The deal, worth more than £2.5m, will allow five streams of research into areas such as sustainable water and sewage treatment, keeping bills affordable and reducing carbon footprint - all of which will be explored by a multi-disciplinary research team from fields as diverse as the sciences, engineering and management here at Bath.
The funding includes financial support from other sources and £500k from the University’s EPSRC ‘Impact Acceleration Account’.
The collaboration will see the University and Wessex Water launch a new state of the art ‘Water Innovation and Research Centre @ Bath’ in 2014, a facility that will provide a unique environment in which research into water technologies and resource management can be conducted.
It is intended that research carried out through the new centre will involve water utility companies, technology suppliers, and researchers from around the country and internationally, contributing to future water policy and the development of sustainable water treatment systems.
The collaboration will also see the appointment of a new Professor and a Prize Fellow, alongside a new a Lecturer supported by the University, and a number of opportunities for PhD students in a variety of related disciplines.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell said: “Wessex Water is an extremely innovative company and this collaboration will ensure that its next generation of research and development has far-reaching impact. The establishment of this new collaboration is testament to our ability to take research from the lab through to application, resulting in a real impact for the industries we work with.”
Wessex Water chairman Colin Skellett said the funding was made possible through the company re-investing profit into research and development which will benefit customers in the long term while at the same time support the local economy.
He said: “The collaboration with the university will allow research into the future treatment of water and sewage as well as looking into efficiency, leakage reduction and waste to energy development.
“It will help ensure we are in an even better position in the future to continue to perform at the highest level and deliver the best services for customers at an affordable price, while at the same time complement our own ongoing work into continuously looking at ways of operating more efficiently through innovation and sustainable practices.”
The collaboration will commence in June 2013, and is being led from Bath's side by Dr Tom Arnot, in the Department of Chemical Engineering.
For information on roles linked to the collaboration see the RDSO website.