A brick that could replace sandbags to defend homes and infrastructure from flooding is one of three innovations sharing £200,000 of funding to develop technology to tackle climate change and flooding.
The entrepreneurs competed in a ‘Dragons Den’ style competition to win the funding, which will be used to bring the two products and concept into production. The competition winners were:
Flood Brick from Fluvial Innovations: Awarded £44,280 plus the cost of kitemarking the product. The project creates a low cost, stackable flood barrier intended to replace the use of sandbags. The Flood Brick can be easily stored, deployed by one person and is re-usable. Units can be self-filling, using the weight of rising floodwater to hold back flood flow.
Papa Rainwater Harvesting System from Papa: Awarded £88,000. A zero energy rainwater harvester uses flowing water from roofs to activate a patented valve to pump rainwater into storage for re-use in local domestic and industrial buildings. It plans to make rain-water harvesting cost-effective on a wider scale which will contribute to reducing water usage and flood risk.
Catchment Scale approach from AECOM: Awarded £54,630. AECOM will work with Severn Trent Water to look at the challenges of drainage during heavy rainfall in urban parts of the West Midlands. It will develop a model that can be used by water companies across the UK.
The prize fund forms part of the UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) work to protect peoples home from flooding and adapt to climate change. Environment Minister Lord de Mauley said: “These businesses have created exciting ways to combat climate change and the effects of flooding in our communities. The competition has encouraged people to think about tackling the problems the environment throws at us, and I hope these make it into production along with many of the other ideas we have seen.”
The Defra funded – Technology Standard Board competition is the first of two rounds, with an additional £200,000 funding available for round two. The second round of the competition will be launched in summer 2013.