Have you got an idea for us?

We are committed to making our services better, faster, cheaper and safer for our customers and the environment. But we know that in order to do this we need to be innovative and find new ideas to help us. 

Ofwat, who are our regulators, set out five key themes that we need to focus on to ensure we deliver the best service for our customers. We believe the best ideas are those that are strongly linked to these themes which you can find out more about here. We've also collaborated as a sector to develop the following themes and a plan that’s allows us to work together on reinventing and reimagining how the water sector will be by 2050. 

  • Providing the services society needs, expects and values
  • Providing clean water for all
  • Protecting and enhancing natural systems
  • Delivering resilient infrastructure systems
  • Achieving net zero carbon
  • Taking a whole life approach to responsible consumption and production
  • Enabling diverse future-ready people and partnership working

To find out more, go to Water Innovation 2050.

We want to hear your ideas and have designed a process to make it easier for you and more consistent for us.

What are we looking for?

We are looking for ideas that can help us overcome some of our biggest challenges as well as ideas which can help us achieve our in sector strategy themes. You can also find out more by clicking the Water Innovation 2050 section above.

  • Catchment Systems Thinking (CaST)

    Catchment 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?

    1. Asset lifecycle management
    2. Operational Monitoring
    3. Operational Control
    4. Production Planning & Optimisation
    5. Customer Experience
    6. Work Scheduling
    7. Data & Information

    Particularly of interest (but not limited to these) in this theme are:

    1. Machine intelligence & automation
    2. Connected devices - sensors
    3. Digital twin and visualisation
    4. Data & analytics

  • Circular economy and 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. 

    Can you help us answer these questions?

    • What solutions can we use that would enable us to reduce, reuse and recycle our resources or those of the wider catchment?
    • This could be chemical reductions or reuse in our processes or the use of natural systems in place of conventional processes.
    • How can we regenerate the natural systems to benefit the wider environment and natural capital of our region?
    • This could be green or natural solutions instead of conventional solutions e.g. pouring concrete
  • Future of water, ODIs and more

    Our industry like any other has measures and metrics that inform our regulators and customers of our performance. We call these ODIs (Outcome Delivery Incentives). They cover our core responsibilities as a water company – what can you bring to our industry that will enable us to provide the best service we can to our customers across all our key measures?

    What solutions do you have that can help us detect and repair leaks (preferably without having to dig up the road).

    How can we prevent sewer flooding incidents (in the home and environmental) how can we predict what is going to happen using multiple data sources or use a completely differ approach? How can we improve our resilience around key assets and infrastructure – this could be around maintenance excellence, asset & process optimisation.

Here is how our idea proposal process works

Supplier using a computer

Step 1: Complete the idea proposal form

If you have an idea, please click here to fill out the Idea Proposal Form. You can submit your ideas to us anytime throughout the year.

Receiving ideas

Step 2: Idea proposal form received

We will receive your idea as soon as you complete and submit the online form.

Reviewing ideas

Step 3: Idea reviewed

We will review your idea with a multidisciplinary team from across UU so that we get a balanced view.

Feedback

Step 4: We will get in touch to let you know our feedback

We aim to respond within two weeks of you submitting your idea. Possible outcomes could be: We need more information, a little longer to review it with the right experts or we don’t think it is suitable and will provide feedback as to why.

Our Innovation Model

Watch the video to discover how we as a team, work through new ways of working and processes by using our Innovation Model.

Video Duration – 3min 42 sec