Thousands of people descended on Newcastle Racecourse for Northumbrian Water Group’s Innovation Festival this week.

510 of the world’s leading businesses and most innovative minds gathered and worked together for the five-day-event in order to tackle 13 major social and environmental challenges.


They were joined by innovation experts, scientists, engineers, designers, local businesses, Universities, schools, artists and members of the public to come up with and explore innovative ways to help change the world.


Festival guests throughout the week included TV Star and Pointless host Alexander Armstrong, BBC Business expert Steph McGovern, DEFRA Permanent Secretary Clare Moriarty and senior directors at the Environment Agency and OFWAT.


In between all of the sprints and problem solving the festival saw activities taking place including comedy improv workshops, leak sniffing dog demonstrations, weather bulletins, volleyball competitions, yoga demos, poo shows, world cup screenings and much, much, more.


More than 70 gb of data was crunched in our flooding and leakage hackathons and social media around the festival reached more than one million people!


Some of the big Ideas to come from the festival include interactive smart toilets, underground maps, dog bogs and well being apps…and you’ll be hearing lots more about these in the coming months!


Festival organiser and NWG IS group director, Nigel Watson, said: “It’s been an incredible and amazing week. We’ve seen people come from all over the world to join us here in the North East to focus on innovation and to help us make the world a better place, and that’s been just fantastic.


“I’m very excited about the results and can’t wait to see what comes out of the festival. Last year we saw some amazing ideas come to life – like the moss tree in Newcastle – but I’m confident having seen what the sprints have come up with this year that we’re going to change the game completely.


“I’d like to thank all of the sponsors, partners and the racecourse for making the event happen. I’d love to thank all of the guests that came throughout the week to provide inspiration for us all.


“A huge thanks to our customers for taking their time to come and be part of it with us and the biggest thanks of all to our amazing employees who made the whole event happen.”


For videos, pictures and to catch up on all the best bits of the festival visit Northumbrian Water’s facebook page.


For further media information, call 0191 3015678.


Northumbrian Water Limited supplies 2.7 million customers in the North East with both water and sewerage services, trading as Northumbrian Water, and 1.8 million customers in the South East with water services, trading as Essex & Suffolk Water.


In 2017 Northumbrian Water was named Utility of the Year at the Utility Week Awards, for the second time in four years. The company has followed this up in 2018 by winning the UK Excellence Award at the British Quality Foundation (BQF) UK Excellence Awards, and Water Company of the Year at the Water Industry Achievement Awards. Northumbrian Water also received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise for sustainable development for a second time in 2014, which is accredited for five years. This recognises the company as a business which benefits the environment, society and the economy.


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