Welsh Government Minister Lesley Griffiths opened our sixth annual Innovation Conference held in April 2019 at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff.
The event showcased how we are tackling the big challenges facing us and the innovative work we’ve undertaken over the last year.
Over 400 guests from across academia, stakeholders, and from across Welsh Water attended the conference held in the centre of the Welsh capital, which explored how we can use innovation to help us achieve our ambitious Welsh Water 2050 goals.
The conference showcased the latest technology, including partners like Infosys, CGI, Capgemini, Wipro, Microsoft & SAP – with an innovation technology theatre delivering a flavour of how technology could best serve the upcoming challenges and opportunities linked to the “internet of things”, cloud platforms, Business Information Management and industry applications of technology to surface business outcomes in meaningful ways – with the aim of bringing technology to life through the eyes of Welsh Water, from utilising sensors in a customer’s toilet to real-time accurate insights into asset management across the business.
Chief Executive, Chris Jones, opened the conference by outlining the importance of the company’s Water 2050 vision, and explaining how they align with the Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations Act, before introducing keynote speaker, the Welsh Government’s Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths AM.
The Minister’s address explored how innovation is at the heart of tackling climate change, while supporting our efforts to protect wildlife and the wider environment – as well as outlining how government has looked to tackle these problems.
Managing Director of Wastewater Services, Steve Wilson, outlined how we are building towards our 2050 vision in waste, while Head of Water Assets, David Taylor, and Managing Director of Household Customer Services, Sam James also outlined some innovative projects the company is developing in order to meet the expectations of our customers.
A selection of schools also exhibited at the conference as part of a competition to find an innovative solution to key challenges facing the industry – with Caerleon Comprehensive winning the overall judges’ vote with their Let’s Stop the Block themed project “Fatballs”, and Radyr Comprehensive taking the People’s Vote for “Cease the Grease”.
The conference also heard from external speakers – Terry A’Hearn from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), Professor Kim Graham from Cardiff University, and Tina Catling from Welsh Water’s capital partners Morgan Sindall.
Director of Environment, Tony Harrington, said: “It was great to see so many engaged people at the event – sharing ideas on how we can overcome the biggest challenges facing us over the coming decades.
“I especially want to thank the Minister, Lesley Griffiths AM, for addressing the conference and setting out how we can work together with government to realise the shared ambition we have to protect and improve our services for future generations.
“Together with some of the great ideas that schools came up with as part of our innovation challenge, the range of ideas explored today sets us in good stead to realise the ambitious targets we have set ourselves for Welsh Water 2050.”
You can download the presentations from the day below:
- Chris Jones - Chief Executive, Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
- Dave Taylor - Head of Water Assets
- Samantha James - Managing Director of Household Customer Services
- Steve Wilson - Managing Director of Wastewater Services
- Terry A'Hearn - Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Tina Catling
- Tony Harrington - Director of Environment