Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scotland’s economic development agencies, have awarded AECOM, a global integrated infrastructure services company, and its partners WRc and UK Water Ltd, a contract to deliver the Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service on behalf of the Scottish Government. AECOM, WRc and UK Water Ltd will manage the three-year programme, which is part of the government’s Hydro Nation Strategy to support the economic development of Scotland’s water resources. The Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service was launched today by Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Transport and Islands, at the XVth World Water Congress held in Edinburgh.
The Hydro Nation Strategy was launched in 2012, and is designed to deliver economic growth for Scotland through maximising the economic benefits of the country’s water resources by reducing energy use and improving efficiency. The scheme will help raise Scotland’s international profile as a leader in water management and increase global understanding of the circular economy.
The Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service will contribute to the delivery of the Scottish Government’s strategy, with the aim of increasing innovation within the sector by building more effective links across wider industry and stakeholders. The scheme will also provide access to specialist support, as well as test and demonstration facilities. One of its goals will be to increase international trade by bringing more water technology products to market, and encouraging international collaboration. A further objective of the scheme is to increase the number of collaborative projects between businesses, academia and the public sector, in order to encourage knowledge sharing and harness opportunities.
AECOM, WRc and UK Water Ltd will work principally with environmental technology small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the water and waste water sector across Scotland to help turn near-market research into tangible opportunities. The team will provide technical and commercial support to help take water technologies and services to final testing and validation and bring ideas to market faster. AECOM will lead the programme, with UK Water Ltd providing stakeholder services and WRc delivering testing and validation support.
Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay said: “The Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service aims to grow the water economy, create new businesses and jobs. It will tackle specific barriers faced by small and medium sized businesses in bringing products to the market, such as testing under live network conditions, gaining certification and accreditation. It will work closely with the enterprise agencies and have a strong international focus supporting exports, inward investment and the sharing of knowledge and seeking solutions to help tackle global water challenges. “With funding from partners of around £800,000 over three years, the Innovation Service contract has been awarded to AECOM and is a collaborative project involving Scottish Water, the Scottish Government and our enterprise agencies, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency and the Scottish
Funding Council, along with WRc, UK Water Ltd and a range of academic institutions including the Roslin Institute.”
Marc Barone, AECOM’s UK & Ireland managing director for water, said: “This exciting new service will help create a culture of innovation in the UK water industry, unlocking opportunities for Scottish firms to turn their ideas and products into commercial realities. With operations in around 150 countries, AECOM will use its global reach to give companies in Scotland access to the international water market. Our global expertise is complemented by the specialist capabilities of our partners WRc and UK Water Ltd.”
Ian Walker, WRc's technical director, commented: “WRc is delighted to be part of this exciting new Hydro Nation service. We will use our extensive expertise to deliver innovation into the water and waste water sector , helping utilities and industrial end-users access the latest technologies. Our knowledge and experience of evaluation, testing and validation will accelerate market entry of emerging products and services, enabling companies to develop and grow in Scotland.”
David Moulds, company director, UK Water Ltd, said: “UK Water Ltd is delighted to partner with AECOM and WRc to form the Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service. We believe this is a world first for the water industry in terms of government, economic development and business collaboration. We are proud to be part of such an innovative programme and look forward to helping companies achieve economic success in the water sector.”
The Hydro Nation Water Innovation Service will be open to company enquiries from July 2015, after which the first batch of companies to be supported by the scheme will be chosen. More information for companies wishing to submit enquiries will be announced in the next few weeks.
For further information about this contract, please contact Leo Carswell on 01793 865131 or firstname.lastname@example.org.