Unearthing innovative solutions for the water sector: Siemens 1-1280x720

12 Mar 2019

Unearthing innovative solutions for the water sector

  • Siemens and +ADD Strategy lead ground-breaking innovation programme to bring water sector together
  • Collaborative thinking to identify priority challenges
  • Co-investment for innovation-led projects to develop effective solutions and new answers
  • Water quality is the first topic selected for the innovation challenge

Rising to meet the increasing interest in intelligent water networks, Siemens has joined forces with specialist innovation partner +ADD Strategy to kick start a two-year open innovation programme to try to solve some of the key industry challenges in asset efficiency and availability, water quality, and customer satisfaction.

Using a co-creation process the programme aims to establish a range of projects where water companies are seeking actionable insights that are reliable and integrated with their existing and planned infrastructure and systems.  Going beyond product and also looking at business models, these ‘intelligence as a service’ (IAAS) projects will consider themes in the clean and waste water networks..

The outputs from each of the themes will be the co-development and prioritisation of challenge areas and discrete project ideas. Working in partnership with water companies and the supply chain, Siemens will co-invest to develop new solutions that meet the needs of the partners.

Water Quality – the top nine challenges the industry faces

The first workshop of 2019 took place in Manchester and explored the field ofwater quality. Via a series of collaborative sessions, the stakeholder group of 90 attendees, including six water companies, delved into a number of areas that considered the technical, organisational structure and culture, cost/value, and market challenges.

From the wide-ranging number of challenge areas, the workshop participants focussed on defining and selecting the top nine priorities. 

The nine challenge priorities identified were:

  • New business models to enable network wide deployment of solutions at scale
  • What does normal look like? Understanding network resilience through dynamic health indices.
  • Sensors are not enough: How do you receive water quality network sensor data you can trust that allows you to make the insights you need?
  • Making data visible and accessible by structuring, storing and updating a single source of truth.
  • Turning data in to insight: How can having real-time visibility of chlorine and turbidity improve water quality in networks?
  • How do you price insight? Understanding the balance between cost, data quality, and utility
  • How can water quality data help to enable intelligent scheduling of network maintenance?
  • Can water quality data obtained from remote network sensors be used for regulatory reporting?
  • Enabling collaboration: How can you encourage and support different teams and organisations to share pain points, data, and value?

The nine priority challenges will be further assessed and those considered of the highest importance taken forward as innovation-led projects to develop appropriate and effective solutions.

Dr John Gaffney, Product Owner, Siemens UK & Ireland, is leading the collaboration initiative on behalf of Siemens. 

He comments: “The water sector is a prime example of an industry facing a number of challenges on a number of fronts, ranging from operational efficiencies, its relationship with regulators and the deployment of technologies to drive digital transformation.

“Successfully overcoming some of the priority challenges defined by the sector - especially around water quality - requires a collaborative approach as no single stakeholder has all the answers.  Working with +ADD Strategy will allow Siemens to create a proactive community who have an interest in solving the challenges the sector faces, so we can co-invest time, resources, thinking and technology to build new solutions.

“The possibility through collaboration of potentially establishing new business models, examining the opportunity of doing things in a different way and encouraging those with a vested interest to come together to find technology-led solutions, is exciting, and is a showcase for how Siemens itself is changing to work with our customers and partners in new ways”

Downloads and media

Contact information

About Siemens