Balfour Beatty work with WIF

The Water Industry Forum (WIF) has been selected by Balfour Beatty Utility Solutions Ltd (BBUS) to be one of three partners for its new innovation strategy.  The strategy was announced by BBUS managing director, Colin Kelly, at a Parliamentary Reception of the All Party Parliamentary Water Group (APPWG).

The BBUS strategy aims to create a committed and vibrant innovation community in the water sector in which water companies, tier 1 contractors and the industry supply chain engage with each other in an open and collaborative way. BBUS have an aspiration to work together with the industry to deliver the crucial innovative solutions which are blocked by closed innovation practices, but which are clearly achievable. Examples are the development of intelligent water networks and proactive analysis, maintenance and repair capabilities for water infrastructure.

WIF’s role will be to help BBUS identify new innovative approaches to the maintenance and operation of water networks through engagement with the wider supply chain using its extensive network of supplier members.  BBUS’s other partners for its innovation strategy are Cranfield University and the Leeds University Business School.

Colin Kelly also used the APPWG event to reinforce his call for a National Innovation Strategy for the water industry.  "The sector is facing serious challenges and requires a more collaborative approach. Water companies, the supply chain and the regulator must come together to create a National Innovation Strategy for the industry.”

He went on to say  “As an industry we have to do more; a formal framework can help remove the wasted effort and duplicity that occurs from multiple organisations working in parallel on the same problems. If we achieve this the reward for the sector and the UK economy would be tremendous."

Welcoming the news of BBUS’s innovation strategy, WIF Chief Executive Peter Drake said “We look forward to working with BBUS over the coming months as we fully support Colin’s view that the sector is facing some serious challenges which require a much more collaborative approach by the industry.”