Norfolks Voice

Anglian Water’s Innovation Shop Window Evolution

I am writing to share an exciting update on the evolution of Anglian Water’s Innovation Shop Window. Founded in 2015, the initiative originally focused on accelerating innovation in a small area centred on Newmarket in Suffolk. Through the success of this programme, 2021 will see a significant expansion in the Shop Window as it extends its geography, changes its decision-making structure, priorities, and approach to accelerating the rate of innovation whilst removing any potential barriers.

This new, expanded geography now includes all or part of your region and has extended its functionality and capability to create more opportunities to fast-track innovation within Anglian Water. The former hub in Newmarket will remain a key focus of activity, but we will now include coastal locations, cities and several towns and villages providing different attributes. It creates a more representative cross-section of our whole region covering more than one million customers. The expanded area gives us access to a much broader range of assets and infrastructure on which to test innovative ideas and solutions. All of this will help us gather deeper insight across the Anglian Water region which will support our knowledge and accelerate innovation. 

The Shop Window is where we build our future state, today; in line with our Strategic Direction Statement, the Shop Window priorities are to help:

·       Create a resilient and intelligent water supply,

·       Exceed customer expectations,

·       Create a flourishing environment,

·       Tackle climate change,

·       Unlock efficiency and

·       Enable the workforce of the future. 


Some exciting projects have included Project FAWN, where we are exploring the use of Fibre Optic cables in our networks to monitor and provide resilient remote control of assets. There is also the potential to explore providing high speed broadband to our remote communities through partnership working. 

We are very proud of a business-wide innovation which has been implemented to reduce Anglian Water’s carbon footprint: HpH Technology. This new hydrolysis technology has the potential to maximise a plant’s biogas production even further than existing anaerobic digestion technology. HpH is now installed across four Anglian Water sludge treatment centres. Results to date have produced an average of over 1 MWH/TDS of renewable electricity from the biogas produced via its fleet of CHP engines – while producing a high-quality enhanced treated biosolids product for use in agriculture as a soil conditioner.

In the wider innovation space, we are pleased to announce our success in securing funding for an industry-first project around whole life carbon. This was awarded as part of the first round of Ofwat’s Innovation in Water Challenge in April. This will see us working in partnership with a number of organisations including Welsh Water to develop tools and processes required to support the cultural and behavioural changes necessary to deliver ultimately deliver ‘zero carbon emissions’ as a water industry.

We know that the global challenges we face can feel daunting, but we also know that when we work together, towards a common goal, we can do anything we set our minds to. We want to make the east of England the healthiest, happiest, and most prosperous place to live in the UK, resilient to climate change and with a landscape rich in wildlife.

To do this we are challenging ourselves to innovate constantly and to deliver ever better services.