency product supplier, for established businesses that have supported water/wastewater efficiency or looking to launch a new efficiency product for business sites, charities or public sector organisations.
  1. University and College innovator category – for universities and technology colleges and colleges, their researchers and specialists who are developing/have developed a new water efficiency/efficiency approach or product for business sites/buildings (please state which University/College you are working for/based at in your email and include contact information for a relevant senior person in the University/College department you are based in and a senior person at the University/College).
  1. Garage inventors, for individuals or micro-organisations.

The Prizes and Awards

  • There is a top prize of up £5,000
  • We also have a runners-up prize pot of up to £2,500
  • There may also be opportunities for Marketing support and consultancy, which we will discuss with the winning entry/entries
  •  Each category also has a Water Plus innovator Award.

The innovation could be something that directly involves water or wastewater or an innovation which results in a business or public sector using less water overall (eg as a result of introducing an innovation).

 FINAL DETAILS AND JUDGING CRITERIA

  • Please submit a summary of up to 650 words, outlining your innovation and the impact it would have for business sites and for public sector organisations to use less water in the future.
  • The innovation could be something that directly involves water or wastewater or an innovation which results in a business or public sector using less water overall (eg as a result of introducing an innovation)
  • You can attach photos or a report on the product and any results of its impact to your email.
  • Send your application for the category you are entering to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please use the subject heading ‘Efficiency Innovation’
  • The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday, 29 March, 2019.
  • There is a top prize of up to £5,000, which could be awarded to one winning proposal or spread across a number, depending on the strengths, benefits and impact towards efficiency for businesses and public sector organisations.
  • There is a runners-up prize pot of up to £2,500, which could be awarded to one runner-up proposal or spread across a number, depending on the strengths, benefits and impact towards efficiency for businesses and public sector organisations.
  • Each category also has Water Plus Innovator Award.
  • There may also be opportunities for Marketing support and consultancy, which we will discuss with the winning entry/entries.
  • If you’re product/invention is shortlisted, you’ll hear from us with an invitation to our Water Plus Innovators’ Insight Day in May 2019. Shortlisted applicants will receive an email between 15 April to 19 April 2019.

Judging criteria

  • Judging of submissions will be carried out by a number of efficiency experts from Water Plus. The Judges’ decision shall be final. Submissions for each category must include a section on the background for the innovation, the benefits it would bring and the potential impact or impact the innovation has/will have and who the innovation will benefit.
  • The “Water Plus Innovator Award” for each category is a certificate that will be awarded to the best innovation in each category as judged by the panel. There is one Water Plus Innovator Award per category. 
  • We will promote the winning idea as part of our innovation promotion work.

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