Anglian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water’s partnership is an industry first. Never before have two water companies come together in this way to work collaboratively on joint business challenges.

Innovate East was born from a joint passion and commitment to innovation and building water companies that are fit for the future. Both organisations are dedicated to finding tangible solutions that can be deployed as a result of the event and benefit not only their customers, but create impact at a regional and societal level too.


Anglian Water serves the large majority of East Anglia with water and wastewater services, stretching from Hartlepool in the north to essex in the south. It delivers for 4m water customers and 6m wastewater customers.

Essex & Suffolk Water is owned by Northumbrian Water Group, a company that largely operates in the north east of England. The southern water company operates in large parts of Essex & Suffolk and delivers water services to almost 2m customers.

The big ideas we’ll generate through Innovate East will be game changers. We’re excited about working with everyone involved and unlocking ideas which will make a real difference to our customers, our environment and to wider society as a whole.
— Peter Simpson, Chief Executive, Anglian Water



Both companies are part of the ‘Leading Utilities of the World’ consortium. This group of global utilities represent the gold standard of utility innovation performance throughout the developed world, using our links to the most coveted companies in the world we aim to bring international thinking to the east to complement the work already being done in our region.

Great ideas come out when you get people from different backgrounds and frames of reference coming together and trying to take a fresh look at how to solve long-standing problems.
— Heidi Mottram, Chief Executive, Northumbrian Water & Essex and Suffolk Water


The east of England is thriving. Three of the fastest growing cities (Cambridge, Milton Keynes and Peterborough) are in our region and its agricultural industry is responsible for producing a large proportion of the country’s crops. We want to shine a light on this area of the UK and use the event to celebrate all that is great about the east. We know that the work going on within our water companies here is world-leading. By inviting leading global thinkers to our region we are able to optimise our outputs and boost this even further to create results that have wider benefit.

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