Look back at Innovation Lab 1 (2018/19)

February 2018 saw the launch of our first Innovation Lab, the first of its kind in the UK.  

We set out a challenge against five priority areas where we wanted to be better at what we do. These included; ‘connected water and customer’; ‘proactive customer actions’; ‘predictive asset maintenance’; ‘safe and healthy worker’ and the catch all ‘future of water’. Advertising to 1,500 suppliers the aim was to reach out to people working in other sectors and countries.

We received 80 applications, 55 of which were from organisations new to working with us. The list was narrowed down to 22, with people being invited to pitch their ideas.

Seven successful finalists, named our Innovation Lab Partners who impressed with their pitches were then selected to join us in our Warrington headquarters’ Innovation Centre.

Out of the seven to join the lab, five had never worked in the UK water industry before, and the companies came from worldwide including France, Portugal, Canada, Australia, India and the UK.

In the 10 weeks we delivered six field trials, engaged with over 100 customers. The successful ideas have led to supply agreements and or further development in the technologies.  

Pitch Day

United Utilities listened to pitches from 19 different companies who may have hit upon the next big idea for the water industry. The successful pitches went through to the next stage of the Innovation Lab process where their creators developed a hand in hand with United Utilities at its Warrington HQ.

Talking about innovation

See what our past participants thought about our innovation programme 

Innovation benefits
  • Datatecnics logo

    Datatecnics Corporation

    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

  • EMAGIN logo


    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 logo


    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

  • Typhon logo


    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.

  • Enzen logo


    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.

  • Hydrao logo


    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

Our other Innovation Labs