Platform Spring Accelerates Net-Zero Water Innovations

Emissions reduction innovations from three global technology leaders are accelerated in the UK water sector, thanks to the new Spring collaborative platform. Technologies from Siemens, Xylem and Cobalt Water Global are mobilized thanks to a collaboration of 10 water companies, within the framework of the first Spring Accelerator challenge.

Spring is dedicated to transforming the water industry through innovation and collaboration. It was launched in 2021 to help the sector achieve the ambitions of its joint Water Innovation 2050 strategy and is supported by all UK and Irish water and wastewater companies.

The Spring Accelerator sets challenges related to the Water Innovation 2050 themes, facilitating the end-to-end process, from ideation and evaluation to collaboration and adoption. The early stages of the first challenge, which asked innovators to find ways to reduce operational emissions, have been successfully completed, with three new innovations on the fast track to scale and adoption.

Siemens – Optimizing performance and reducing emissions using a white box digital twin of the wastewater treatment process.

Xylem – Xylem Treatment System Optimization (TSO) twin-based digital control platform for process optimization and greenhouse gas reduction in wastewater treatment.

Global Cobalt Water – N2ORisk decision support system to drastically reduce total greenhouse gas emissions in wastewater treatment plants by focusing on N2O.

Carly Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Spring, said, “We are thrilled to have three innovative companies reach the collaborative phase of Spring’s acceleration process. All three ideas have the potential to be a game-changer in helping the sector meet its net zero challenge, which is why 10 water companies want to work collaboratively to advance these innovations.

“A big thank you to everyone who submitted an idea following our call in February and congratulations to Cobalt Water Global, Xylem and Siemens.”

The winning ideas were announced during a spring webinar on July 7. Reflecting on the process, Adam Cartwright, IoT Application Manager at Siemens, said, “As a vendor, it’s exciting to see your solution tested in a seamless and robust way.

“With all the water companies coming together and agreeing on a common assessment framework for the trial, this will reduce the time needed to move to wide-scale adoption. For me, this is the main advantage of the Accelerator process.

Oliver Puckering, Xylem’s Principal Process Engineer for Digital Solutions, added: “Engaging in a truly collaborative approach to what is one of the critical issues of our time offers the potential for a better combination of offers.

“The level of commitment on all fronts has been very promising so far. Spring is to be commended for that, especially as it is the first of the challenges.

Jose Porro, Founder and Managing Director of Cobalt Water Global, said: “We are delighted and honored to have been chosen for the Spring Innovation Challenge to work with 10 leading UK water companies. We fully support Spring’s initiative to launch the challenge series with net zero technologies.

“Not only is it essential to find ways to accelerate innovation, but there is also an urgent need for climate action. This spring challenge does both.

Platform Spring Accelerates Net-Zero Water Innovations

Also speaking at the webinar, Richard Powell, Chief Innovation Officer at Severn Trent, said: “As a water company, the Spring Challenge has been invaluable in allowing us to review technologies through a robust process and logic and allowed us to quickly focus on elements of the solutions we saw.

“It was an open and collaborative experience, which facilitated connections with others in the UK water sector. The group workshops helped us demystify some perceived industry concerns.

“Where there were legitimate barriers, we were able to talk about it and overcome that barrier. As a result, we were able to move the process forward faster than we otherwise would have.

Next steps

Engagement workshops with the three innovators and the water companies, led by Spring, are underway and individual trials are progressing. Welsh Water, which is currently testing two of the innovations, has already held an information sharing session with other water companies. Upon completion of the individual trials, a collaborative group trial will be led by Severn Trent.

Tony Harrington, Welsh Water’s Chief Environmental Officer and Spring Board Member, said: “We fully support the drive to accelerate innovation and enable collaboration within the water community. and we were thrilled to share the knowledge from our trials in the Spring Accelerator Challenge.

“By taking an open approach, we can help streamline the innovation process and enable faster deployment of new innovations – something the entire industry will derive great value from.”

Value in collaboration

Spring now invites feedback on the first Accelerator challenge.

Perry said: “The value for all of us is in working together. We’re excited to learn from our first challenge and evolve that value as we move on to the next. We will also explore cross-industry collaborations by inviting the participation of innovators from a wide range of industries. »

Future challenges will go live through the Spring platform in the coming months, based on the ambitions defined in Water Innovation 2050. As Spring grows, there may also be defined challenges outside of these themes. For more details visit

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