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UK's Ofwat and Nesta Challenges have called on pharmaceutical innovators to collaborate with water companies for the new Water Breakthrough Challenge.
Ofwat, a non-ministerial government department of the United Kingdom, and Nesta Challenges, part of the Nesta innovation foundation, have called on pharmaceutical innovators to collaborate with water companies for the new Water Breakthrough Challenge.
According to a March 25, 2021 press release, the £40 million (US $55 million) is being funded through Ofwat’s Innovation Fund, as part of the regulator’s goal to create an innovative and collaborative water sector that meets the needs of customers, society, and the environment. Through encouraging collaborations, the challenge aims to tackle the biggest obstacles facing water and wastewater services.
Entries are to be submitted by water companies in England and Wales, but partnerships with organizations outside the water sector, such as pharmaceuticals, are allowed. The open date for entries is May 6, 2021, and successful partnerships will have a chance to win up to £10 million (US $13.8 million).
“This competition follows on from the successful Innovation in Water Challenge that we ran earlier this year, when we received dozens of brilliant entries,” said John Russell, senior director at Ofwat, in the press release. “We now want to build on this momentum by encouraging and developing new partnerships and even bigger innovative projects that could make a real and lasting difference to the environment, society, and people’s lives—now and well into the future.”
“Climate change, extreme weather, and aging infrastructure are among the major challenges facing the water sector. Rising to these challenges demands that the sector goes beyond its business as usual, by seeking out, testing, and scaling up new solutions, new ways of working, and novel partnerships,” added Chris Gorst, director of Challenges at Nesta Challenges, in the press release. “With this Challenge we hope to pump-prime this process and to uncover and support truly breakthrough innovations that will deliver tangible benefits to water customers, wider society, and the environment.”