Regulator tenders £8m contract for partner in its £200m innovation fund

Ofwat’s has issued a tender for an £8m contract to provide consultation services as the regulator’s innovation fund partner.

The contract winner will to help Ofwat to run the competitions for its £200 million innovation fund in AMP7. In the tender notice Ofwat said it had “identified the need for an innovation fund partner with experience of running innovation funds/competitions to support us in delivering the innovation fund.”

The partner will assist the regulator with “the design, implementation and ongoing monitoring and administration of the innovation fund.”

The deadline for tenders is 21 September 2020.

Based on feedback “ from a wide range of stakeholders,” Ofwat unveiled recently how and for what the funding will be awarded.

Water and wastewater companies and new entrants will be eligible for direct access to the funding. Other parties will only be able to access the funding indirectly through collaborative bids.

There will be two strands of the competition – the innovation in water challenge schedule for January 20021 and the main competition which it expects to open in April 2021.

The innovation in water challenge will be a “Dragons Den-style” competition for smaller projects, which Ofwat says will “particularly interest supply chain businesses who might not always get the opportunity to pitch to big businesses.”

The main competition will be for large, strategic projects involving cross-water company collaboration, as well as with other stakeholders in the water sector and beyond.