iX Challenge: Condition monitoring of electro-mechanical assets for water treatment and distribution

The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Spring, the water sector’s innovation centre of excellence, to engage innovators to solve the challenge of monitoring the health of electro-mechanical assets associated with the treatment and distribution of water and predicting faults due to rapidly changing environments and unpredicted events (systemic shocks).

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will pitch their innovation to Spring and water sector representatives. Selected solution(s) may enter into a collaborative trial, with the possibility of uptake by multiple water companies if trials are successful.

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Spring is the water sector’s innovation centre of excellence, which supports the UK and Irish water sectors by enabling end to end innovation and addressing some of the biggest current and future challenges facing the water sector

Spring and Innovate UK KTN invite innovators to provide solutions to monitor the health of electro-mechanical assets associated with the treatment and distribution of water.

While long term deterioration of assets is important to monitor, of specific concern is the effect of acute shocks (such as increased use due to drought) on the health of water treatment and distribution assets.

Of particular interest are solutions which can give real time asset condition assessment, locate the cause(s) of asset failure and/or predict asset failure in response to external shocks.

Examples of electro-mechanical assets of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • High lift pumps
  • Borehole pumps
  • Chemical dosing pumps
  • Flow control valves
  • Pressure reducing valves
  • Actuators
  • Blowers

This challenge supports the UK water sector’s innovation strategy, Water Innovation 2050.

Technical Requirements & Operating Conditions

Solutions should provide close to real time monitoring of asset condition and should predict asset failure and/or accurately determine the root cause of asset failure.

Solutions will be expected to have inherent capability to collect, store, interrogate and act on data, or to be able to integrate and process data from existing data collection and transmission systems.

Solutions must be fit for deployment in an operational water treatment and distribution environment. These may be unmanned and subject to fluctuations in temperature and humidity, and the nature of the environments mean that solutions will be required to be robust.

Solutions that are already being deployed in the UK and Ireland water supply (treatment and distribution) sector will not be considered.

Rewards & Market Opportunity

Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch their innovation to Spring and a group of UK water sector representatives. Selected solution(s) may enter a collaborative project with multiple water companies and trials at water company sites.

As the UK water sector centre of excellence, Spring works with all UK water companies and also those in Ireland. As such, selected solutions which are successful at trial stage could see uptake across the water sector. Water utilities across the globe are experiencing similar issues and therefore solutions which work in the UK and Ireland will likely also be applicable to international markets.

The reward package for selected solutions may also include:

  • Support from Innovate UK KTN & Spring
  • Technical support
  • Invitations to attend or present at Innovate UK KTN & Spring events
  • Support if any Innovate UK or similar competitions are relevant.

Entrants to this competition must be established businesses, start-ups, SMEs, academics or individual entrepreneurs, which are UK based or have the intention to set up a UK base.


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