Last week, our Water Management Engineer, Sarah, attended the 3rd European Climate Change Adaption Conference in Glasgow (ECCA, 2017). OTA had been given a slot to pitch in the Glasgow Innovation Challenge, organised by Climate-KIC, Europe’s largest climate innovation agency and Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, in partnership with the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership (MGSDP).
The ECCA Innovation Day aimed to create opportunities for businesses, from micro- to multi-nationals, to join with researchers, students and other groups in tackling the adaptation challenges of cities and local governments. There were two specific challenges to address:
- flood mitigation systems that can be retrofitted to commercial or residential properties
- innovative ways to engage stakeholders and communities to take-action in addressing Glasgow’s urban environmental challenges
We entered challenge 1, where judges were looking to “identify interventions to reduce flood risks” specifically through “retrofitable solutions which act as a buffer for surface water flow, to temporarily hold water before slowly releasing it back into the environment or drainage system”. The pitch needed to showcase a solution which was easily retrofitable, attractive for private households/ businesses to adopt, low cost (£250/ household) and ‘ready to go’. If the solution could provide secondary benefits (such as water use or education), be manufactured in Glasgow and be easily removed, if required, it may score a few bonus points!
Selected applicants initially pitched in a “Dragon’s Den”-style format, in a closed room, solely to the judging panel. After this, the judges selected their Top 3 to present to a wider audience at the conference, before selecting an overall winner.
We were selected – along with Jarred Lester from Rainwater Harvesting Ltd., and Peter Robinson of C&D Associates – to present in the final 3 pitches in the afternoon to an audience of 80-100 conference delegates.
The innovation presented by C&D Associates, SuDSBox, was chosen as the winner, and was therefore, the recipient of up to £20k to develop their innovation in Glasgow with MGSDP partners. We were delighted to be given the opportunity to pitch in an exciting competition, and to win a place in the Top 3!