Companies jump in at the deep end
A range of grants amounting close to £2.5 million has been awarded to research companies looking into safeguarding future water supplies, presenting opportunities for the channel.
Seven major collaborative research and development projects will take advantage of the funds, which have been jointly issued by the Technology Strategy Board, Department for Environment and Rural Affairs, Natural Environment Research Council and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
The projects will address overseas and UK water security challenges with total costs, including contributions from the participating companies, claimed to be in excess of £5.6 million.
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), said the sustainable and secure supply of water was a major challenge for modern societies.
He said this presented “innovation opportunities in water for UK businesses”, particularly in the export market and for companies in the supply chain.
“The research and development we are funding will help UK companies improve their access to global water markets,” he added.
TSB said the funding will aim to find innovative ideas to help secure the future water supply, while at the same time turning this challenge into a market opportunity by developing profitable new ways to use current water sources more effectively.
All of the companies have been set the challenge of creating a new technology or processes that will either save or recycle 1,000 million litres per day worth of water – equivalent to roughly the same volume of water it would take to fill 400 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The collaborative projects will be led by: Arvia Technology Ltd, Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions, Cambrensis Ltd, Halcrow Group Ltd, KEE Process Ltd, Quest UAV and Watershed Associates Ltd.