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by The digiLab Team

Updated 21 February 2024

digiLab Announced as a Winner of the OfWat Water Discovery Challenge

We’ve received almost half a million pounds from OfWat to further develop and commercialise senSiteUQ, our sensor placement optimisation solution for water networks.
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senSiteUQ enables operators to maximise their understanding of the network, while minimising the total number of sensors required. That translates into better decision-making with reduced costs. senSiteUQ will enable the water sector to reduce CSO pollution, respond faster to extreme weather, improve biodiversity, and have improved live monitoring and data analysis.

Under the hood, it leverages APIs from our probabilistic ML platform, twinLab, to reduce the number of sensors required, account for missing and noisy data, and provide reliable, quality data for safety critical decisions throughout the network. We’ve been working with South West Water and Yorkshire Water as pilot partners.

Helen Campbell, Senior Director for Sector Performance at Ofwat, said:

“This competition was about reaching new innovators from outside the sector with different approaches and new ideas, and that’s exactly what the winners announced today are doing. The products and ideas recognised in this cross-sector challenge will equip water companies to better face challenges of the future – including achieving sustainability goals and meeting net zero targets – all while providing the highest-quality product for consumers.”

Run by Ofwat, collaboratively with Challenge Works, Arup and Isle Utilities, the Water Discovery Challenge is a part of Ofwat’s £200 million Innovation Fund. It provides support and funding for initiatives that prove the most promising at helping to tackle the biggest challenges facing the water sector. These include steps towards achieving net zero, protecting natural ecosystems and reducing leakage, as well as delivering value to society.

About Ofwat’s Innovation Fund   

Ofwat has established a £200 million Innovation Fund to grow the water sector’s capacity to innovate, enabling it to better meet the evolving needs of customers, society and the environment. It is encouraging new ways of working that go beyond business-as-usual innovation practices in the water industry, in particular, increasing and improving collaboration and building partnerships from within and outside the water sector.

About digiLab

digiLab operates as the ML partner for industry, with a team of over 30 experts in ML, AI, data science, and software engineering. As the world increasingly adopts data-driven approaches, digiLab leads in areas where data is uncertain or sparse, where other techniques cannot perform. Taking a Bayesian view of the world, digiLab believes in the value of eliciting expert opinion from engineers and scientists, while capturing the inherent uncertainty in modelled systems to enable informed and optimum decision making. digiLab’s flagship offering is twinLab, the ML platform which enables engineers to build fast emulators with built-in uncertainty quantification, supported by our solution engineering team and ML skills training.

About Challenge Works   

Challenge Works is a global leader in the design and delivery of high-impact challenge prizes that incentivise cutting-edge innovation for social good. In the last 10 years, it has run more than 80 prizes, distributed £84 million in funding and engaged with 12,000 innovators.  

Challenge prizes champion open innovation through competition. It specifies a problem that needs solving, but not what the solution should be. It offers large cash incentives to encourage diverse innovators to apply their ingenuity to solving the problem. The most promising solutions are rewarded with seed funding and expert capacity building support, so that they can prove their impact and effectiveness. The first or best innovation to solve the problem wins. This approach levels the playing field for unknown and previously untested innovators so that the best ideas, no matter their origin, are brought to bear on the most difficult of global challenges. Find out more at: challengeworks.org    

About Arup   

Dedicated to sustainable development, Arup is a collective of designers, consultants and experts working globally. Founded to be humane and excellent, it collaborates with clients and partners using imagination, technology, and rigour to shape a better world.

Arup helps its clients solve their most complex challenges – turning exciting ideas into tangible reality as it strives to find a better way and shape a better world. With a community of over 1700 water professionals, Arup is leading global thinking across key areas like innovation, resilience, net zero carbon and sustainable water management.  Find out more: www.arup.com

About Isle Utilities  

Isle is a global team of independent scientists, engineers, business and regulatory experts with a common drive to make a positive environmental, social and economic impact through the advancement of innovative technologies, solutions and practices.  Its passions and expertise in technology and innovation enables Isle to connect expertise, investment and inspired ideas across the globe. At the core of all Isle's activities is an ambition to make the world a better place. Find out more: www.isleutilities.com

The digiLab Team
We are a 30+ strong team of ML Experts, Software Developers, Solution Engineers, and Product Experts. As a spinout from the University of Exeter, we build on years of cutting-edge academic research. At our core is a commitment to helping engineering and infrastructure companies become data-driven.

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