Introducing our Keynotes for WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2024


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We’re thrilled to announce our keynotes for WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2024 which takes place on Wednesday 3rd April at Greencoat Place Conference Centre, London:


“The Innovation Fund in AMP 8: Growing in Size and Growing in Ambition” – Ofwat is the Water Services Regulation Authority for England and Wales. Marc Hannis manages Ofwat’s flagship Innovation Fund, overseeing the delivery of the Water Breakthrough Challenge and Water Discovery Challenge competitions alongside stakeholder relationships and the strategic direction of the fund.

The Innovation Fund was introduced in 2019 as a first for the sector – a £200m fund to catalyse innovation with the overarching objective to support the sector to better meet the needs of, and create long-term value for, customers, society and the environment through innovation. Since then, it has awarded funding to over 75 promising solutions and helped the sector to better coordinate its innovation efforts to ensure best possible outcomes and value for customers. With only a year of the current AMP to go and confirmation that the Innovation Fund will increase in size to at least £400m in AMP 8, Marc will reflect in this keynote on the successes and lessons learned and set out where Ofwat see the Fund going next.

A taster of Marc’s presentation highlights include:

    • Where the fund started and where it is now – short context on the fund’s origins (and where the sector was at that time in terms of innovation capability, capacity and appetite)
    • Early successes for the fund and areas for further development
    • Examples of the breadth of funding awarded
    • Key proposals for evolving the fund in AMP 8 to ensure it has impact and delivers outcomes for customers


“Scaling Smart: Anglian Water’s Journey in Smart Water Systems and Collaborative Innovation” – Unlocking the potential of smart water systems has been a transformative journey for Anglian Water, one marked by innovation, collaboration, and overcoming challenges. Join Head of Smart Water, Andy Smith, and Strategic Innovation and Shop Window Lead, Fionn Boyle, as they take us through Anglian Water’s evolution over the last three Asset Management Periods (AMPs).

In this keynote presentation, Andy and Fionn will provide an overview of Anglian Water’s path to developing smart water systems. They will delve into the platforms they’ve deployed, such as the Water Innovation Network and the Shop Window, to foster innovation successfully.

The duo will spotlight some of the most ground breaking solutions that have emerged from this journey, showcasing the pivotal roles played by key universities and suppliers in supporting Anglian Water’s endeavours. Moreover, they will shed light on how the company has nurtured true collaborative partnerships to propel progress.

Scaling innovative solutions isn’t without its challenges, and Andy and Fionn will candidly discuss the obstacles they’ve had to surmount along the way and the strategies employed to overcome them.

In the last few years Anglian Water’s advancement has been the support of initiatives like the OFWAT Innovation Fund, which has not only bolstered Anglian Water but also catalysed progress across the UK water industry.

Moreover, Andy and Fionn will emphasise the significance of leveraging international relationships to drive innovation forward. They will articulate why an international perspective is indispensable for innovation and how Anglian Water has harnessed global partnerships to develop cutting-edge solutions.


“Blue Heart – Applying the Smart Storm Water Management Wheel in a Local Authority Context” – Effective management of stormwater systems is necessary for protection of both the built and natural environments. However, stormwater management is facing multiple, growing challenges, including climate change, ageing infrastructure, population growth, urbanisation, environmental concerns, regulatory and institutional changes and public awareness.

The ‘smart stormwater management wheel’ provides a flexible and iterative approach for implementing smart functionality of stormwater management systems. It provides a structured methodology for overcoming barriers and benchmarking progress, and may be used to explore trade-offs and relationships between differing levels of implementation for each of the constituent technologies in a smart stormwater system.

The Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (FCRIP) has funded Blue Heart to develop and trial the smart stormwater management wheel in a local authority context with multiple organisations and agencies for improved and more resilient storm water management. Blue Heart is predominately doing this by deploying a network of sensors to create a digital twin for informing asset management, flood warnings, mitigating flood risk and real time control of water systems. The smart storm water management wheel concept is being applied to monitor and evaluate the success of Blue Heart’s approach to storm water management as well as provide a roadmap for its implementation.

This keynote – to be co-presented by Anna Hastings (Blue Heart Project Manager and Innovative Flood Resilience Project Manager at East Sussex County Council) and Dr Chris Sweetapple (Blue Heart Telemetry Expert and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Exeter’s Centre for Water Systems) – covers where Blue Heart has reached along this roadmap in its journey towards 2027, where FCRIP expires.

WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2022 (hosted at The BCEC, Birmingham) featured keynote speakers from Severn Trent, the Environment Agency, Buckinghamshire Council and Bristol Water

WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Classes show key stakeholders how deploying the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices can help manage the distribution and management of water resources across our cities and regions, and also offers utilities an opportunity to improve efficiency and customer service, whilst reducing water scarcity and supporting the drive towards a net zero future.

Core themes range from smart leakage detection and miniaturisation of sensors, smarter pressure management, asset tracking and connected water operations, modelling and simulation (incl. digital twins), the water company of the future, smart water gully maintenance and utilising smart meters effectively, to digital apps and platforms for demand management, smart telemetry systems for managing flood risk, sustainable drainage systems, smart sewers and wastewater management, innovations in water purification, smart billing and payments, harnessing AI for automation of customer engagement, and using real-time analytics and drones for monitoring water quality and mapping assets.

Qualifying delegates include commissioning, procurement, innovation, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers, environmental managers, policy makers and planners from UK water companies and utilities, wastewater and sewer operators, lead local flood authorities (unitary authorities and county councils), city/borough/metropolitan councils, district councils, combined authorities, highways authorities, prime contractors, general insurers, large water consumers, central governmental and regulatory bodies (e.g. Defra, DCLG, Ofwat, Environment Agency, DWI, SEPA), independent industry and consumer organisations (e.g. Water UK, CCW) etc.

If you meet the qualification criteria described, REGISTER HERE to claim your free delegate place at WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2024 and join us for what promises to be an insightful half day (8.30am-2.00pm) of collaboration and knowledge exchange!



      • Inspirational keynotes on behalf of Ofwat, Anglian Water, Blue Heart, East Sussex County Council and the University of Exeter’s Centre for Water Systems, providing invaluable real-world insights into smart water management strategies, ongoing programmes and challenges, digital visions, collaborative initiatives, catalysing innovation, adoptions of transformative technology and data driven outcomes.
      • Rapid fire innovator presentations delivered by up to 5 leading technology experts and thought leaders, each representing a priority water management innovation theme and associated areas of “Smart Water” application. Check out our evolving agenda on the event website for speaker profiles and descriptions of the presentations to be delivered obo Brightly Software (a Siemens Smart Infrastructure company), Our Rainwater, Project Centre (part of Marston Holdings), and other innovators.
      • Q&As after each keynote and innovator presentation.
      • Deeper-dive roundtable consultations with speakers and specialists to help hone delegates’ smart strategies and address some of their specific water management challenges.
      • Further networking opportunities with peers and pioneers over breakfast, drinks and cooked lunch, and all at no charge!


Like to secure an innovation sponsorship slot at WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Class 2024 or sponsor one of our other Smart Classes?

Up to 5 innovators/solution vendors can participate at a Smart Class in an “Innovation Sponsor” capacity: Check out our Event Sponsorship page for full details on “Smart Class Innovation Sponsorship Packages” or contact us by phone or e-mail if you’d like to discuss this option further.

Peruse our Testimonials page, the Smart Class event pages on our website and “Retrospective Round-ups” published on the Smart Classes Knowledge Base for feedback from previous delegates, sponsors and supporters! Browse individual Smart Classes from our Events Schedule & Archive.

Feature Image Source: Tama66 on Pixabay

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WATER MANAGEMENT Smart Classes show key buyer side stakeholders how deploying the latest digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies and best practices can help manage the distribution and management of water resources, and also offers utilities an opportunity to improve efficiency and customer service whilst reducing water scarcity and supporting the drive towards a net zero future.


   London, UK

Sponsored by
Brightly Software
Our Rainwater
Project Centre

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