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Scottish Water and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) are working together on a £3.5 million initiative to make Scotland a world leader in water industry research. The money, which comes from Scottish Water, will be a catalyst for academic research and innovation led by the newly-created post of Scotland Hydro Nation Chair in Water.

From today, Scottish universities are being invited to submit bids to host the project. Funding to support the Hydro Nation Chair in Water post and its associated activities will be spread over six years. The aim is to accelerate progress towards Scotland becoming a sustainable Hydro Nation. According to the bid document, this means transforming the way the water sector operates to make a positive contribution to Scotland’s climate change goal of attaining net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

New research and innovation stimulated by the creation of a Scotland Hydro Nation Chair in Water will also work towards ensuring that people across the whole of Scotland will continue to enjoy access to high quality drinking water. Other areas of research will include the recycling of waste water and ways of enhancing the natural environment.

Simon Parsons, Scottish Water’s Director of Strategic Customer Service Planning, said:

“Scottish Water has set out an ambitious strategy and we are pleased to be working with the Scottish Funding Council to identify ambitious academic partners to help support our journey to net zero emissions and service excellence while providing great value for our customers.”

Dr Stuart Fancey, Director of Research and Innovation at the Scottish Funding Council, said:

“Scotland’s universities have a global reputation for the quality of their research and innovation, the results of which play an incredibly important part in our everyday lives. I am confident that establishing a leadership post in research and innovation for water will inspire new discoveries, some of which will be crucial to tackling the climate emergency.”

Proposals are being invited from both individual universities and from groups of universities collaborating to meet the objectives of the Hydro Nation initiative. Universities will submit their proposals by 25 September and their bids will be assessed by a panel of experts in October.