The proposal is in response to existing testing and demonstration facilities that are dispersed across a small number of sites, which are often under-utilised as they tend to be regional rather than national.

According to the WRc independent co-ordination of these facilities, under proper governance, would provide a national capability for testing and demonstrating innovative solutions.

The use of these facilities under agreed and well defined operational conditions with unambiguous, evidence based and transparent reporting would accelerate adoption and incentivise the supply chain to invest in more innovation for the water sector.

Put forward as The National Innovation Accelerator for Water (NIAW), the proposal would be a virtual hub that co-ordinates and manages the testing and demonstration of technologies, processes and systems for product developers and suppliers.

The NIAW will also provide initial support for market evaluation and business case development, communicate end-users’ needs and requirements, develop and define testing and demonstration protocols while overseeing the activities of the individual testing and demonstration centres.

It will also ensure that testing and demonstrations are robust and evidence based, so that the facilities used reflect real-life conditions and that testing and demonstrations are carried out in the most cost effective manner.

Leigh Stringer

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