On a quest for innovation

Northumbrian Water employees are on a mission to help the company continue celebrating its industry-leading performance in innovation.

Their challenge, should they choose to accept it, is to explore and develop their own clever ideas that will help deliver better and more efficient ways of working across the business.

The employee competition, named ‘InvestQuest', is part of Northumbrian Water's leading innovation culture, which includes projects such as smart sensors in the water network to detect leaks, digital twin technology to simulate and protect against flooding incidents, and not forgetting its globally renowned Innovation Festival itself.

Now in its third year, experts within the company are being encouraged to sign up to InvestQuest and submit their clever ideas and inventions, whether that's putting in new equipment, or expanding an existing idea to help Northumbrian Water improve its performance. This year, the water company are also inviting their supply partners to take part.

Over the last few years, employees participating in InvestQuest have come up with great ideas, including one recent project which sees a new piece of kit help keep the treatment processes clean and efficient for as long as possible, bringing about huge performance, environmental and efficiency benefits to the company.

Heidi Mottram, Northumbrian Water's Chief Executive, said: "Innovation is engrained in absolutely everything we do. We're always looking for better and clever ways to do things and can't do that without our employees, our experts in how our business works.

"InvestQuest is just one of the ways that we celebrate our innovation culture inside Northumbrian Water and encourage our people to be creative, to question the norm every day and to innovate at every step.

"I'm so proud that we've seen some amazing results that have led to our employees changing the way the whole industry operates."

This year's InvestQuest will conclude at the company's 2019 Innovation Festival, where employees and Northumbrian Water supply partners will pitch their ideas to Directors. The winning idea will receive investment and support to bring it to life.

Mark Ireland