Spring Launch

Spring Launch

Published On 20/12/2021

After months of diligent work, Spring – the water sector’s innovation centre of excellence – has launched its first services for users across the sector.

Spring’s functions

It’s first core functions sit under two incubators – one centred on ideation and collaboration and the other on innovation adoption.

The first focuses on bolstering and streamlining how ideas are formed and bringing a more diverse range of stakeholders together.

This incubator includes access to communities of knowledge, a portal to share opportunities and challenges for innovators to meet and ways to forge new partnerships.

The second emphasizes how “the best can help the rest” – sharing best practice, kick-starting new partnerships, and getting innovations into the hands of those who can use them.

Under this incubator, users can access new funding opportunities, find the most appropriate testbeds for their innovations, easily share knowledge to create project legacy and access innovation mentoring services.

Fundamental across both is Spring’s emphasis on addressing the skills gap the sector faces, while creating innovation champions and supporting the sector’s open data ambitions.

A new organisation

Spring has been established as a subsidiary of UKWIR – meaning it can maintain its independence while benefitting from UKWIR’s resources and expertise. UKWIR’s place on Spring’s board, alongside British Water and Water UK, will maintain a strong, strategic link between the sector’s research and innovation priorities.

Supporting the Board is an aligned Strategic Advisory Board with founding bid members Capgemini, Jacobs, Mott MacDonald, RSK and Schneider Electric to broaden Spring’s influences.

An evolving offering

Spring has launched as an MVP – minimum viable product – with core functions influenced by extensive user engagement. Over the next six months, Spring will develop its offering based on user feedback – which is why it’s so crucial stakeholders use Spring and give ongoing, constructive feedback.

In addition to scaling up Spring’s initial service offering, the team will be working with colleagues across the sector in the coming months to submit a second-stage Water Breakthrough Challenge bid, after being successful in the first round. This is another great landmark and testament to the team’s achievements.

Shaunna Berendsen, Client Programme Director at Spring, said “It’s been an incredible effort to take Spring from an unnamed concept in July to something our users can engage with to start delivering benefits for companies, customers and the environment.

We wouldn’t have got this far without the support of UKWIR, colleagues across water companies and invaluable input from Ofwat, CCW, Water UK, representatives from the supply chain and the support from our founding bid partners.

We’re grateful to everyone who’s shared their time and expertise with us – we genuinely wouldn’t have achieved this without all of you. As we evolve from our MVP, it’s crucial you stay with us and help shape our future”.

Steve Kaye, UKWIR CEO, said “The Spring team have created something fantastic, and everyone involved should be incredibly proud.

Even before launching, Spring has started to deliver benefits. It’s brought a huge range of stakeholders together and shone a light on the innovation challenges the sector has. Rather than just bringing attention to them, Spring aims to address them – making it easier for companies to share challenges and for innovators to solve them”.

To start using Spring’s services, visit spring-innovation.co.uk