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Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience

The Water Hub

The Water Hub is a new collaborative initiative between Durham University, Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water.

The aim is to engage with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the North East of England to identify and develop innovative, practical solutions to challenges in the region’s water sector.

The project, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, will deliver support to SMEs through challenge events, partnership working, flexible small grants and access to test facilities.

Project features

Challenge events will offer SMEs the chance to work on specific problems to try and find innovative solutions. Suitable solutions will be tested and further developed using live testing facilities.

Innovations partnerships will facilitate the development of new networks of SMEs, partners and researchers with the aim of bringing people together to form new, exciting collaborations.

To help support the development of novel ideas The Water Hub will have a number of small grants, which can be made available at different stages in the innovation process. Grants will have a value of between £1000 and £5000, to be fully matched by the SME.

The Water Hub will also provide access to a range of test facilities to encourage and facilitate new product development and assist with market feasibility testing. These facilities including residential homes, laboratories and supply chains, to help test and develop innovative ideas.

Finally, The Water Hub will also provide valuable mentoring and facilitation to SMEs which in turn will help to develop ideas further, open up new supply chains and connect SMEs with research innovation services across the North East of England.

Solving challenges that affect us all

Professor Louise Bracken, Scientific Director of The Water Hub, and Executive Director of IHRR, said: “The Water Hub is all about harnessing the talent and technology of the North East business community to solve real challenges that affect us all, in areas such as water efficiency, water cleaning and flooding.

“We are really excited to be launching this ambitions initiative and look forward to sharing lots of valuable opportunities with businesses we can work with in the near future.”

Further information about The Water Hub will be available shortly. If you would like to receive more information about The Water Hub or have any questions please email or visit the website