Scottish Water’s Strategic Plan, “Our Future Together” sets out 3 ambitions; to go beyond Net Zero Emissions; Deliver Service Excellence and Deliver Great Value and Financial Sustainability.

From 2021 our improvements will be prioritised according to our Strategic Plan.

The objective of our Research and Innovation Strategy is to generate new knowledge and capability that can be applied to address 5 primary challenges:

Our Innovation Challenges

Innovation is essential to deliver Scottish Water’s strategic objectives and to support the transformation of our business.  

Our long-term plan for innovating is divided into 5 primary challenges and 19 outcomes:

Foot with leaf and down arrow 

Innovation Challenge - Transforming Our Emissions 
Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our activities


Innovation Challenge Outcomes 

  • Operational processes have zero emissions
  • All construction is low carbon
  • All vehicles use sustainable power
  • Processes are chemical and energy efficient 
World with leaf

Innovation Challenge - Embracing the circular economy
Maximising value and achieving zero non-value waste

Innovation Challenge Outcomes 

  • Embedding Circular Economy behaviours 
  • Keeping assets performing
  • Working with nature
  • Viewing waste as an opportunity

Water Drop
Innovation Challenge - Delivering a consistently excellent water supply

Transforming the water service for all of Scotland


Innovation Challenge Outcomes 

  • Supplies are resilient to future pressures
  • Zero water waste
  • Customers always enjoy their water
  • Transformed treatment capability to meet future challenges

Waste water drop with arrow going round
Innovation Challenge - Transforming wastewater services
Achieving the sustainable collection, treatment and recycling of wastewater


Innovation Challenge Outcomes 

  • Wastewater services are resilient to future pressures
  • Catchment inputs into wastewater systems are sustainably managed
  • The outputs from wastewater and bioresources are valued
  • Transformed treatment capability and reliability

Innovation Challenge - Transforming how we work
Delivering the best service from source to sea


Innovation Challenge Outcomes 

  • Right service provision for the area
  • Smart processes and systems
  • Maximise the value of our assets 

Opportunities for collaboration 

To meet these challenges we need to work with industry, academia and international organisations. We will:

  • Generate new knowledge by commissioning high quality applied studies with research partners
  • Enhance the impact of research from the Scottish Academic sector through the Hydro Nation Chair position at University of Stirling
  • Host pilot trials at our Development Centres
  • Develop open innovation challenges to stimulate research and innovation 

Market ready technology providers should contact Scottish Water Procurement for guidance.