2021 Categories

Applications are now closed!

We're sorry, application for this year's Innovation Lab are now closed.

The lab process is intense for all parties and is suited to suppliers able to dedicate sufficient resource for the lab timelines, for ideas close to market ready and can be progressed in a 12 week period. It is not suitable for long term research, commodity items or ideas that do not need technology acceleration. For those ideas, please complete our online form as we have other routes in our innovation strategy to develop them.

To be considered for a place in the Innovation Lab we ask companies to complete an application. This application is split into three stages:

  • The first stage is a Pre-qualifying questionnaire (PQQ), this is a short questionnaire where we will gather basic details about your company

  • Successful candidates will then be invited to the second stage of the application process, the ideas stage. At this point, we want to hear all about your amazing products and solutions and how they will benefit United Utilities in relation to the below categories

  • The final stage of application will see shortlisted applicants invited to a Pitch Day at United Utilities where you will be asked to pitch your solution in front of senior leaders of United Utilities
Pitch Day Last Year

16th November 2020 - Pitch Day

Pitch day is your businesses chance to pitch to United Utilities' senior leadership to win a place on the programme.

2018 Innovation Lab

25th January 2021 - Programme starts

The 12-week intensive collaboration between you and United Utilities starts here, supported by internal experts and external mentors

Innovation Team

1st March 2021 - Midpoint review

Check in on how our finalists are getting on, an opportunity to share progress and what they hope to present at demo day.

Demo Day 2018

12th April 2021 - Demo day

Where you'll show us what your business has achieved over the past 12-weeks and present your proposal for future engagement with United Utilities.

Our Categories 

Open the dropdowns below to find out more about our 2020 categories.

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking is an integral part of our strategy and a key focus for the next 5 years. How can you help us jump the curve to get the highest levels of capability in each of our 7 focus areas?

Click here to find out more

Systems Thinking

Circular Economy & Natural Systems

The water industry relies on the water cycle which is by its nature a circular economy. The Catchment Systems Thinking (CaST) approach, which UU has embedded, seeks to go further and make use of natural system and processes to solve traditional problems across water, wastewater and bio-resources.

Click here to find out more 

Find out more

Future of water

Can you help us find solutions to help meet the future challenges faced by a water and wastewater company? Find out more before you apply for our programme. 

Click here to find out more 

Future of water


This section is truly open, we would like to see innovations that can help us be better at everything: a better service provider to our customers, a better employer, a better stakeholder in the communities we operate in, a better partner to the companies in our supply chain.

Click here to find out more