Ready, set, innovate! Festival registration now open

Registration to one of the biggest festivals of innovation the North East has ever seen is now OPEN.

Industry experts, academics, engineers and students are being urged to get in early to join in the fun at Northumbrian Water’s Innovation Festival, which returns for a third year this summer.

Held from 8 to 12 July, the five-day extravaganza is expected to see more than 3,000 people flooding through the gates of Newcastle Racecourse, ready to take part in a series of sprints and challenges.

Their mission is to deliver a year’s worth of work in a week, working together to come up with solutions to tackle some of the biggest challenges faced by society and the environment today.

Northumbrian Water has teamed up with globally renowned companies such as Microsoft, IBM, CGI, Ford, Wavin, O2, Reece, Aiimi, Wipro Topcoder, Ordnance Survey, Newcastle University and the Institution of Civil Engineers to help deliver the sprints, across five action-packed days of learning, creating, sharing and innovation.

Activities will begin on the Monday, where delegates will scope and unpack the nature of each problem, working each day to develop key ideas and create working prototypes of their ideas and innovations that will be presented back at the end of the week.

A number of ‘design sprints’ and ‘hackathons,’ and even a ‘daily dash’ challenge, will be focused on key issues and challenges such as the impact climate change will have on our communities, the changes 5G networks will make to our lives and what the vehicles of the future will look like.

This year’s festival will also include ‘A year of work in a week’ group, where 60 focused minds will spend the week working on an existing project to really accelerate it, without the usual constraints  in the office.

As well as celebrating innovation and collaboration in the North East, the festival will feature a daily programme of activities aimed at highlighting the importance of health and wellbeing, including relaxing yoga sessions and exhilarating workouts.

Festival-goers will also be able to take advantage of a number of evening entertainment activities, from quiz nights and big screen cinema screenings to improvisation comedy shows, before ending the week with a huge party on the Friday night.

Nigel Watson said: “We’re officially open and ready to unleash our third Innovation Festival upon the world!

“We’ve seen some amazing real-life projects from previous festivals being delivered recently and that’s making things all the more exciting. We’ll be demonstrating these at this year’s festival and talking about the amazing value we have got from them in our business.

“We’ve got some new challenges for our delegates this year and we’re aiming to make big strides with some ideas that have emerged from previous festivals, for example the Common Underground Map. We’ll be working with some hugely inspirational businesses and people from around the world to harness all of that collective brain power and produce innovations that will improve the environment and our customers’ lives. 

“Of course we’ve got to reward all that hard work with some downtime too and in true festival style, we’ll have some fabulous activities that people can let their hair down and really get involved in.

“Once again, it’s going to be an unforgettable week and I’d recommend people get in quick to secure their space!”

Other partners at the Festival include Northumbrian Water’s supply partners Esh-Stantec, Wood, Interserve, Mott Macdonald Bentley and Integrated Water Services.

The water company is also expecting around 1,000 North East school children, who will be taking part in various Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths (STEAM) activities.

For more information and to sign up, click the button below!


Janine Rillands