NETPark-based environmental gel innovator Intelligent Gels in partnership with Durham University, Northumbrian Water and technology innovation catalyst CPI is one of 16 initiatives being awarded a share of £40m in Ofwat’s latest innovation competition – the Water Breakthrough Challenge.
Water Breakthrough Challenge awards
Now in its third year, the Water Breakthrough Challenge awards funding to solutions with potential to deliver wide-scale, transformational change benefitting customers, society and the environment.
The innovative Root Defender project aims to end sewer misery by preventing tree root intrusion into pipelines. Tree roots, which work their way into sewer pipes, block thousands of pipes every year which causes flooding and pollution and costs tens of thousands of pounds to repair.
Leading the project, alongside Northumbrian Water, is Intelligent Gels who are creating a new eco-friendly product that can be applied to the inside of existing sewer pipes, and coated on new pipes laid in the future, to stop tree roots growing any further without damaging roots and killing the tree.
Based at Orbit, Durham University’s Enterprise Zone at NETPark, Intelligent Gels has worked with Durham University, Northumbrian Water and CPI to examine the effects on plant and tree root growth. This new funding will allow further product development and industrial scale testing before commercialisation.
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