Renowned companies and speakers to join Innovate East next week

Commentator and broadcaster Simon Fanshawe will be taking part in Innovate East

Commentator and broadcaster Simon Fanshawe will be taking part in Innovate East - Credit: Archant

Great minds set to come together to brainstorm key issues facing industry and society.

A series of inflatable domes will be used to house the Innovate East event

A series of inflatable domes will be used to house the Innovate East event - Credit: Archant

A host of international organisations and influential speakers are set to join Anglian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water at the first ever Innovate East event next week.

The two water companies are teaming up with some of the most influential and innovative organisations from across the globe to host the three-day, industry-first event in Ipswich.

Headline sponsors EWM (an alliance including Atos, Cognizant and Capgemini) and Mott Macdonald will join other confirmed partners Aiimi, BT, @one Alliance, Siemens, Sweco, Emcor, IBM, The Weather Company, Skanska, Xylem, Atkins, Barhale, IMGeospatial and Soarizon to lead the way in working to find solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing the water industry.

A number of influential figures including Green & Blacks founder Jo Fairley, writer and broadcaster Simon Fanshawe and technology reporter Kate Russell, will join delegates over the course of the event to input, guide and motivate.

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Anglian Water chief executive Peter Simpson.

Anglian Water chief executive Peter Simpson. - Credit: Tim George

Over three days - from September 10 to 12 - hundreds of delegates are set to gather at the Trinity Park showground to discuss potential solutions to a number of issues currently facing the water industry, region and society through a series of fast-paced 'sprints' and 'hackathons'. The events will take place in a series of inflated dome structures, creating a setting conducive to collaboration.

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Each partner will be leading their own unique challenge and optimising the expertise of some of the most dynamic and passionate minds from all corners of the globe. The three-day schedule allows decisions to be made quickly, fast tracking the path to real solutions that can be implemented.

The teams will be made up of utility experts, academics, scientists, engineers, commercial businesses, students and customers who will work together to create innovative solutions in the following four main themes: Social Purpose, Natural Capital, Digital Twins and Leakage.

Anglian Water and Northumbrian Water, which operates as Essex & Suffolk Water in the south east, are both members of the 'Leading Utilities of the World' group, which represents the world's most forward-thinking water and wastewater companies and recognises how they are leading the way for innovation in the water industry.

Using their links with water companies across the globe, they aim to bring international thinking to Innovate East, complementing the breakthrough work already being achieved in the region.

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Anglian Water workers Picture: Anglian Water

Anglian Water workers Picture: Anglian Water - Credit: Archant

Strength in numbers

Nigel Watson, Northumbrian Water Group's information services director, said: "I'm very excited about welcoming people from around the globe to Innovate East, to work together to develop collective solutions for the benefit of our customers now and into the future.

"This event is the first of its kind and I'm delighted to have a number of international partners on board for the ride. We're really looking forward to working with everyone involved, to drive performance, take ideas and make them real."

CEO at Anglian Water said, Peter Simpson, added: "We believe that to be truly dynamic, we need to encourage people out of their usual office environment and create an environment that stimulates new ways of thinking.

"As leaders in innovation, we're committed to developing solutions borne from this event for the benefit of the entire water industry, in the UK, and beyond.

"With the partnership of our companies, and sponsors, we hope to demonstrate that there really is strength in numbers and that if we want to go far, we must go together."

As well as the series of sprints and hackathons there will also be a number of complementary activities at Innovate East, including a live climate change-based STEM challenge involving 60 pupils onsite and live streamed to hundreds of others around the region.

It's still not too late to register for the event. Visit for more details.