Anglian Water expands its Innovation Centre to reach a million customers

16 February 2021

News

Anglian Water is expanding its Shop Window innovation centre in Newmarket to bring the latest innovation to a million customers across the east of England. 


An industry first, Anglian’s Shop Window is the innovation powerhouse behind Anglian Water’s ‘Love Every Drop’ strategy. The programme has been so successful, 2021 will see a further significant evolution through a geographic expansion.


Alongside Newmarket, the programme area will now also incorporate the coastal areas of West Norfolk and further south to Cambridge, as well as many surrounding towns and villages. By extending its reach to more customers in different geographies projects can be trialled in a larger cross section of the whole region, and with access to a much broader range of infrastructure to test ideas and solutions on.  


Founded in 2015, the initiative originally aimed to create a vision of the water company of the future, by trialling and showcasing the latest technology and enabling a clear path to adoption for successful initiatives across the whole business. 


Past projects such as smart metering, mobile sludge thickening technology as well as an entire smart water systems strategy have already been rolled out across Anglian’s whole region after being originally developed in the Shop Window area.  


The programme will look to accelerate new projects in the following areas: 

  • Ensuring resilient and intelligent water supply 
  • Exceeding customer expectations 
  • Supporting a flourishing environment 
  • Tackling climate change 
  • Unlocking efficiency 
  • Enabling the workforce of the future 


Fionn Boyle, Chair of the Shop Window Management Board, said, “We are excited to be expanding the Shop Window. We see it as an incubator to implement new ideas for our future business and are keen to start rolling out projects out across this wider area.  


“This new approach will increase the scope we have to test and trial new ways of working as well as the latest technologies. Together this means we can gather deeper insight across all these areas that will support our knowledge, help accelerate innovation in the future and give us confidence in future investment decisions.” 


The project has also altered its decision-making structure to include members of its Future Leaders Board alongside existing company directors, on the newly formed Shop Window Management board. Putting responsibility in the hands of those who will be managing the business in the future. 


Fionn added: “So much of the Shop Window programme about the future, our board felt it right that it’s management should fall to the future leaders of our business, supported by the current senior management team. Jointly they will have responsibility for all assets, operations and investment in the area. They will actively look to develop a future operating state to enable us to continually move forward at pace, rolling out successes across the whole business.”