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Utility Week Live


Our unique Collaborate Exchange programme houses small peer-to-peer discussion sessions, allowing participants to share experiences and best practices, workshop common problems, and share views and solutions on key challenges facing the sector.

Each session is lightly moderated, and participants will be briefed in advance to come prepared, ready to share experiences with industry peers, and to work through key themes in the sessions.

21 May 2024
  1. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    Utility network and retail companies need to regain trust from consumers to gain legitimacy as they lead the charge on net zero, environmental improvements and decarbonisation. To deliver the new infrastructure required at pace and influence consumer behaviour, the industry must minimise public back lash and win the hearts and minds of citizens. 
    Join this interactive session to uncover: 

    • How to change peoples’ perceptions
    • How to ‘lean’ into challenges
    • How to build points of connections with customers and citizens

    Dan Roberts, partner, Brunswick Group
  2. Collaborate Exchange Stage


    As governments worldwide strive to achieve ambitious net zero targets, water companies are faced with the critical task of addressing emissions associated with bioresource treatment and renewable energy production. Central to this effort is the imperative to control and minimize methane emissions, unlocking the potential for clean and sustainable energy generation from waste sources. 

    Join this session to discuss:  

    • How can we accurately assess and quantify the methane contribution of renewable energy derived from bioresource treatment? 

    • Where do the most significant methane emissions occur, and what proactive steps can be taken to reduce their impact on the environment? 

    • How can the industry adapt and innovate to reduce methane emissions and drive sustainable practices forward? 

    Dr. Yadira Bajón Fernández, senior lecturer in bioresources science and engineering (Cranfield) and policy fellow (DESNZ), Cranfield University; and policy fellow, DESNZ
  3. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    All utilities operate as part of a complex, interconnected system of systems, where a change or problem in one part of the system can create a ripple effect elsewhere in the system.   

    In the past, challenges have been satisfactorily met by operating fairly independently within our sector silos but in an increasingly complex, uncertain, volatile and ambiguous world, deeper inter-connections and further cross system (cross sector) working are required if we are to co-ordinate action to keep evolving the system of systems to face these challenges.   

    Open data and data sharing is a critical and foundational component to cross sector collaboration and yet it is still only in its infancy, with a small (but notable) handful of examples tackling some of the thorniest of challenges, but still often only operating at proof of concept or proof of value scale.  

    This collaboration exchange session seeks to create a forum for deeper discussion on the topic of how we can accelerate cross sector working through open and shared data. 

    The following questions will be tackled: 

    • What are the issues we particularly need collaboration for? 

    • What do we want the future of cross-sector working to look like?  What is our story from the future? 

    • What are the existing enablers and barriers to cross sector working and how can we remove the blockers? 

    • What collective action and commitment is required?  What can we do today or tomorrow to accelerate faster towards our vision? 

    Melissa Tallack, open data lead, Northumbrian Water

    Josh D’Addario, Open Data Institute
  4. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    The water environment is facing ever-growing pressures around too much, too little and too dirty water, deepened by climate change and biodiversity crises, population growth and ageing assets. Nature-based solutions (in the context of catchment initiatives, hybrid green-grey infrastructure and natural solutions), can play a critical role in addressing these multiple challenges, and providing a more resilient and sustainable alternative. However, NBS are not common practice across the sector, are still seen as high risk, the uptake is very slow, and therefore, we are failing to maximise their full value. 

    Join this collaboration exchange session to explore:  

    • What is stopping the scale of adoption of NBS in the water sector? And how can the barriers be removed? 

    • Looking at the challenges in AMP8, what do we think are the key challenges and opportunities for NBS in the next AMP specifically?  

    • What can the industry collectively do with regulators and other stakeholders to enable the value of NBS to be maximised in the long-term?  What are the key levers that can drive action? 

    • What can we do today or tomorrow to accelerate change?  

    Amina Aboobakar, director of strategic development and stewardship, Rivers Trust
22 May 2024
  1. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    Innovation plays a key role in the transformation of our energy networks and in meeting the evolving needs of consumers. Understanding and building on past innovations can help generate momentum, allowing innovations to reach a breakthrough. The Playbook identifies and explores patterns of successful innovation. It is not a step-by-step guide to running an innovation project, but a ‘book of previous plays’ that will help navigate some of the complexities of network innovation. By harnessing these invaluable insights, the Playbook offers a powerful resource to guide innovators, energy networks and their partners, to innovation success.  


    Join this interactive workshop to be one of the first to benefit from the findings of the Playbook, use the insights gathered to refine innovative ideas, craft project applications, and embark on a journey of network innovation success. 


    Attend this session to learn: 

    • What are the key and repeatable factors to achieve innovation project success?  

    • What is the role of innovators vs. utilities to improve successful commercialisation?  

    • How to take a project vs. portfolio view to achieve commercial success in network innovation?  

    • What types of support would help innovators secure/deliver an innovation project, and contribute to an increased likelihood of it being adopted in the system? 

    Manu Ravishankar, innovation lead, Ofgem Strategic Innovation Fund, Innovate UK

    Tom Poole, commercial analyst, Innovate UK - SIF Programme
  2. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    DSOs must prioritise collaboration with local authorities to achieve the UK’s net zero goal. It is critical to engage with all stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of decarbonisation plans to better inform strategic development of the grid. In return how can networks improve the transparency of the grid and aid local area energy planning? 

    Join this interactive workshop to gain a deeper understanding of the LENZA tool and work through scenarios in groups to gain hands-on experience you can implement in your organisation. This workshop will uncover: 

    • How LENZA can help with Local Area Energy Plans 

    • How to successfully collaborate to drive efficiency and aid decarbonisation 

    Rosie Robertson, SSEN Distribution

    Rhys Williams, innovation project manager, SSEN Distribution
  3. Collaborate Exchange Stage

    How can we improve asset owner and supply chain collaboration?

    In an era of unprecedented infrastructure delivery, early engagement in the design process with innovators, construction companies and suppliers is essential for driving down cost, improving project delivery efficiency and ensuring minimal impact to the environment. How can utilities adapt the current way of working to encourage the adoption of innovative ways of working and technologies? 

    Join this interactive session to workshop best practise and ways of working to improve and drive efficiency in client and supply chain relationships.

    • How can utilities champion collaboration with the supply chain and provide longer term commitment? 

    • How can we adapt procurement processes to enable innovation? 

    • What does the best case scenario look like regarding contracting and risk management? 

    •  How can utilities and their supply chain award and champion social value in projects?  

    Jon Loveday, director of infrastructure, enterprise and growth, Infrastructure and Projects Authority



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