Innovation Festival - Newcastle Racecourse
The NWG Innovation Festival took place at Newcastle Racecourse on 9th to 13th July. This summer festival saw global companies working with innovation experts, schools and businesses to inspire innovative ideas to impact the world. Headline sponsors such as IBM, BT and Interserve discussed with experts such as Big Bang Partnership and Oracle, the ways of creating a brighter tomorrow. The marque village gathered groups from the North East of England to engage and consider big questions involving reducing water consumption by 110l by 2025 and promoting the prevention of flooding.
During this five-day event, sprints, hackathons, coding sessions and tech demonstrations took place alongside live comedy and music, special guests, and inspirational talks from innovative leaders from across the globe.
On the Tuesday, Dennis Dellow set the background, summarising concisely the meaning of leakage, how it was calculated, and the key challenges now and in the near future. Various companies then shared some of their work that was conducted in this field. Raasheed Pakwashi, a Senior Engineer at Crowders, says “it was great to see other water companies taking part in the event despite it being a NWG festival”.
Raasheed then proceeds by saying “the presentations by Yorkshire Water’s Katy Walker on investigating household attributes and their effect on leakage and learning about the various approaches to identifying and locating leaks using acoustic logging taken by NWG and Anglian Water, were especially thought-provoking. It was also quite interesting to see the results of last year’s data hack.”
Senior Crowder Personnel, Dilraj Dhillon and Ken Barnett accompanied Raasheed at the festival for the Tuesday and Wednesday. Raasheed and Ken attended the Leakage data hack and share on the Wednesday, where ideas were brainstormed regarding the importance of understanding seasonal variation as a result of the important questions raised on the Tuesday. The focus of this hack was to allow businesses in the water industry to share their experiences of leakage management with creative data analysts in the field. Analytical techniques and leakage models were investigated to establish a standard method of reducing leakage to an acceptable level in the UK. The comprehensive data set provided by Northumbrian Water allowed several important outcomes to be highlighted. One of which, was the approach of estimating the night use consumptions vs actual leakage. Ideas were projected from the Crowder team about improving the values used for HH and NHH night use to improve the accuracy of the calculated leakage. They said the exercise was “thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding.”
Raasheed overall felt that “the festival itself was great, really well organised, gorgeous weather and there was definitely an ‘air of energy and excitement’. Unlike many conferences and events, I’ve attended previously, this one was different. There were a wide variety of companies and people from various backgrounds, people we don’t usually come across. The plethora of data access, data analysis and data analytics companies with stalls and presentations provided plenty of food for thought and potential for opportunities in the future.”
For the Innovation Festival 2019, it would be fantastic if a Netbase stall was set up. This would make people aware of other software solutions that are available. The Crowder team also suggested an able team to participate in the hack next year, consisting of subject matter experts and data analysts. Many thanks to Northumbrian Water for organising this event.