About the Fund

Ofwat, the Water Services Regulation Authority for England and Wales, has established a £200 million Innovation Fund to grow the water sector’s capacity to innovate, enabling it to better meet the evolving needs of customers, society and the environment.

From 2021, we will be launching two competitions that water companies, in partnerships with others, can enter with their innovations.

  • A £2 million Innovation in Water Challenge (IWC) with opportunity to win funding up to £250,000. The first round of the IWC will open on 18 January 2021. The entry period lasts six weeks, closing at 12 noon (GMT) on 26 February 2021.
  • A £40 million Water Breakthrough Challenge. The first round will open for entries in Spring 2021. More details will be available from early 2021.

You can find out details about each competition on their dedicated pages. We expect different rounds of the competitions to run until 2025, but our goal is that the Innovation Fund’s impact will continue well beyond this.

The Fund will be focused on funding initiatives in line with aims of the fund, that deliver innovation in line with the five strategic innovation themes.

The Fund will be delivered by Nesta Challenges, supported by Arup and Isle Utilities. You can read more about the delivery partners on the dedicated page. We are currently establishing an advisory panel who will advise Ofwat and the delivery team for future rounds of the competitions.