Flood Resilience Innovation Projects

Enhancing Flood Resilience: Highlighting Isle’s Role in Innovative Defra-Funded Projects

Flooding represents a significant challenge in the UK, with the government spending ~£2.2 billion annually on flooding and flood defenses. Flooding is expected to worsen due to climate change, urbanization, aging flood defenses and reduction in flood-buffering natural habitats. For communities affected, flooding can be destructive and distressing.  

Isle Utilities is involved in the 6-year Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme (FCRIP). This £150 million initiative is funded by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and managed by the Environment Agency (EA). The programme supports 25 projects in England and is led by local authorities. The overarching programme goal is to drive innovation in flood and coastal resilience and adaptation to a changing climate. 

Isle is involved in delivering four of these flood resilience innovation projects:

SuDS+ Community Led Futures reimagines what sustainable drainage (SuDS) can achieve. The project seeks to co-create solutions with residents to reduce flooding and build better places for communities. Isle is the Innovation Partner responsible for innovation governance and fostering innovation within the project.

FloodAI opens rural communities to an enhanced flood warning system using AI and new sensor technology. The project will provide a better, more innovative solution for areas that often lack investment for flood warning systems. Isle is the Innovation Partner with the primary focus of facilitating the adoption of the flood warning system.

Blue Heart is trying out innovative ways to predict and mitigate the impact of flooding, using smart technology to build dynamic flood risk management plans. Isle is undertaking an exercise to identify alternative use cases for sensor data to support ongoing data creation and management.

Project Groundwater supports communities in high flood risk areas to be more resilient to groundwater flooding. Isle has undertaken an Innovation Potential exercise for groundwater property flood resilience solutions and undertaken a horizon scan for participatory GIS solutions.

Together, these flood resilience innovation projects address flooding challenges through community engagement, technological innovation and enhanced collaboration.

Benefits of Approach/Innovation
  • Innovative solutions: The approach identifies technologies and methodologies that may not typically be considered.
  • Innovation outlook: Understanding of how innovation drives flood resilience.
  • Inspiring innovation: Identifying external innovation to be used within the projects.
Specialist Services Involved:
  • Innovation Governance: 
    • Innovation capture and monitoring: Identifying and tracking innovation produced by and across the SuDS+ and FloodAI projects.
    • Innovation impact assessment: Assessing the impact of the innovation on flood resilience.
    • Innovation roll out: Developing adoption frameworks.
  • Sharing innovation: 
    • Innovation forums where projects come together to share common challenges of flood resilience and discuss innovative ways to overcome those challenges.
  • Identifying innovation:
    • Calls to industry: Identifying innovators for SuDS design and monitoring these through calls to industry.
    • Creative thinking workshops: Workshops where stakeholders use creative thinking techniques to solve difficult problem areas of SuDS design, monitoring and adoption.
    • Identifying innovation potential: Identifying features of existing groundwater property flood resilience solutions that have potential for innovation.
  • Innovative Solutions: Projects will develop and test novel approaches to flood resilience, informing future practices and policies.
  • Shared learning: Collaboration among stakeholders fosters holistic and sustainable flood management initiatives.
  • Innovation adoption: The innovative aspects of the solutions that can improve flood resilience have been identified. Key decision makers have the information required to make decisions about their adoption.
Key Contacts:

For enquiries and further information, please contact Caitlin Rogers, Principal Innovation Consultant at Isle Utilities.


Service Spotlight
Isle is involved with four Defra-funded flood resilience innovation projects to equip at-risk communities with technology and foster collaboration for sustainable flood management.
Leverages AI and technology to better equip communities for flooding
Flood resilience strategies are created in collaboration with the community, empowering local residents to better withstand and recover from flooding.
Flood resilience systems draw on environmentally sound strategies, ensuring sustainability.
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