Reducing The Impacts Of Flooding By Harnessing New Technologies

The Challenge

The impacts of flooding are felt across society. Understanding and managing the consequences of flooding are significant challenges for The Water Hub and our partners. At Venturefest 2017, we asked How can we create more accessible flood forecasting, warning information and response service possible using all data out there, in a way which improves communication and reach to responders and the public, especially for those in areas out with formal flood warning schemes?

What we did

We hosted a keynote speech and a 2-hour ideation sessions with businesses and delivery partners at Venturefest NE 2017, to explore this challenge area. The session was designed to rapidly expose and explore existing products or services of interest and identify new ideas for addressing them.

Next steps

Over 20 participants attended from across academia, business, and government. All of the comments, ideas, and solutions were collated and organised into 12 topics across 5 broad themes and included a range of technologies and products/services at different technology readiness levels. These have since been reviewed by sponsors and are being explored through a variety of avenues within our network.

In the time since the event we:

  • Collaborated with one company, all 3 challenge sponsors, and a north east technology catapult through co-writing a partnership bid into the i3P Spark innovation competition in 2018. Our bid was shortlisted to the final 6 for which we were invited to deliver an investment pitch for £25k to take forward as a proof of concept. Sadly we didn’t win the competition but are pursuing the idea though other funding sources from within the i3P network;
  • Established a consortia bringing companies who participated in this event in as partners to further develop specific ‘proof of concept’ ideas relevant for European Space Agency and other earth observation funding;
  • Are actively seeking R&D funding from Defra and the Environment Agency to further develop 2 ideas presented at the session;
  • Have secured £7.5k of seed-corn funding from Northumbrian Water for taking forward 3 ‘proof-of concept’ ideas for which we are in the process of prioritisinting and scoping allocations
  • Are working to support with two companies who attended the session and have since expressed an interest in applying for The Water Hub ‘small capital grants’ to support their business development
  • Have supported one company with an application to Durham University for ERDF funding for a PhD industrial placement programme to support their product validation and development
  • Three companies at the session have since attended another Water Hub event for which two received joint top prizes of £2.5k each and one received a runner up prize of £1k for their pitches.



I3P Spark Awards (including an interview with The Water Hub and Traceco)