South West Water Innovation Support


Expedition has a trusted relationship with South West Water to assist the organisation in developing and implementing a corporate innovation strategy; we provide support to their team to assess innovation opportunities, pinpoint options that had the best potential for success, and draft and submit bids to the Ofwat Innovation Fund.

The introduction of an innovation delivery strategy was a key first step for South West Water in strengthening its ability to identify and analyse innovation opportunities, and to pursue funding with which to develop them further. Expedition’s input helped the organisation to scrutinise and refine its proposals before developing and submitting funding bids, to ensure the highest chance of success.

Alongside strategic advice, we have provided delivery support for two bids to the Ofwat Innovation Catalyst Fund. South West Water had previously been a partner on bids led by other water companies, but wanted to affirm its commitment to innovation by taking the lead on submissions to the 2022/23 bidding round.

Our input began ahead of the bidding cycle, with scrutiny of the opportunities that SWW had identified. We refined and tested early proposals and established the most effective way in which to deploy the technology for the best outcome.

The process began with a ‘design thinking’ workshop involving the technology provider and all the water companies that were interested in using it. Those present considered what problems the technology could solve, what problems it should solve, and how best to go about implementing it, and the feedback was used by the technology provider to inform development of a proposal.

In a second session we brought together the SWW operations team and the technology provider to identify the most appropriate use cases to take forward. Desirability, feasibility and viability for each case was analysed to establish the best fit.

We employed innovation development tools such as the business model canvas to map out exactly how the technology would work and which partners we needed to bring in to make it successful. The value proposition canvas was used to map out the benefits, pains and gains for a range of potential customers, reassuring the team that they were pursuing the right option.

With the team built and the idea tested ahead of the limited bidding timeline, SWW was able to fully focus on drafting and refining its submission from the moment the documents were released.

The submission required a three-minute video pitch, and we proposed use of the ‘hero’s journey’ story arc, to focus on how the innovation would improve the customer’s experience. This was considered to be more dynamic and meaningful than a conventional explanation of the technology, and was used in both of the bids that SWW submitted.

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South West Water is working with Expedition Engineering to develop and de-risk innovation projects. Ian has brought his extensive innovation skills and experience to add significant value to our innovation process. His friendly and inclusive approach to innovation and working with diverse stakeholders in facilitating workshops has accelerated our rate of learning and refinement on innovation projects.

Andrew Pennington

Innovation Integration Manager, South West Water

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