European research project to use smart technology to tackle global water issues

A new £ 660 million European project will see smart technologies and state-of-the-art sensors used to help tackle global water challenges and create a new generation of researchers.

Birmingham City University and Greek technology firm Singular Logic have been handed €761,644 (£ 665,966) by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks scheme.

An array of smart technology sensors will be put to work to monitor and provide real-time updates on the quality, quantity and demand for water in urban areas and find new ways to provide accessible and affordable water. The developed technology could have a major impact on future policy by finding ways to improve the efficiency and performance of water systems across the UK and Europe.

” With the rise in smart technology we now have a real opportunity to rethink how we view some everyday problems, and can gain a level of insight into issues of water we would never have been able to get before ” Professor Wenyan Wu

Other partners involved in the project are United Utilities Plc in North West England and Madrid based engineering consultancy Aqua-Consult Ingenieros. It is hoped that the initiative will help spawn generation of researchers in the field and create a legacy of knowledge which can help create long-term solutions for water systems across the world. Data outputs from the project will be made publically available so that they can be used to help shape future industry initiatives and government policy.

Professor Hanifa Shah, Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise at Birmingham City University, said: “This is the first grant of its kind to be awarded to Birmingham City University and we are delighted to be at the forefront of looking at how new technologies can transform our approaches to water engineering in urban environments”. “Using the longstanding expertise of our academics in advanced sensors, ICT and the Internet of Things we will be able to pass on knowledge and hopefully have a lasting impact through the training of the researchers on this project”. “This project epitomises our commitment to working in partnership and joining up academic expertise with industry partners while training and developing doctoral researchers”.