Organisations looking for inventors to help Dragonfly idea take flight

Northumbrian Water, CGI and the Water Hub are offering inventors and creators up to £25,000 to help them turn an idea which will both protect the environment and improve internet connectivity, into a reality.
The concept of ‘Dragonfly’ aims to see a wide range of information on variables such as temperature, quality, flow and depth, collected in real-time from the regions’ watercourses through the use of water sensors.
The information will help the North East Water Company manage its water and wastewater network even better, make decisions faster, and allow it to maintain its industry-leading environmental performance.
A number of the different sensors placed in rivers and streams will form a mesh concept, linking multiple units together by 5G and also creating a physical network of wireless connectivity for the benefit of rural communities.
The idea came out of Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival last year, where more than 100 people took part in the five-day challenge to enhance rural communities and the environment, facilitated by global IT and business consulting company, CGI.
Now, the two organisations, together with the Water Hub – a Durham University-led partnership between Durham County Council, the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water, are looking for inventive minds to help them develop a working Dragonfly product.
Up to £25,000 will be awarded to the chosen applicant, who will have until Wednesday March 18, 2020 to create and build the prototype before showcasing it at the Water Hub’s Ripple Event – a networking event for water technology innovation.
Northumbrian Water’s Catchment Co-ordinator, Clare Deasy, said: “Dragonfly is a very exciting project that came out of our Innovation Festival and will have huge benefits for our business, our customers and the environment.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for someone to help us bring Dragonfly to life, creating a low-cost, low-maintenance, self-powered sensor which they will be able to see us develop and roll out across the North East.
“We’re very excited to see what possibilities they bring to the table and to start helping us make a difference.”
People interested have until Friday February 14, 2020 to submit a formal application through Durham University’s Water Hub, including a CV to [email protected]

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