Look back at 2018

Fresh thinking

United Utilities launched its first Innovation Lab in 2017, advertising to some 1,500 fledgling, small and large businesses. The Lab ambition was to reach people working in other sectors and countries who may not have considered how their big idea could be developed for water. 

We had applications from 80 organisations, 55 of which we had never heard of - which was great! We narrowed that down to a shortlist of 22 and they came from far and wide, on international flights, trains and Skype to pitch their ideas.  

Ultimately we selected 7 organisations that joined us at our Warrington headquarters for the intensive 10-week Lab process.

Learn more about our seven finalists from 2018 below.


Datatecnics Corporation are pioneers of intelligent infrastructure. We are award-winning innovators creating, developing, and commercializing technologies with the capability to transform the way the world interacts with its physical infrastructure. We change passive infrastructure into advanced systems capable of real-time monitoring, predictive analytics and autonomous controls, delivering substantial productivity, efficiency, and operational gains for our clients. Our technologies embed intelligence within critical infrastructure, to protect assets worth billions, to deliver a new era of economic growth and competitiveness in water, energy and beyond.

EMAGIN provides water and wastewater facilities with an operational intelligence platform that supports real-time decision making when controlling critical assets. In doing so, we’re helping facilities drive down operational costs, enhance reliability and prepare for emergencies.

Enging is a Portuguese SME specialized on the development of innovative industrial asset condition monitoring solutions, focusing on the latest IIoT technologies. The continuous working of Enging provides a paradigm shift in the maintenance industry, enabling the management of these assets to be done in a much more economical, efficient and simple manner.

The world gets smaller and better connected every year. As populations grow, industries and communities increasingly collide. This means regulations are only getting tighter, risks higher, and scrutiny more public. Now, thanks to social media, reputations built over years are destroyed overnight. It means getting to the source of environmental issues fast is no longer a ‘nice to have’ — it’s a must. Not knowing is no longer good enough. Envirosuite provides the most comprehensive and intuitive real-time monitoring, investigative and predictive environmental management software in the world. It’s the only solution available that offers the complete integration of odour monitoring, modelling, alerting, reporting, and incident management. Built on insights from 30+ years experience in environmental consulting, Envirosuite seamlessly converts data into action, enabling real action in real-time.

Enzen is unique in providing a wide range of strategic advisory, engineering services and solutions from end-to-end for the power, water, gas and renewable energy sectors, supported by our specialised Business Units and unique Centres of Excellence. Our expertise, practised knowledge and implementation delivery covers transformation, technology optimisation, smart utility networks, operations, capital efficiency, asset management and mergers & acquisitions, amongst other areas, and helps to deliver high-quality, effective, need-specific solutions.
HYDRAO is a world innovation leader in smart solutions for water conservation and management. The company is part of the French Tech initiative to drive digital innovation and growth, and has enjoyed rapid success in France, receiving multiple industry awards for its HYDRAO smart shower solution. Following the initial success of its HYDRAO shower solution, HYDRAO is continuing to develop further smart solutions to help drive water conservation and meet water-quality challenges for business organizations, government entities and consumers. These developments include new solutions for managing hospitality-industry water management, eco-building design and management, OEM smart-product design, corporate environmental policy support, and utility companies.


Typhon Treatment Systems Ltd. is a UK registered water treatment equipment manufacturing company formed in 2014 to develop ultraviolet (UV) light emitting diode (LED) water treatment technology. Typhon's equipment is designed to treat large volumes of water, and all of the innovative design features of this configuration can be applied to smaller systems, including residential flow rates. While we can make personal use and residential tap water systems, the basis of our development is utility-scale applications. In less than three years the power of commercially available disinfection-range UV LEDs has more than quadrupled. Typhon's patent-pending design enables our equipment to deliver an unequaled UV dose to the treated water. As UV LED output power and energy efficiency increase by leaps and bounds, Typhon will continue to develop our unique UV LED water treatment solutions.


Pitch Day

United Utilities has been listening to pitches from 19 different companies who may have hit upon the next big idea for the water industry. The successful pitches will go through to the next stage of the Innovation Lab process where their creators can develop them hand in hand with United Utilities at its Warrington HQ.